Seafood choux puffs

Seafood choux puffs


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About this recipe: These golden mini choux puffs are filled with mussels and scallops in a saffron and chive sauce. Both the puffs and filling can be prepared earlier in the day and reheated just before serving.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 6 

  • 55 g (2 oz) butter
  • 75 g (2½ oz) plain flour, sifted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Mussel and scallop filling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) fish stock, preferably home-made or water
  • large pinch of saffron threads
  • pared zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 4 scallops, about 200 g (7 oz) in total
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • 85 g (3 oz) rocket leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chives to garnish

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). To make the choux puffs, put the butter and 150 ml (5 fl oz) water into a small saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil. Quickly tip in the flour and beat until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually beat in the eggs to make a smooth paste.
  2. Spoon the paste into 18 small mounds, well spaced apart, on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until well risen and the tops are crisp. Pierce each choux puff with a small knife or skewer to allow the steam to escape, then return them to the oven for 2–3 minutes to dry out. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. To make the filling, put the onion, wine, stock or water, saffron, lemon zest and seasoning to taste into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover tightly and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the mussel shells have opened. Discard any mussels that are still shut.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and lift the mussels out of the cooking liquid with a draining spoon. Using a fork, take the mussels out of the shells and reserve.
  5. Cut the corals off the scallops and reserve. Add the white scallop meat to the mussel cooking liquid, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the corals and cook for a further 1 minute. Lift the scallops and corals out of the liquid with a draining spoon, chop and reserve. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by one-third. Strain and return to the pan.
  6. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk, then add to the cooking liquid with the remaining milk. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring until thickened. Stir in the mussels, scallops and corals, and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through gently. (If making ahead, cool and chill, then reheat gently for serving.)
  7. If you want to serve the choux puffs hot, reheat in a preheated 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) oven for 5 minutes. Slit open the choux puffs and spoon in the filling. Arrange on serving plates. Toss the rocket with the lemon juice and pile next to the puffs. Garnish with chives and serve.

Some more ideas

For a drinks party, use the choux paste to make 28 tiny bite-sized puffs, and finely dice the mussels and scallops for the filling. * If you want to plan ahead, open-freeze the uncooked choux mounds on a baking sheet, then pack into a plastic box. To serve, return to the baking sheet to thaw for 1 hour at room temperature, then bake as in the main recipe. * For a light lunch for 4, make a choux ring filled with salmon and watercress. Spoon the choux paste into a 20 cm (8 in) ring on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20–25 minutes or until well risen. Slit open the ring horizontally and return to the oven for 3 minutes to dry out. For the filling, poach 450 g (1 lb) salmon fillet in the wine and saffron mixture for 5 minutes, then leave to stand, off the heat, for 5 minutes to complete the cooking. Lift out the fish and flake, discarding the skin and any bones. Boil the poaching liquid to reduce to 120 ml (4 fl oz), strain and use to make the sauce as in the main recipe. Stir in the salmon, the juice of ½ lemon and 20 g (¾ oz) chopped watercress, and heat gently for 2 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the choux ring and fill the centre with more watercress.

Plus points

Thickening with cornflour is a lower-fat alternative to a butter and flour roux. * Scallops are an excellent source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against disease.

Each serving provides

B1, B12, niacin, selenium * A, iron, zinc * B2, B6, E, folate, calcium, copper, potassium

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