Fricassee of Seafood
Dueling skillets: Monique Barbeau cooks the mussels and clams simultaneously in separate pans. If your stove is not up to this, they may certainly be prepared one at a time; just remember to reserve all the cooking juices. Other shellfish may be substituted or added, including scallops and shrimp, depending upon what is fresh and available.
- Mussels in the Shell - 1 pound, bearded and cleaned (about 24)
- Clams in the Shell - 1 pound, cleaned (about 24)
- Oysters in the shell - 1 dozen, cleaned
- Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Fish Stock (see Basics) or clam juice - 1 cup
- Shellfish Poaching Liquid (reserved, above) - 1-1/2 cups
- Tomato paste (recipe follows) - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Garlic Butter (recipe follows) - 4 tablespoons
- Lemon Juice - juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil leaves - 4 large, julienned
- Tomato Paste
- Tomatoes - 4
- Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Clove Garlic - 1/2, minced
- Shallot - 1 minced
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Fresh Herbs such as Thyme, Tarragon, Oregano, and Parsley - 1 tablespoon, mixed, minced
- Garlic Butter
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons, softened
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Parsley Leaves - 2 large, minced
To prepare the shellfish: In each of two skillets, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the shallots and the garlic to each pan and let cook for 30 seconds. Add half of the wine and the fish stock to each pan. Once both pans are boiling, add the mussels to one skillet and the clams to the other. Cover and steam until the mussels and clams are open. Transfer to another pot and keep warm. Add the oysters to one of the skillets and cook just until firm. Place them in with the other shellfish.
Combine the poaching liquids into one skillet. Stir in the tomato paste and cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the garlic butter, lemon juice, and seasonings.
To serve: Arrange the mussels around the outer edge of six large low soup bowls. Pile clams and oysters in the center of each bowl. Ladle the sauce over the shellfish and garnish with basil julienne.
To prepare the tomato paste: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the tomatoes. Let the water return to a boil, then remove the tomatoes and plunge into ice water. Let cool. Peel, then cut in half and squeeze to remove the seeds. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and let the water evaporate, shaking the pan to keep them from sticking. Add the garlic and shallots and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Pour in the vinegar and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Once the liquid has nearly evaporated, stir in the herbs. The mixture will be pulp-like; it can be pureed if desired.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a fork.