Sam Bilton’s Prawn Bisque SauceMakes between 300 - 400ml (enough for 4 - 6 servings)
This sauce is wonderful with any pan fried white fish such as plaice or sea bass. It also works well with the smoked potato and seaweed rosti Sam served with the plaice at Beyond the Pier. The recipe for the rostis is on Sam’s blog www.comfortablyhungry.com.
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 600g raw prawns (with heads and shells)
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, unpeeled and crushed
- bouquet garni (sprig of thyme, a few sprigs of parsley and a bay leaf)
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 150ml white wine
- ½ tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml hot fish stock
- 75ml creme fraiche
- salt, pepper and lemon juice to season
- Snipped chives to garnish
- Peel and devein the prawns reserving the shells. Rinse the prawns briefly in cold water to ensure all the entrails have been removed. Place the shelled prawns in the fridge until required.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large lidded frying pan or saucepan over a medium high heat. Sauté the prawn shells until they have taken on some colour. Remove from the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Melt the butter then add the shallots, garlic and bouquet garni. Cook until the shallots are tender but not coloured. Add the brandy and cook for a short time before igniting.
- Stir to extinguish the flames them add the tomato purée. Cook for a minute or two before adding the prawn shells and white wine. Boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the fish stock and continue to boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced by half again.
- Remove the bouquet garni and place the sauce into a blender or food processor (you will need to do this in batches). Blend then strain through chinois or a fine sieve into a clean saucepan.
- Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer then whisk in the creme fraiche. Bring the sauce back up to a gentle simmer.
- To cook the shelled prawns, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Saute until pink and no longer translucent. Place some of the cooked prawns on a plate a douse with the hot bisque sauce. Serve immediately sprinkled with snipped chives.