Crimean Fishcakes with Mussel Sabayon and Tomato Compote

Posted by Florian in Recipes, Seafood, Ukrainian Food, tagged with , , , , , ,

Here’s another recipe made with seafood that can be found in Crimea: skate, shrimp, and mussels. (See also my Crimean Seafood Orzo). Following Ukrainian cuisine’s propensity for all things ground, the fish and the shrimp are minced to form nice little round patties. The vibrantly yellow mussel sabayon packs a lot of bivalve flavor which complements the fishcakes perfectly. I serve the dish with a mix of spring vegetables.

Tomato Compote
Yields about 8 servings

900 g very ripe tomatoes
4 g salt
20 g top-quality olive oil
2 g star anise
1 pinch nutmeg
4.5 g Worcestershire sauce
4 g ketchup

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make cross marks in the tomatoes with a knife, blanch for 30 seconds, then shock in a bowl of ice water. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. Roughly chop the flesh and reserve (you should have about 470 g of flesh). Place the seeds and membranes with the salt into a conical sieve over a bowl, and leave for 30 minutes. Mash the contents of the sieve a few times, then discard. Reserve the tomato liquid.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the star anise and nutmeg. Add the tomato flesh, tomato liquid, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, then cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Let cool and reserve.
  • Reheat in a small saucepan just before serving.

Crimean Fishcakes with Mussel Sabayon and Tomato Compote

Mussel preparation
Yields about 8 servings

about 600 g mussels
shrimp shells (from fishcakes below, optional)
120 g dry white wine
30 g sliced onion
green stems from 2 scallions
8 filaments saffron

  • Clean and rinse the mussels under cold water. Place the mussels and shrimp shells in a pot with the white wine, onion, spring onion stems and saffron. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat until all the mussels are open, shaking the pot regularly. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mussels from their shells, let cool and refrigerate. Pass the cooking liquid through a chinois and reserve.

Fishcakes
Yields 8 servings

230 g cleaned skate fillet
salt
45 g butter
60 g peeled scallion whites, thinly sliced
230 g peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
230 g peeled shrimp
55 g (about 1) egg
20 g (about 1) egg yolk
15 g orange juice
2 g piment d’espelette
about 80 g AP flour
about 20 g butter

  • Season the skate with salt, and sauté in a hot pan with 1/3 of the butter until golden-brown on both sides. Let cool and reserve.
  • Sauté the spring onion with the rest of the butter in the same pan over medium heat, season with salt and cook until soft. Let cool and reserve.
  • Quarter the potatoes, place in a saucepan with cold water and salt, and cook over medium heat until tender. Pass though a food mill using the finest grate, let cool and reserve (you should have about 200 g of potato purée).
  • Chop the shrimp very finely and place into a bowl. Shred the skate into the bowl, then add the beaten egg and egg yolk followed by the orange juice, piment d’espelette, spring onion and potato purée. Mix with a rubber spatula just enough to blend all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Shape the mixture into 8 cakes of 8 cm diameter (about 88 g each). Dredge the cakes in flour.
  • In a non-stick pan oven medium heat, sauté each cake with a small piece of butter until brown on both sides. Transfer the cakes to an oven-proof dish, and cover with foil.
  • Before serving, finish in a 175 C / 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Crimean Fishcakes with Mussel Sabayon and Tomato Compote

Mussel sabayon
Yields 8 servings

130 g mussel juice
160 g cooked mussels
40 g (about 2) egg yolks
30 g butter
30 g crème fraîche

  • Process the mussel juice and 55 g of the mussels in a blender until smooth. Pass through a chinois, and transfer to a double-boiler. Whisk in the egg yolks, and cook the mixture to a ribbon consistency, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat, mix in the butter and crème fraîche, add the remaining mussels, and serve immediately.

Spring vegetables
Yields about 8 servings

270 g cleaned sugar snap peas (strings removed)
salt
360 g zucchini, batons
35 g olive oil
black pepper, ground
100 g scallion whites
20 g scallion greens
4 g lemon zest, grated using a Microplane grater

  • Blanch the sugar snap peas in salted boiling water, drain, then shock in a bowl of cold water. Coarsely chop the peas on a bias.
  • In a pan over medium heat, sauté the zucchini with the olive oil for a couple minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the scallion whites, and cook until soft.
  • Add the sugar snap peas, scallion greens, and lemon zest. Rectify the seasoning, stir for a minute, then serve.

Crimean Fishcakes with Mussel Sabayon and Tomato Compote