4 x 40g snapper fillets, cleaned and cut into cubes
2 baby octopus, cleaned, sliced thinly and tentacles left in large pieces
8 clams, purged
4 green king prawn, peeled and deveined
1 baby fennel bulb, sliced into 2cm crescents, retain fennel tops for service
1 leek, sliced, white part only
250g potatoes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons milk
Murray River Sea Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic
50ml white wine vinegar
1 large pinch saffron
200g cooked mashed potato
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 ortiz anchovies
200ml olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Murray River Sea Salt and white pepper to taste
2kg snapper carcass (eyes removed, red mullet or gurnard if snapper not available)
4 litres water
1 bay leaf
2 sprig thyme
1 shallot, peeled and finely sliced
2 clove garlic
Fish soup (bisque)
2 x blue swimmer crabs
500g prawn heads and shells
250ml white wine
1 pinch of saffron
2 star anise
5g coriander seeds
100ml olive oil
1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, split in half
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500ml fish stock
1 bouquet garni
1 lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
Murray River Sea Salt to taste
To cook the seafood
500ml of the fish stock
Fennel fronds for garnish
- Chop the fish bones into manageable size pieces. Wash and clean the bones of any blood residue.
- In a large stock pan, place the bones along with the remaining ingredients for the stock.
- On medium-high heat, Induction setting 6-8, bring to the boil, skimming any scum from the top regularly.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, Induction setting 3-4 and cook for 20 minutes.
- Strain the stock and discard the bones.
- Measure 500ml for the fish soup and 500ml to cook the seafood. The remaining stock can be frozen in small batches for future use.
- Remove top shell from crab, clean and retain for marinade. Discard gills and innards of crab. Cut down the centre of the crab and cut each portion in half (do not wash the crab under water, only the shell should be washed).
- Marinate the crab and prawn shells in the alcohol and the spices, covered for 12 to 24 hours.
- Heat 50ml of the oil in a large heavy based pan on medium/high heat, Induction setting 7-8. Add the vegetables and fry until lightly coloured.
- Add the tomato paste and pernod. Cook for 5-8 minutes to cook the alcohol off and reduce the liquid by ⅓.
- Strain the shells, reserve marinade in one bowl and shells in another.
- In a large frying pan, heat the remaining oil on high heat Induction setting 8 and fry the shells, until nicely coloured. Add to the vegetables with the fish stock, reserved marinade and bouquet garni.
- Transfer to a large roasting pan or deep solid steam tray and place in the steam oven. Steam at 100°C for 2 hours, or until a good flavour has developed. Remove the bouquet garni.
- Place stock and shells in a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Pass soup through a coarse sieve and pass again through muslin draped over a fine sieve. Discard any solids not able to be pushed through the sieve.
- After passing the liquid once, place the lemon and mint in a piece of muslin cloth, tied with string into the soup before passing for the second time.
- Wash the sieve and pass the soup through a third time to ensure a smooth consistency and allow the mint and lemon to infuse into the soup. Discard any solids. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. If a more intense flavour is required, continue to steam the soup (bisque) for a further 30-60 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Set aside to cool.
- Place potatoes in perforated steam tray and Steam at 100°C for 20 minutes.
- Test with a skewer, if the skewer inserts easily, the potatoes are cooked.
- Push the potatoes through a potato ricer and then through a drum sieve.
- Add the butter and milk and mix well to combine, your mash should be as smooth as silk.
- In a small pan, heat the garlic, vinegar and saffron and reduce by half.
- Place yolks, mustard, vinegar reduction and anchovies in a blender. Pulse until a smooth puree. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil to emulsify.
- Add mashed potato, blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the saffron mashed potato in a solid steam tray, covered. Steam at 95°C for 12 minutes to heat through, whisk well.
To cook the seafood
- Place fish stock, in a large solid steam tray. Steam at 100°C for 25 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 85°C. Place the octopus into the hot stock and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the mussels, clams, fish, prawns, fennel and leek and continue to Steam at 85°C for 3–5 minutes, depending how big the seafood is.
- Place a spoonful of the saffron mash (rouille) in the centre of a warmed shallow bowl.
- Position the seafood in the bowl with the leek and fennel.
- Pour on the hot soup (bisque). Serve immediately.
Hints and tips
It is better to marinate the fish a day or two in advance. You can purchase bouquet garni from your local fruit and vegetable shop, alternatively you can make a bouquet garni by using thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns and wrap in muslin cloth.