When people see my blog or photos of what I cook, a common question is where do I get all my ideas. I seldom copy a recipe ver batim, unless it’s teaching me a new technique, like the consomme I’m making today. I tend to be more inspired from pieces of dishes I’ve seen before. I saw this dish from an amazing Italian chef called Massimo Bottura. His main restaurant is still in Italy, but he’s making a name for himself in the UK with pop up restaurants and lots of TV appearances.
The recipe I saw him cook was this Livorno Style Fish. Livorno fish is an Italian fish stew, not dissimilar to bouillabaise. I can’t find his recipe so I’ve improvised and made it my own, as they’d say on a TV talent contest. The highlight of the dish, making it a bit more interesting than a stew, is the whole stuffed fish in the centre. Massimo used a langoustine stuffing, I had some frozen scallops to use up so I used them instead. A fish mousse is a simple thing to make. Just by pureeing fish flesh is enough to give a perfect consistency. As it will dry out during cooking a little cream is added and to help solidify the escaping liquid egg also.
- 1/person, gutted scaled. Sea Bass/Bream
- 250g Scallops
- 75ml Double Cream
- 1 Egg
- 1,diced Onion
- 1, diced Carrot
- 1, Diced Fennel
- 20g Parsely
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 100ml Dry White Wine
- 1litre Passata
- 500ml Fish Stock
- 75g, chopped Olives
- 75g Croutons
- Make the fish mousse by blitzing the scallops and cream until smooth. Add some seasoning and the egg and beat in until smooth. Chill and put in a piping bag.
- Make the sauce by sweating all of the vegetables until soft. Add the garlic and parsley and turn up the heat. After two minutes add the white wine and let it reduce by half. Now add the fish stock and let reduce by two thirds. Finally add the passata and simmer for 30minutes.
- Strain the sauce to leave a nice smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add the olives.
- Heat the oven to 180°C. To cook the fish, fry each fish in an oven proof pan on one side for one minute. Transfer to the oven for 12 minutes. To check they are cooked, a cocktail stick will come out with no resistance once inserted.
- Spoon the sauce onto a plate and place a fish on top.