Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Ragoût of Shellfish

[Photographs: David Loftus]

Shellfish and crustaceans have a natural affinity for anise-y, licorice-y flavored things. Bouillabaisse isn't really complete without a few slices of fennel and mussels steamed with Pernod. But I'd never thought to add tarragon to the seafood before coming across this Ragoût of Shellfish in At Elizabeth David's Table.

The recipe begins with an incredibly flavorful roux of butter, onion, garlic, a bit of sugar, and white wine. In classic Elizabeth David fashion, the amount of tarragon added is entirely up to the chef. If the flavor appeals to you, don't be shy; add a sizable handful. The tarragon is sweet and aromatic, and the rest of the dish comes together with all the shrimp, scallops, mussels, and mushrooms. Wait, mushrooms? At first they might seem like an odd addition but once cooked, they mimic the texture of seafood and bulk up the dish.

The trick here is to heat the dish until the mussels steam open and the scallops are cooked through, usually only ten minutes. After that, a squeeze of lemon and a bit of chopped parsley, a loaf of crusty bread for dipping and you're ready to serve.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of At Elizabeth David's Table to give away this week.

Adapted from At Elizabeth David's Table by Elizabeth David. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ecco. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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