Papillote of seafood
- Preparation and cooking time
- Ready in 30-40 minutes
- Serves 2
- 2 splashes of olive oil
- 1 red onion , halved and cut lengthways into slim wedges
- 2 spring onions , finely sliced on the diagonal
- 2 baby fennel bulbs (or 1 small regular one), finely sliced on the diagonal
- a nugget of fresh root ginger , peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 stalk of lemongrass , finely sliced on the diagonal
- 2 star anise
- a small handful of fresh coriander , roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove , finely chopped
- 600g bag mussels , scrubbed
- 140g shelled raw tiger prawns , defrosted if frozen
- about 100ml/3½ fl oz white wine
- about 3-4 tbsp coconut milk
For the parcels
- two 30 x 42cm sheets of non-stick baking parchment (approx A3 size) and string
- STEP 1
Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas 7/fan 200C. Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, spring onions, fennel, ginger, lemongrass, star anise and coriander and toss over a high heat for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- STEP 2
Throw in the garlic and season to taste, then shoot in the mussels and prawns and splash in the wine – just enough to moisten the mussels without drowning them. Cover and cook for 30 seconds -1 minute only, then remove from the heat and check the mussels are open – if they’re not, put the pan back on the heat for a few seconds until they are.
- STEP 3
Scoop the mussels and vegetables out into a bowl, using a slotted spoon (leave the juices in the pan). Pour the coconut milk into the pan (use the same quantity as the liquid already there) and boil for about 4 minutes until reduced to a thickish, syrupy jus. Return the mussels and vegetables to the pan, drizzle with a little oil and shake to mix everything together.
- STEP 4
Take a sheet of non-stick baking parchment and push it into a deep medium-sized saucepan. Spoon in half the mussels and vegetables and one star anise. Lift the paper out and twist the top to make a money bag. Tie tightly with string then make another bag. 5 Stand the bags in a large baking dish or roasting tin, then give them a quick blast in the oven for 3-4 minutes – just until you can see the crunched tops of the paper start to scorch. Lift the bags out, stand each one on a plate and untie. At the table, open the bags and breathe in the wonderful aroma before tucking in.