Peter Gilmore’s Seafood Masterpiece, Xo Sea

seafood recipe Peter Gilmore's Seafood Masterpiece, Xo Sea
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Oct 16, 2017


Dried xo garnish
8 very thin slices of jamon (see note)
8 medium-size fresh sea scallops without roe (see note)
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) white soy sauce
8 medium-size fresh shiitake mushrooms (see note)
150 g (51/2 oz) clarified butter, melted (see basic recipes)
2 semi-dried mild Korean red chillies, whole
8 live yabbies

xo sea stock
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) grapeseed oil
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) chicken wings
1 snapper head
250 g (9 oz) squid trimmings
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 inner white celery stalk
1/2 carrot, chopped
250 ml (9 fl oz) unoaked chardonnay
2.5 litres (87 fl oz) cold water
250 g (9 oz) clams (vongole)

XO sauce
200 ml (7 fl oz) grapeseed oil
75 g (2¾ oz) ginger, grated with a fine microplane
75 g (2¾ oz) garlic, grated with a fine microplane
45 g (11/2 oz) mild Korean red chilli flakes
25 g (1 oz) dried scallops (see note)
50 g (1¾ oz) dried sliced jamon (see note)
50 g (1¾ oz) dried whole shiitake mushrooms (see Note)
150 ml (5 fl oz) oloroso sherry
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) brown rice vinegar
1.5 litres (52 fl oz) XO SEA stock
500 ml (17 fl oz) water
5 cm (2 inch) square of dried kombu
1/2 teaspoon xantana (fermented cornstarch)
Korean fermented anchovy fish sauce, to taste

Seafood for poaching
8 sea scallops, roe removed
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) clams (vongole)
2 live greenlip abalone, 90 g (31/4 oz) each

To finish
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) clarified butter
Reserved yabby flesh
240 g (8¾ oz) squid ribbons


Dried xo garnish
1 Lay the jamon slices on a baking tray lined with silicone paper and dehydrate under a heat lamp or in an 80°C (175°F/Gas 1/4-1/2) oven until dry and crisp.
2 Slice the scallops into 1 mm (1/32 inch) discs. Brush the scallop slices with the white soy sauce and lay them out in a single layer on a baking tray lined with silicone paper. Dehdryate the scallops under a heat lamp or in an 80°C oven until dry and crisp.
3 Peel the skins from the shiitake mushrooms and brush the skins on both sides with clarified butter. Reserve the mushroom caps for another use. Place the skins on a baking tray lined with silicone paper and dehydrate under a heat lamp or in an 80°C oven until dry and crisp. If you are drying extra mushrooms for the stock you can dehydrate them at the same time.
4 Dehydration time for each ingredient will vary so you will need to use your own judgement. Note that all the dried ingredients need to be made on the day of serving this dish and need to be stored in an airtight container until service.
5 Soak the chillies in cold water for 5 minutes. Split in half and remove seeds. Scrape the flesh from the skin then gently cut the skins into 1 cm (3/8 inch) squares. Allow the chilli skins to dry naturally on a sheet of silicone paper at room temperature.
6 Place the live yabbies in a tub of iced water for 20 minutes to help humanely dispatch them. Blanch the yabbies in boiling water for 1 minute. Refresh in iced water. Peel the yabbies and discard the shells. With a sharp knife, remove the bright red skins from the yabbies and reserve. Refrigerate the yabby flesh until required.
7 Brush the yabby skins with clarified butter, lay them on a baking tray lined with silicone paper and dehydrate under a heat lamp or in an 80°C (175°F/Gas 1/4-1/2) oven until dry and crisp.

NOTE – Ideally, while you are drying the ingredients for the garnish you should also dry some extra jamon, scallops and whole shiitake mushrooms for the XO sauce recipe; however, it is also acceptable to purchase the extra dried ingredients from an Asian grocery store.

XO sea stock
1 Heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat in a stockpot or very large saucepan and add the chicken wings, snapper head and the squid trimmings. Turn occasionally until golden brown all over. Add the vegetables and continue to cook until the vegetables are lightly browned. Deglaze with the unoaked chardonnay. Once the wine has evaporated add the cold water. Bring to a simmer, skim and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 2 hours.
2 Add the clams to the pot and bring back to the simmer. Simmer for a further 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard all the solids.
3 Reserve the stock in the refrigerator until required.

XO sauce
1 Heat the grapeseed oil in a stockpot or very large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and stir until well softened. Add the dried scallops, jamon and shiitake mushrooms. Sweat for a further 2 minutes. Deglaze with oloroso sherry and brown rice vinegar. Reduce on high heat until liquid has evaporated by half. Add the XO sea stock and water, and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Add the kombu square, remove from heat and allow to infuse for a further 1 hour. Strain the XO sauce through a medium sieve, allowing some but not all of the solids through. Lightly press on the solids in the sieve to extract the liquid. Put the XO sauce in a clean saucepan and bring it back to simmering point.
2 Transfer 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) of the sauce into a small bowl. Sprinkle the xantana over the top and whisk well until smooth. Pour this back into the sauce, whisking over heat until smooth and slightly thickened.
3 Adjust the seasoning with Korean fermented anchovy fish sauce.

NOTE – See Dried XO garnish recipe, or purchase from an Asian grocery store.

Seafood for poaching
1 Slice the sea scallops into 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick discs and refrigerate until required. Steam open the clams and remove the gut sacs. Reserve the clam meat, refrigerating until required.
2 Meanwhile, place the live greenlip abalone in a large bowl of iced water for 1 hour to help humanely dispatch them. Use a large kitchen spoon to shuck the abalone from the shell. Trim away the viscera, leaving only the meat of the abalone. While the abalone is still in rigor, place it on a meat slicer and slice across the abalone to make 1 mm (1/32 inch) thick discs. Refrigerate until required.

To finish
1 Heat 900 g (2 lb) of the clarified butter in a medium saucepan and bring to 70°C (160°F). Add the yabby flesh for 1 minute. Add the squid ribbons, sliced abalone, reserved clams and the sliced scallops. Stir to combine well and ensure even cooking. Cook for 1 minute further. All seafood should now be opaque in colour. Drain through a fine sieve.
2 Meanwhile, reheat the XO sauce to simmering point and heat the remaining clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add all of the dehydrated XO garnish ingredients to the pan and cook over low heat to warm through.

To plate
1 Place an even amount of the warm poached seafood in the base of each warmed serving bowl. Ladle over enough XO sauce to just cover the seafood. Garnish with an even quantity of dehydrated XO garnish ingredients. Serve.

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The Carousel thanks Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) for this recipe and image. Available to purchase now.


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