Wild Turbot with Baked White Pigna Beans and Carpetshell Clams in an Opal Basil Sauce

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Turbot

Remove the head and tail of the turbot and the skin on both sides. Cut 1/2 pound (230 g) steaks from each. On each side, cut the first joint of the central bone with a pair of scissors.

Roast the turbot steaks in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, then brown in frothy butter with the unpeeled garlic and the dried fennel. Once cooked, the turbot steaks should be tender with a nice, light brown coloring and an internal temperature of 95°F (35°C).

Step 2: Opal Basil Sauce

Reduce the lobster stock and cool over ice. Crush the tomatoes, garlic and basil in a mortar, and drizzle in the olive oil while stirring the pestle quickly and regularly to emulsify. Thin the sauce with a little carpetshell clam juice (prepared below) and the reduced lobster stock.

Add the Espelette pepper and check the seasoning.

Step 3: White Pigna Beans and Carpetshell Clams

Soak the carpetshell clams in salted water in a dark place. Rinse in a large amount of water.

Sweat the minced shallot with a bit of butter in a large pan, then add a garlic clove, the thyme bouquet garni and the drained shellfish. Deglaze with the white wine, cover, and cook until the carpetshell clams open.

Drain the shellfish, reserving their cooking juices. Let the juices settle for a few minutes, then filter through cheesecloth.

Shell half the carpetshell clams, open and empty the sand sac, and set aside in a stainless steel bowl on ice.

Put the beans in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim if necessary, then add the aromatics (carrot, onion, garlic and rosemary bouquet garni) and simmer until the beans are three quarters of the way cooked. Take them out, skin each one, season with salt, and finish cooking.

Once cooked, drain and combine their cooking juices and the carpetshell clam juices. Reduce by half, then put the beans back in the pan. Reduce the tomatoes to a purée, and add this purée and the seasoning olive oil to the beans. Cook until the desired consistency is reached.

Step 4: Dough

Combine all of the ingredients and knead the dough together on a marble surface. Let the dough rest, then divide into handfuls and shape into sausages.

Step 5: Finishing and Plating

Spread the turbot steaks with the sauce and season with freshly ground pepper.

Place the beans and shelled carpetshell clams in a glass baking container. Moisten with the bean cooking juices, season with freshly ground pepper, and top with the turbot steaks.

Cover the glass pot and seal the lid with the dough sausages. Brush the dough with egg wash, then bake in a 465°F (240°C) convection oven for 7 minutes.

Take the pot out of the oven serve immediately at the table. Serve the extra sauce on the side.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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