Seafood casserole with pear and roe salad

Alex Mackay combines brown shrimp, mussels and mackerel with a hint of chilli in this dish, while the salty tang of smoked cod roe enlivens the salad
By Alex Mackay
Seafood casserole with pear and roe salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the seafood casserole

  • 250 g whole cooked brown shrimps
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
  • 8 small potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 500 g mussels, cleaned, beards removed
  • 4 mackerel fillets, each cut into 5 pieces, or 8 herring fillets, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 50 g butter, cubed
  • 1 mild chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, about 25g, leaves only
  • 1 pinches cayenne pepper

For the salad

  • 1 small lemon, grated zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 little gem lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 bunches watercress
  • 1 medium comice pear
  • 60 g smoked cod roe


1. For the seafood casserole: pinch the heads off the shrimps and set the meat-filled tails aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat, tip in the shrimp heads and fry for 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the tomato purée and fry for a further minute, or until the tomato purée is lightly browned, then pour over enough water to just cover the heads. Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly for 10 minutes.

4. Pour the heads and liquid into a blender and liquidise for 30 seconds until the shells are finely crushed and the mixture is fairly smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a large, shallow pan.

5. Place the pan over a high heat and add the potatoes, garlic and mussels. Cover and bring to the boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened (discard any mussels that don't open).

6. Push the mussels to the edges of the pan then arrange the mackerel in a single layer in the middle. Sprinkle over the butter, chilli, shrimp tails and parsley.

7. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, or until the mackerel is opaque and cooked through. Season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper and set aside to rest for 2 minutes while you make the salad.

8. For the salad: in a salad bowl, make the dressing by mixing together the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the honey. Whisk in the rapeseed oil then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. Scatter the little gem and watercress on top of the dressing. Cut the pear in half, remove the core and then slice it very thinly using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Add to the bowl.

10. Slice the cods roe as thinly as you can, or use a coarse grater if the roe is hard. Add the roe to the other salad ingredients and toss everything together.

11. Serve the seafood casserole straight from the pan, with the salad alongside.

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