Fruits De Mer

Traditionally served after midnight mass in France, this dish is French Christmas classic. Juicy mussels nestle next to delicate clams, the sweetest crab, luxurious lobster and those magnificent molluscs, all served sumptuously high for maximum impact. This is my plateau de Fruits de Mer, I hope you enjoy. 

Special equipment: Fruits de Mer platter.

 Fruit Der Mer MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the Fruits de Mer
1.8kg Crab, Brown
3 x 600g Lobsters (*1)
10 Langoustines (optional)
10 Oysters, Freshly Shucked
300g Mussels, cleaned, beards removed
300g Clams
50ml Water
For the mayonnaise
2 Egg yolks, medium, organic
5g Mustard, Dijon
2 pinch Sea salt
2 pinch Pepper, ground white
250ml Oil, grapeseed
1tsp Vinegar, white wine
2tsp Lemon juice
For the Shallot dressing
80g Banana shallot, finely chopped
100ml Red wine vinegar
1 sprig Tarragon

Cooking Method

For the Fruits de Mer

In the large pan of boiling water, place the Crab, bring back to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the lobsters and continue to cook on a simmer.

Add the langoustines in the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Remove all the shellfish and place on a tray and allow to cool naturally.

Prepare the cooked crab by removing the claws and legs from the main body. Using a large heavy chefs knife, crack the claws and legs to allow the meat to be removed by your guests. Remove main body of the crab from the shell, and using a spoon, scrape all the brown meat from the head into a bowl. Using a seafood pick, remove the white meat from the body into a separate bowl. Reserve the picked crab meat covered in the fridge until needed. 

Prepare the cooked Lobsters by cutting the tail in half lengthways keeping it in the shell and remove the intestines from the middle of the tail. Crack the claws with the blade of a large chefs knife.

Reserve in the fridge.

For the Mussels and Clams

Wash the mussels and clams in cold running water and drain.

Remove any barnacles and beards that may be present (*3).

In a large saucepan on a very high heat, add the mussels, clams and water. Immediately cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute until the shellfish starts to open. Drain through a colander, then place in an ice bain marie to chill.

Open the mussels and clams keeping the flesh in the half shell. Reserve in the fridge.

For the mayonnaise

Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. 

Start adding the oil in a steady trickle, whisking energetically until the oil is absorbed and the mixture turns pale yellow and thickens, usually after adding about 150ml of the oil (*4).

Thin down or loosen the consistency with the vinegar and lemon juice, then whisk in the remaining oil (*5).

Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Store in a covered container in the ‘fridge.

For the Shallot dressing

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together and place in a small dish and serve with the oysters along with lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce.

To Serve

Arrange the cooked shellfish and oysters on a platter and garnish with edible seaweeds and lemon wedges. Serve with fresh mayonnaise and good crusty bread and the shallot dressing for the oysters.


Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Video © BBC Raymond Blanc Christmas Feast 2011.