Dontcha hate it when you overspend on a meal out at a nice restaurant? Isn’t it worse when the meal flat out sucks? Ugh. Kyle and I had a meal like this on Saturday night and we were just so bummed about it. And strangely enough, it was at one of our favorite restaurants; perhaps it was just an off-night there? Nonetheless, we had a dinner planned for Sunday night that we were really looking forward to making. It was a new recipe and was a little risky for us even if it was an Ina recipe. Anything with fish tends to be a little iffy in this house (for Kyle anyway) but since we’re hacking South Beach for two weeks, obviously, our starch-loving diets need to be expanded slightly.
So seafood gratin it was. We picked up some fresh wild cod (in place of the halibut) and wild shrimp at the grocery store but unfortunately, we could only find frozen cooked lobster and rather than cooking and picking a whole fresh lobster for just one recipe, we went for the frozen stuff. At least it came from Maine though! And honestly, the frozen stuff was pretty good. In any event, the recipe went smoothly and it really was a great recipe for us to cook together for it probably would have been a fairly time-consuming recipe for just me. The whole recipe came together without issue and we finally got the chance to use our individual gratin dishes! This looked and smelled SO good going into the oven that it was difficult waiting the 20 minutes it took to cook and I kept opening the oven door to get a whiff of it cooking…which probably added a couple minutes to the cooking time but oh well.
Well let me tell you. If you’re considering going out to a nice seafood restaurant for dinner, don’t. Stay home and make this recipe. It was seriously the best meal we’ve had in ages (whether it be at home or at a restaurant) and something that we will make over and over. Neither one of us could get over how fantastic this was as we savored every single bite. To my good fortune, I took Monday off from work due to the snowstorm so I got the leftover dish of gratin. Hee hee!!!!
P.S. – 4 servings cost us less than $30. At what restaurant could you get 4 meals like this one for less than $30?!
source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 116
- 1 cup seafood stock or clam juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons good white wine, such as Chablis, divided
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads omitted
- 8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half crosswise
- 8 ounces raw halibut cod cut into1-inch chunks
- 8 ounces cooked lobster meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups julienned leeks, white and light green parts (2 large)
- 1 1/2 cups julienned carrots (3 carrots)
- 1 cup panko (Japanese dried bread crumbs) 1/2 dried breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 4 individual gratin dishes on sheet pans. (If recipe is doubled serve it in a 14 by 9 1/4-inch oval gratin dish.)
- Combine the stock, cream, 1/2 cup of the wine, the tomato puree, and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and add the shrimp. After 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp to a bowl. Add the halibut to the stock for 3 minutes, until just cooked through, and remove to the same bowl. Add the cooked lobster to the bowl.
- Continue to cook the sauce until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Mash 1 tablespoon of the butter together with the flour. Whisk the butter mixture into the sauce along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saute pan. Add the leeks and carrots and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
- Combine the panko, Parmesan, parsley, tarragon, and garlic. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix it into the crumbs until they’re moistened.
- Divide the seafood among the 4 gratin dishes. Strew the vegetables on top of each dish. Pour the sauce equally over the seafood and vegetables and spoon the crumbs evenly on top. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve hot.