struggle with choosing my ‘last meal’ when asked on occasion but a bouillabaisse, bisque or seafood dish comes high up there with my true foodie loves hence my adoration of this simple bisque sauce. I have previously blogged this but due to its rich and deep flavour it only requires a simple and fuss free accompaniment so served here with roasted fennel and bream its devine. I am always staggered and amazed at the amount of flavour that the otherwise wasted shells and heads of the prawns make to a sauce! Such a depth of traditional flavours. Topped with fennel, simply fried fish and the meaty rewards of the prawns its a simple weekend feast that takes relatively no time, just some organisation, prep and speed and focus on delivery! Voila…
Note the lack of carb here purely due to the richness of the rest of the ingredients. But this would be lovely served with some buttery chive mash as seen here or with a thickly sliced and toasted sour dough crouton and punchy rouille seen here.
- 1 x Prawn bisque recipe (see here) using about 12 large, shelled king prawns (see note for shelling and deveining prawns)
- 4 sea bream fillets
- 2 bulbs fennel, halves vertically
- Small glass white wine
- Handful parsley and chives, chopped finely
- 1 large bag spinach
- 1 knob butter
- 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with foil. Add the halved fennel bulbs and season well. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and then pour over the white wine. Roast for about 40 minutes until tender and beginning to char.
- Make the sauce as per the instructions and keep warm while you cook the seafood.
- When the sauce is done and warming and the fennel is cooked the next few steps need to be done quickly so ensure that everything else is ready to go and at hand. I advise that you pop your serving dish (shallow bowls recommended) in the oven at this point so that they are warm on serving.
- Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Cut each bream fillet in half and then score the skin to prevent it curling up on the hot pan. Season. When the oil is hot, add the fish skin side down and then throw in your cleaned shelled prawns.
- Cook skin side down for about 2-3 minutes until he flesh on top is only pink in the centre and the flesh is starting to cook through. Add the knob of butter to the pan and flip the prawns and the fish and finish the cook for a final minute coating in the butter. Add the lemon before removing the prawns and fish from the pan and setting aside for 1 minute to rest while you cook the spinach.
- Add the spinach to remaining pan oil and butter and wilt as you like.
- To serve, place a handful of the spinach in the base of your serving bowl and top with a wedge of the fennel.
- Top each with two halves of the bream.
- Roll the prawns briefly in the chopped herbs and arrange around the outside.
- Finally, spoon over around 4 tbsp of the sauce around the dish and scatter with any leftover herbs.
NOTE: To shell and devein a prawn. Take your raw prawn and crudely snap off the head and set aside. Now take the legs and peel outwards away from the body. The prawn has a thin and plastic like shell which peels away easily. You should be able to take this off in one piece, legs and tail too but its usually required broken into pieces. Set these aside too and then rinse the prawn in cold water.
Deveining is important. It removes the outer backbone intestinal vein which is unpleasant and unprofessional to leave in and eat. With a sharp knife carefully slice down the back of the peeled prawn vertically only cutting about 2mm into the flesh. You should see a black vein. Very carefully as it will break easily, get your knife tip underneath and prize out the vein and discard. The prawns will now also have a fanned outer edge giving the look they have when fried.