Prawn "Casseroles" (Metric)

Customary version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
For the fish stock  
Olive oil, extra virgin 30 ml.
Carrots, finely diced 120 ml.
Celery, finely diced 80 ml.
Leeks, finely diced, white and light green parts only 80 ml.
Onions, finely diced 60 ml.
Garlic, minced 60 ml.
Plum tomatoes, ripe, peeled, seeded and chopped 180 ml.
Rockfish or stripped bass 900 g
Halibut bones 2.2 kg
Shrimp 140 g
Crayfish 250 g
Parsley, flat-leaf sprig 1 ea.
Salt, or more as needed 1.25 ml.
For the potatoes  
Yukon gold potatoes (600 g) 2 ea. (large)
Salt, divided use 15 ml.
Black pepper, freshly ground 1.25 ml.
Olive oil, for frying, or as needed 960 ml.
For the mortar mix  
Almonds, toasted 5 ea.
Garlic clove, peeled 1 ea.
Parsley leaves 5 ea.
Saffron threads 1 pinch
Salt 1 pinch
Baguette, ½-inch-thick, fried in olive oil 2 slices
Ñora peppers, soaked and seeded 3 ea.
Olive oil, extra virgin 80 ml.
Powdered saffron 1.25 ml.
For the shrimp  
Shrimp, heads on (3 lbs.) 64 ea.
Salt 2.5 ml.
Olive oil, extra virgin 30 ml..
Maldon sea salt 5 ml.

Method

  1. Make the fish stock. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the carrots, celery, leeks, and onions. Cook, stirring, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Add the whole rockfish, halibut bones, shrimp, crayfish, and parsley. Add enough water to cover by 5 cm. and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is separating from the bones. Strain. Return the stock to the pot, bring to the boil, and reduce to 600 ml., 45 to 60 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low; adjust seasoning with the salt.
  2. Peel the shrimp, leaving the shells on the tails. Remove the heads, setting half aside (about 32). Add the remaining heads to the reduced stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain; keep warm until ready to serve. Cook one of the potatoes in a medium pot in 1 liter of boiling water with 20 ml. of salt until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes, then mash, using some of the fish broth to moisten. Season with 2.5 ml. of salt and the pepper. Keep warm.
  3. Make the motar mix. Place the almonds, garlic, parsley, saffron threads, and salt in a mortar and mash to a paste. Add the fired bread and ñora peppers and continue to mash. Drizzle in the oil, stirring, and add the powdered saffron. Set aside and allowthe flavors to meld.
  4. Cook the remaining half of the heads quickly with 2.5 of salt and 15 ml. of oil on a griddle or in a hot skillet over medium-high heat until they are crisp and red, 3 to 4 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet until 190°C. Meanwhile, slice the remaining potatoes into 5 mm slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in two large sauté pans over medium-high heat. Fry the potato slices in two batches in the Dutch oven, until golden brown and crisp. Season with 2.5 ml. of salt and drain on paper towels. While the second batch of potatoes is frying, cook the shrimp in the sauté pans just until pink, about 4 minutes.
  6. Place about 30 ml. of mashed potatoes on each serving plate. Top with 3 shrimp heads and 6 tails per person. Place a crisp potato slice between each shrimp. Drizzle a line of the mortar mix over the shrimp (about 10 ml. per portion). Heat briefly under a broiler until the mortar mix is golden brown. Spoon a small ladle (60 ml.) of stock over the top and sprinkle with sea salt.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Nando Jubany, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Kitchen Workshop I on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.

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