TO DRINK: A sauvignon blanc with grassy characters is a classic match with mussels.
Butter-fried white fish with mussel broth and fresh artichokes
- 6 – 8 large artichokes
- olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, shredded
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 50g butter
- 125ml (½ cup) white wine
- 375ml (1½ cups) fresh cream
- a pinch of saffron
- 25ml fish sauce
- a shaving of lemon rind
- 250ml (1 cup) fresh mussel meat
- 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 100g butter
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 6 x 200g sustainable white fish
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- 6 fennel leaves, reserved from bulbs
- steamed black rice or creamed potatoes, to serve
Prepare the artichokes by pulling off the outside leaves and cutting the remaining leaves in half. Boil in salted water until tender and cool in an ice bath. Slice in quarters, remove the choke (hairy centre) and dress with olive oil and sea salt.
Prepare the broth by adding the onion, fennel and garlic to a hot saucepan followed by the butter. Cook until soft and add the white wine, cream, saffron, fish sauce and lemon rind. Allow the broth to reduce by a third and finish with the mussel meat and chopped parsley.
Heat the butter and garlic clove in a pan over low heat, season the fish with white pepper and place a fennel leaf on the skin side; press down.
Cook the fish skin-side down for 2 – 3 minutes and turn over. Add the artichokes to the pan, remove from the heat and set aside.
To serve, spoon the broth into each bowl, add steamed black rice or mash and top with the fish, artichokes and butter from the pan.