Pan-fried sea bream with mussels and fennel
- 500g/1lb 2oz mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 25ml/1fl oz white wine
- 100ml/3½fl oz fish stock
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- ¼ celeriac, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
- 2 x sea bream fillets (roughly 180–200g/6½–7¼oz each), skin on
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered, core removed, julienned
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice only
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Discard any mussels with broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, lidded saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sweat for 1 minute. Add the thyme, white wine and fish stock and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover and steam for 3–4 minutes, stirring half way through. Strain the mussels, reserving the cooking liquor, and set aside. Discard any mussels that remain closed.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leek, celeriac and carrot and cook for 2 minutes until soft. Add half of the mussel cooking liquor and bring to a simmer. Add the crème fraîche, chives and cooked mussels and cook until warmed through.
Score the fish skins and season with salt. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add the fish, skin side down and cook for 2–3 minutes then turn over and cook the flesh for 1 minute or until cooked (a cocktail stick should enter the fish with no resistance).
Toss the fennel with the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season.
To serve, divide the fennel between two plates, spoon over the mussels and vegetables, place the sea bream fillet on top and drizzle over the sauce.