Ragout de Fruits de Mer

A delicious and rich meal, Ragout de Friths de Mer (rah-goo d’fru-ee d’mair) should be served with boiled rice and a crisp green salad.

8 fl. oz. dry white wine

1 lb. squid, cleaned thoroughly, skinned and cut into rings

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 halibut steaks, bones removed

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 quart mussels, scrubbed, steamed and removed from their shells

8 oz. prawns or shrimps, shelled

2 oz. walnut halves

5 fl. oz. single cream light cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Pour 4 fluid ounces of the white wine into a large saucepan. Add the squid, lemon juice, salt and pepper and biing the liquid to the boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the squid for 20 to 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the squid to a plate. Set aside.

Add the halibut steaks and the remaining wine to the pan and cook the steaks for 5 to 8 minutes or until the flesh is almost tender. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the halibut steaks to the plate. Set aside.

Pour the cooking liquid through a strainer into a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Remove the casserole from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Pour the strained cooking liquid into the casserole, stirring con stantly. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Return the pan to moderate heat and bring the sauce to the boil, stirring con stantly. Reduce the heat to low and sim-mer the sauce for 2 minutes.

Add the mussels, the reserved squid and halibut, the prawns or shrimps and walnuts to the sauce and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the halibut is tender and the mussels and prawns or shrimps are thoroughly heated through. Stir in the cream and cook the ragout for a further 1 minute. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the ragout to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve immediately.

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