Francesco says ‘This dish combines two of my favourite things: seafood and bergamot. I’m from Calabria so I grew up beside the sea and it’s also where bergamot comes from. We love it.’
‘It includes a selection of fresh seafood: squid, lobster, Mazzara prawns, mussels, scallops, razor clams and more, all lightly poached; and is served with a bergamot-scented lobster broth, which gives the illusion that the fish are swimming in the sea. It’s a very colourful, fresh looking dish and is packed full of the delicious natural flavours of South Italy…. Beautiful.’
2 Scottish lobsters (4-500g each)
4 Diver scallops
200g Razor clams
12 Mazzara prawns
1 Purple potato
200g Rainbow chard
100g Mashed potato
Bergamot scented lobster broth
2 sticks of Celery, roughly chopped
2 Carrots, roughly chopped
1 White onion, roughly chopped
100g Fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 Star anise
5g White peppercorns
2g Fennel seeds
130g Turkey mince
100g Egg whites
To make the broth
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add the lobster bodies and claws.
Cook the lobster claws for 5-6mins and the bodies for 3mins.
2. Once cooked, plunge the meat into a bowl of iced water to cool down.
3. Remove the lobster from the water. Carefully remove the flesh from the shell and set aside.
4. Shell the Mazzara prawns.
5. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roughly chopped vegetables and allow them to sweat.
6. Add the prawn shells, lobster shells and heads. Toast for several minutes; then pour in the brandy and wait for it to evaporate.
7. Add the spices and cover with plenty of ice cubes. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx. 30mins.
8. Pass through a sieve and allow to cool down completely. (Note: You need at least 5ltr of stock.)
9. Pour the stock back into the large saucepan.
10. Put the turkey mince and egg whites in a mixing bowl. Mix well until they form a sticky mix.
11. Add to the stock. Then place the pan over a medium heat. Allow it to heat to a slow boil then reduce to a very low heat.
12. Allow the stock to reduce by at least ¾ and until it’s crystal clear.
13. Pour through a sieve and season with salt.
To cook the seafood
1. Meanwhile, use a very small melon baller to create ‘pearls’ from the carrot, courgette and purple potato. Quickly blanch them in boiling salted water, then plunge into iced water to cool and set aside. Repeat with the rainbow chard.
2. Place a pan of hot, slightly salted water over a medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lightly poach the seafood but don’t overcook them.
(Note 1: All of the fish have different cooking times so add them to the water in relation to their size. If they need more time, add them first; if they’re starting to look cooked before the others are, remove them etc..)
(Note 2: When served with the broth, the hot broth will continue to cook the fish so bear this in mind.)
3. At the last minute, place the vegetable pearls and rainbow chard into the water.
1. Take a ‘sunken’ plate. Place a little mashed potato in the middle.
2. Drain the fish and artistically place it on top of the mashed potato and around the plates. You really want to showcase the quality and beauty of all the individual elements.
3. Garnish with the vegetables and nasturtium leaves. Grate over some of the fresh bergamot skin and finish by pouring over the hot lobster broth.
Franceso Mazzei is the Chef Patron at Sartoria restaurant, Mayfair.