Sea Trout with crab beignets and grapefruit sabayon

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serves 2

Difficulty 3.5/5

There seems to be a lot going on here, but most of the prep can be done ahead of time. The beignets are basically a flavoured choux pastry dough, which is then just fried. As the eggs heat up they expand and the beignets grow into light pillows with hopefully a nice burst of the flavouring.
I also had some spare squash from the ice cream recipe and made a rosti with it. They are nice but due to their lack of starch don’t go as crispy as the potato. The sabayon is usually a dessert dish. If you’ve never tried it, even as a dessert I thoroughly recommend it. The texture of them is unique. Almost mousse like. It is a tricky thing to cook, that can easily go wrong. But this dish is designed so that as you stir the sabayon you can keep an eye on the other parts.

1. Start the beignets, heat water and butter together until melted. Stir in the flour. Continue to stir and cook on the heat until it all leaves the pan. Remove from heat. Once cooled, beat in egg, season and stir in crab meat. Pipe (or use teaspoons) 1in balls into some polenta to coat. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare purée by cooking asparagus in butter until cooked. Add cream to cover for a further minute. Transfer to a blender, blitz then pass through sieve. Season and set aside.

3. For both types of rosti, grate each into a tea towel (separately) and squeeze out excess water. Add some melted butter until all coated.

4. Heat an inch of oil in a pan until 180c. Fry beignets in batches of 4 until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

5. Heat some oil in a pan and with chefs rings and make 2 potato rostis and 2 squash ones. Cook on a medium high heat for 5 mins. Turn and cook for a further 5 mins.

6. At the same time, cook fish skin side down, without turning. Once the fish is cooked just over half way, turn over and turn heat off. The rest of the fish will cook in the residual heat.

7. As you start potatoes, place a glass bowl over some barely simmering water. In the bowl, add egg yolks continuously whisk until they thicken, turn whiter in colour and quadruple in volume. It will be quite thick, now add butter and grapefruit juice, keep stirring and place back over heat to keep warm as everything finishes off.

To plate up, place rostis in the centre of the plate, top with the fish. Put some warmed purée in each corner and top with a beignet. On opposing corners put two grapefruit segments. Spoon sabayon over the top.

The crab beignets were a first for me. I can’t compare them to anything else. Superbly light crispy bites with a pillowy crabby centre. Awesome. The sabayon again was new to me, especially a savoury one. Although not as deep in flavour as some butter sauces, the texture just keeps you coming back for more.

Sommeliers choice from our selection for this recipe:

Pinot Gris Tradition 2010 by Cave de Turcheim - The 'Cave Tradition' wines represent their standard quality range of classic Alsace varietals. The Pinot Gris has a lovely perfumed nose with fine floral aromas mixed with a tad of honey and spice; quite full and rich, lightly smoky and nutty with smooth dryish finish.

Viognier 2010 by Willunga - Amazing lifted aromatics of sweet spring flowers, apricot kernels and a fine minerality greets you in the glass, followed by a well balanced palate with crisp acidity showing a hint of modern Condrieu style, although there has been no oak influence in this wine.

Chardonnay un-oaked 2009 by Coopers Creek - The nose is typical of a Gisborne Chardonnay in a ripe year, with stone fruit and melon overtones backed by a subtle creaminess from lees stirring, and touched off with a hint of flint. The palate is full of fresh fruit character, yet also has richness, weight and length.

Seleccion Blanco Campo de Borja 2010 by Borsao - Aromas of peach with hints of honey and spicy oak. The palate is rich and broad with tropical fruit flavours and richness from the toasty oak - and a long, juicy finish.


Image from Shutterstock


Crab Beignets: (10) 50ml water, 10g butter, 15g flour, 1egg, 50g crabmeat, polenta to sprinkle.

Rostis: 1 medium potato, 200g squash, melted butter.

Grapefruit Sabayon: 2 egg yolks, 1 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp grapefruit juice. 1 red grapefruit,( segmented, waste squeezed to create juice)

Asparagus puree: 4 Asparagus spears, cream.

Fish: I’ve used some nice sea trout here, but any salmon or trout would work really well.