Razor clams with toasted hollandaise

Matt Tebbutts hollandaise sauce uses a beurre noisette to impart a nutty flavour that is perfect with fresh shellfish
By Matt Tebbutt
Razor clams with toasted hollandaise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the hollandaise

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 3 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 white peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 3 large egg yolks

For the shellfish

  • 1 kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded
  • 8 razor clams
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 1 banana shallot, halved
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 lemons, slices
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • chervil, to garnish

Method

1. For the hollandaise: melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and cook until the butter turns a dark golden-brown colour. Stop the cooking process with a squeeze of lemon juice, then remove the pan from the heat.

2. Place the shallots, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf into a small saucepan. Pour in a splash of white wine vinegar and the white wine. Cook over a low heat until the liquid in the pan has reduced to just under a tablespoon in volume. Strain into a heatproof bowl, discarding the herbs and peppercorns.

3. Quickly whisk in the egg yolks until combined. Place the bowl over a pan of just-simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesnt touch the water) and continue to whisk until the yolks have doubled in volume, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the beurre noisette until all of it is incorporated into the yolks. Should the mixture split at this point, a small amount of hot water whisked into the side of the bowl should remedy the situation.

5. Season the sauce with salt and then press through a sieve. Set aside until ready to serve.

6. For the shellfish: place the mussels into a pan with a splash of water and cover with a lid. Steam over a high heat until all of the mussels have opened (discard any that remain shut). Pick the mussels from their shells.

7. Meanwhile, half-fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the white wine, a pinch of salt, banana shallot, white wine vinegar, thyme, lemon slices and peppercorns. Add the clams and boil for about one minute, or until they open. Remove from the pan.

8. Pick the meat from the razor clams, discarding the dark brown diggers if preferred. Reserve the clam shells for serving. Roughly chop the clam meat together with the mussel meat.

9. Preheat the grill to high.

10. Spoon the mussel and clam mixture back into the razor clam shells and spoon over the hollandaise sauce. Place under the grill for a few minutes, or until bubbling and golden-brown. Serve immediately.

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