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Poached Haddock with Mussels, Spinach and Chervil

Rick SteinThis is one of Rick Stein's recipes which we have kindly had permission to reproduce which should whet your appetite for more.

To find out more about Rick Stein and his passion for seafood have a look at his biography page.

Cookery SchoolFor further information about his restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, his new cookery school and to see his online delicatessan visit his website - click here.

If you would like to know more about his books and how to order them have a look at our Bookstore which will also link you to Amazon for further details.


150 g (5 oz) butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
600 ml (1 pint) Mussels, cleaned
4 x 175 g (6 oz) pieces of un-skinned haddock fillet
900 g (2 lb) fresh spinach, washed, large stalks removed
1 tablespoon malt whiskey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped chervil
salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Heat 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a medium pan, add the shallot and cook gently for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the mussels and 150 ml (5 fl oz) of water, then cover and cook over a high heat for 3 - 4 minutes, until the mussels have opened.
  • Tip them into a colander set over a bowl to collect the cooking liquor. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the mussels from all but 8 of the nicest shells. Cover and set aside.
  • Pour all the mussel liquor except the last tablespoon or two (which will be gritty) into a 30 cm (12 inch) sauté pan, bring to a simmer and then add the haddock, skin side up. Cover and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat (leaving the lid in place) and set aside for about 4 minutes to continue cooking.
  • Meanwhile, melt another 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a large pan. Add the spinach and stir over a high heat until it has wilted. Cook, stirring briskly, until all the excess liquid has evaporated, then season to taste with some salt and pepper.
  • Divide the spinach between 4 warmed plates and put the haddock on top. Keep warm. Return the sauté pan to the heat, add the remaining butter and boil rapidly for 3 - 4 minutes, until the liquor has reduced and emulsified into a sauce. Stir in the whiskey and lemon juice and boil for 30 seconds. Add the chervil and mussels and stir for a few seconds, until they have heated through. Spoon the mussels around the spinach and haddock, dividing the unshelled mussels equally between the plates, then pour over the sauce and serve.

Serves 4

Rick Stein

To visit Rick Stein's website which features regular new recipes - click here