60g unsalted butter
50g celery, cut into 5mm dice
100g fennel, cut into 5mm dice (keep trimmings for broth)
100g carrot, cut into 5mm dice
70g potato, cut into 5mm dice
500ml Essential Cuisine Vegetable or Chicken Stock mix
150g shallots, finely chopped
5g garlic clove, crushed
500g fresh mussels in the shell, cleaned and debearded
100g smoked bacon, cut into lardons
100ml dry white wine
1pinch ground saffron powder
300ml double cream
5g shredded fresh basil
4x100g trimmed and scaled sea bass fillets, off the bone
50g pea shoots
10ml extra virgin olive oil
- Heat half the butter in a suitable saucepan with a lid, gently fry the celery, fennel, carrot and potato for 5 minutes, then only just cover with some of the stock, cover with a lid and simmer gently till the vegetables are cooked. Remove the vegetables and the cooking liquor. Heat the other half the butter in the same saucepan, gently fry the shallots and garlic and until soft but with not too much colour.
- Turn up the heat, add the mussels and cover with the lid, when the mussels start to open, remove the lid, stir in the wine and bring to the boil. Strain the mussel stock into a bowl and remove the meat from the mussel shells and reserve. Discard any unopened mussels.
- Fry the bacon in a hot frying pan with not too much colour. Pour the mussel stock into a suitably sized saucepan with the remaining stock, saffron and fennel trimmings, bring to the boil, stir in the cream and continue to reduce until it starts to thicken. Pass the broth through a fine sieve and finish with Pernod.
- Sear the sea bass in a hot pan with the butter until golden brown, season to your taste with salt and pepper, squeeze over the lemon juice and allow to rest off the heat.
- Dress the pea shoots with the olive oil, add the vegetables with their cooking liquor, mussel meat, bacon and basil to the hot mussel broth, bring to the simmer to reheat and ladel into warmed shallow bowls. Place the cooked sea bass on top with the pea shoots.