This French seafood stew, or blanquette, is a light and simple dish that is very popular in French restaurants.
The creamy sauce holds an assortment of fish and shellfish, herbs and vegetables and can be varied according to your own taste.
Delicious as a lunch or dinner, and quite elegant enough for entertaining, you will be surprised at how easy this dish is.
And the best bit? It's on the table in 30 minutes too!
Seafood is a big part of French cooking and this seafood is very typical of dishes served in coastal towns, such as La Rochelle, near to where I used to live.
It's an easy dish where you can really use any fish that you have to hand, that is in season and is local to you. For me, it's great for using up all the half open bags of frozen fish in the freezer, so there isn't any waste!
This is not a classic bouillabaise, with a tomato base, but is more focussed on vegetables too. The mushrooms go surprisingly well and I've also seen chestnuts used too. And, the addition of potato makes this dish more filling and totally satisfying too.
Use frozen fish if you like, just defrost thoroughly before use.
Drain on kitchen paper to reduce excess moisture which will turn the sauce watery.
- Salmon - fillets.
- Fish - white fish for contrast, such as cod.
- Scallops - cleaned, preferably with the coral.
- Prawns - cooked or raw king prawns, deveined and shell removed.
- Mushrooms - white or chestnut mushrooms
- Potatoes - small new potatoes.
- Crème fraîche
- Milk - whole milk or semi skimmed.
- Dill- fresh dill.
- Bay leaf
See recipe card for quantities.
- Large shallow pan
- Saucepan with lid
- Wooden spoon
- Sharp knife
Start by preparing the salmon and white fish.
First, run your fingers over the surface to see if there any obvious bones. Pull them out with your fingers or use tweezers.
Remove any skin by placing the fillets skin side down on a chopping board.
Carefully cut into the area between the skin and flesh until you can hold the skin close to the board. Now use the knife to gentlyslide back and forth, until you get to the end.
Cut each salmon and white fish fillet into 4.
For large scallops, cut them in half slice the scallops into 2 rounds. well.
Prepare the vegetables.
Finely chop the shallots, slice the mushrooms and dice the carrots.
Slice the potatoes into 1 cm pieces.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the potato slices.
Cook the potatoes for around 8 minutes until tender then drain.
Heat the milk in a deep frying pan with the bayleaf.
When the milk has come to a simmer add the fish chunks gently and poach for 3 minutes and then add the scallops for another 2 minutes. If you are using raw prawns, rather than cooked ones then add themu could add raw prawns at this point.
Heat the butter and fry the shallots in another large pan along with the carrots and mushrooms for about 5 minutes until tender. Tip in the fish poaching liquid and carefully spoon in the fish.
Add the potatoes along with the cooked prawns if using.
Stir in the crème fraîche and chopped dill and heat gently.
Season to taste and serve.
🥗 Side Dishes
- Crusty bread - to mop up the juices.
- Green salad
- Cod - use pollack, hake, haddock or any other white fish, however, chukier pieces are less likely to brake up than thinner fillets.
- Potatoes - use old potatoes instead. Peel and cook then drain and slice, to avoid them breaking.
- Fish - use cooked mussels, monkfish chunks or smoked haddock for different flavours and textures.
- Vegetables - vary the vegetables by adding sliced fennel, green beans, courgettes or broad beans.
- Refrigerator - store cooled and covered in the regrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing
- To reheat - gently reheat in a frying pan over a medium heat.
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More seafood recipes
French Fish Stew
- Large frying pan
- wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- 300 g salmon
- 300 g white fish
- 8 scallops halved
- 16 cooked prawns
- 10 mushrooms
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 2 shallots chopped
- 8 new potatoes
- 570 mls milk
- 4 tablespoon creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 bayleaf
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 8 minutes until tender.
- Heat the milk with the bayleaf in a large shallow pan with the salmon and white fish and simmer for about 3 minutes and then add the scallops. Turn off the heat.
- In a separate pan heat the butter and gently soften the shallots, carrots and mushrooms.
- Add the fish and cooking liquid, drained potatoes and cooked prawns.
- Stir in the creme fraiche, dill and season to taste.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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Luckily we are about an hour away from the coast in France but most fish is still very expensive except the oysters which I love. We have a lot of frozen fish too so that we can have fish at least once a week.
This really does sound good! Rare to see so much seafood served "in bianco" as we would say. I'd love to give it a try. I live far from the coast and it would be rare to find all of the dish's seafood components to be available fresh at the same time. I'd have no problem using frozen if need be. If I didn't, I'd go without seafood. more often than not.