Fish and Shellfish Recipes
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NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE
3 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni (parsley stalks, sprig of thyme, a bay leaf)
6 dozen small clams (little necks/cherry stones)
4 slices bacon
1 tbs unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup Kendall Farms Crème Fraîche
- Put water and wine into a 3 quart pot. Add bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer.
- Add clams. Cover and steam until clams have opened, about 10 minutes. Remove clams from shells. Discard shells.
- Carefully pour clam cooking liquid into another container, taking care to leave any sand behind or strain through a clean cotton kitchen towel.
- Cut bacon into one inch strips. Place in a 2 quart pan and cook to render the fat. Remove the bacon and save.
- Cook the onions gently in the bacon fat taking care not to brown them. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Pour in the clam broth. Add cut-up potatoes and gently simmer until the potatoes soften.
- A few minutes before serving, add the clams and bacon to the pot. Be sure the clams are warmed through.
- Place crème fraîche in a small stainless steel bowl. Using a soup ladle, add two tablespoons of broth to the crème fraîche. Whisk the broth into the crème fraîche. Repeat until the crème fraîche has been warmed and thinned (tempered). Pour into the pot of chowder.
- Stir gently to mix. Serve in warmed bowls with soda crackers.
MOUSSE DE POISSON (FISH MOUSSE)
Several types of fish can be used in making this mousse, e.g., cod, red snapper or halibut.
1-1/4 lbs fish
7 oz butter, softened
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tbs dry white wine
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbs fines herbes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put the fish into a food processor. Add the eggs, butter, wine and spices. Process to a puree.
- Put the crème fraîche into a bowl. Whip gently for 1 minute.
- Fold the pureed fish into the crème fraîche.
- Butter the inside of 8 small ramequins, and fill with the mousse. Tap the ramequins to settle the mousse. Dot with butter. Bake in a water bath at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes.
- To unmold, circle a knife between the mousse and ramequin. Turn over on a hot plate. Serve with Sauce Normande (see Sauces and Dressings).
|MUSSELS WITH TOMATO SAUCE
This is an adaptation of a recipe given me by a Corsican friend, Laetizia Pasquini. The quality of the tomato sauce is of utmost importance. It should be made from home grown, vine ripe tomatoes.
|3 lbs mussels, cleaned
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup homemade tomato sauce
1 cup crème fraîche
4 tbs ouzo (or Pernod)
1-1/2 cup dry white wine
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the shallot and garlic. Lightly saute.
- Add the wine and sauted garlic and shallot to a pot large enough to hold the mussels.
- Bring the wine to a boil; add the mussels. Cover the pot, and steam the mussels (about 8 minutes). Shake the pot from time to time while the mussels are steaming.
- Meanwhile, mix together the tomato sauce, crème fraîche and ouzo.
- When the mussels are done, remove them to a platter. Discard any that have not opened. Keep warm.
- Boil down the wine and mussel broth for 2 minutes. Add the tomato crème fraîche mixture. Bubble the sauce for 2 minutes longer.7. Pour this sauce over the mussels. Serve with French bread and red wine.
SCALLOPS WITH ROSEMARY BLOSSOMS
8 diver-boat scallops cut into 1/2 inch coins
1 tsp unsalted butter for cooking
2 tbs dry white wine
2 tbs rosemary blossoms
2-3 tbs crème fraîche
- Stir 1 tbs rosemary blossoms into the crème fraîche. Allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 2 hours. If desired, strain out the blossoms.
- Dry scallops with a paper towel.
- Melt the butter over low heat in a pan just big enough to hold the scallops.
- Arrange the scallops in the pan. Pour in the white wine and cover. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes. Take care not to overcook the scallops; the scallops should be just opaque around the edges.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the scallops to wide soup bowls.
- Reduce the wine broth slightly. When you have the desired quantity of broth, whisk in the rosemary-infused crème fraîche, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has the desired body.
- Pour the sauce over the scallops. Garnish with the reserved rosemary blossoms and serve.
|SALMON WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE AND LEEKS
|two 6 oz salmon filets, skin on
2 tbs unsalted butter
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 medium leeks, washed and thinly sliced
1/2 carrot shredded
2 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 cup crème fraîche
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
1 tsp dried dill
- Stir dried dill into crème fraîche. Set aside.
- Butter a heavy skillet. Put remaining butter, wine and water into skillet.
- Add sliced leeks, grated carrot, salt, pepper, and fresh dill sprigs to skillet. Cover with parchment and a lid. Cook over medium heat until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the leeks are done, place salmon, skin side down, on top of the leeks and carrots. Replace parchment and pan lid. Cook for about 6 minutes or until fish is done. Turn heat to low.
- Remove fish. Remove skin from fish. Place each piece of fish in a wide soup bowl. Keep warm.
- Turn heat up a little under the leeks. Remove dill sprigs. Add the dill-infused crème fraîche. Stir to blend well. Finish sauce with the juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon.
- Spoon sauce over the salmon and serve.
Makes one quart
Serve sliced with rye bread or top scrambled eggs with slices for breakfast. For a light lunch or supper, serve with asparagus tips dressed with vinaigrette. Chilled white wine completes the meal.
1 lb cooked salmon
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tbs fresh dill
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
- Grind the salmon in a blender or food processor. Blend in the dill.
- Whip the crème fraîche until it is stiff.
- Sprinkle gelatin on 1/4 cup cool water. Allow the gelatin to soften for a few minutes. Heat gently, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Add the gelatin to the salmon mixture; mix well.
- Fold the salmon into the whipped crème fraîche. Fold until evenly mixed.
- Pour into a one quart mold or loaf pan.
- Refrigerate overnight to set.
|SALMON WITH TARRAGON CRÈME FRAÎCHE SAUCE
|2 lbs skinned salmon fillet, small bones removed
(if possible get the tail; the meat is denser.)
1 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup (packed) fresh tarragon leaves
2-3 tbs butter
zest of one Meyer (or, Eureka) lemon
dry white wine
salt and pepper
- Turn on broiler.
- Pour wine to 1/8 inch depth in broiler pan. Rub broiler rack with butter so that the fish will not stick. Place fish on broiler rack. Dot with butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Broil fillets 3 inches from the preheated broiler coils. Estimate the thickness of the salmon fillets; broil 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turn once if the fillets are thick.
- When the fillets are done, remove them to a warm plate and keep them warm while you make the sauce.
- In advance, snip tarragon leaves and stir into crème fraîche; add lemon zest.
- Pour wine from the broiler pan into a heavy enameled skillet. Turn heat to high; bring wine to a boil. Reduce by half. Take off the heat.
- Whisk the crème fraîche-tarragon-lemon mixture into the reduced wine. If any liquid has accumulated from the fish, whisk that in as well. Bring to a bubble, whisking all the while. Turn off heat as soon as the crème fraîche mixture is incorporated.
- Either place the salmon on individual plates and spoon sauce over or place the salmon in the skillet, spoon sauce over it, and serve family style from the skillet.
Country French bread and dry white wine complete the meal. This dish is also excellent served at room temperature.
CRÈME FRAÎCHE SALT COD
On Creamed Salt Cod
"In 1654 Louis de Bechamel, marquis de Nointel, financier in the court of Louis XIV, having invested huge sums in the Newfoundland fishery, and finding the market weak in France because Frenchmen did not like this dried and salted old fish, invented a sauce for it, which is now called bechamel sauce... . Originally it was a simple cream sauce with spices such as nutmeg..." (Mark Kurlansky, Cod, p. 262)
Careme notes: Boil down 2 pints of hot milk by two-thirds and use instead of cream, if the latter cannot be obtained except the day before it is required, which renders it extremely liable to have sourish taste, whereas by using hot milk no such risk can be incurred. When it is possible to obtain good double cream, it should be used... . (Larousse Gastronomique, p. 119)
Morue a la Crème (Creamed Salt Cod): "This can be a dish of great purity... . French chefs love to serve it at home... ." (Raymond Sokolov, The Saucier's Apprentice, p. 164)
It is for reasons of lineage (not gustation) that I submit this recipe. I believe Careme would approve. (If Careme had had a good supply of Kendall Farms crème fraîche, would he have needed to invent roux?)
KENDALL FARMS CRÈME FRAÎCHE SALT COD
(Adapted from Sokolov, The Saucier's Apprentice, p. 164)
2 lbs salt cod
1-1/2 cups crème fraîche
1/2 cup milk
1 to 2 tbs brined green peppercorns, rinsed
- Desalt cod.
- Boil enough water to cover cod spread in a single layer. Add the cod. Bring to the boil again. Reduce heat, simmer very slowly for 15 minutes.
- Remove cod from water and drain thoroughly. Flake with a fork or with the white plastic blade of a foodprocessor. (Discard any bones or skin.)
- Place crème fraîche in a sauce pan. Stir in milk to thin. Heat to bubbling. Add flaked cooked cod. Simmer together briefly. Stir in green peppercorns.
- Serve in shallow soap bowls. Pass the red sea-salt.
|"Crème Fraîche is one of the most extraordinary substances in the world of gastronomy...it adds velvety body to sauces, sublimely coats a pasta, or tops fruit and pastries. " -Steven Jenkins, Fairway Markets, Manhattan
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|Mussels served with a tomato sauce using crème fraîche.
|Caviar with creme fraiche will enchance fish and seafood dishes.
|Salmon served with crème fraîche and leeks makes a delicious entrée.
|Salmon is delighful served with our tarragon sauce made from crème fraîche.