Deli Truck builds Old School French Dish for a new audience

Marmite de Dieppoise – By Dennis Broadfield

One of the best seafood dishes I ever tasted was 20 odd years ago at a restaurant in the elegant Edwardian seaside resort of Le Touquet in Northern France. The dish was called La Marmite Dieppoise and included in one a shallow pot a mixture of white fish, mussels, prawns, scallops, tiny boiled potatoes and carrots finished with saffron, fish stock, cream and a hint of curry powder. Such a tiny amount of curry powder is used so it’s not discernible as curry but it does produce an undercurrent of flavour that in many ways is the backbone of the dish.

The final product – just out of the oven piping hot and ready to eat with crunchy French bread for dunking and a robust crispy white wine.

Anyway it was amazing and every time I have been back to Le Touquet I have visited the same restaurant and had my Marmite with crusty bread and a good crispy white wine.

I have experimented over the years, making this dish at home and I think I have finally come up with a recipe that is reasonably easy to do and very authentic. So here goes – THE MAKING OF A MARMITE DIEPPOISE. And first we have the ingredients.

Deli Truck, ingredients, fish stew,
The ingredients for a Marmite.

All very easy to find and apart from the fish stock all cooked in one go in its serving bowl. In this case I used small pieces of Monk Fish, Salmon, Prawns, Squid and mussels. All the fish is interchangeable – whatever you can get on the day – but you must have mussels, this is one of the key flavours of this dish.

To make a very easy but fully flavoured fish stock – I bought a whole salmon for another purpose and saved the head, bones, tail and skin in the freezer and when I needed this stock I threw the salmon bits in a stock pot with water, a onion cut in half, 2 large carrots, three celery stalks, 2 bay leaves and 10 whole peppercorns. This must be very lightly boiled (so you can just see a shimmer on the surface of the liquid) for around 4 hours, while taking away any residue that floats to the top of the stock. While the stock is simmering cook your carrots and potatoes in the stock until just cooked – remove the potatoes and carrots and put to one side. When the stock is reduced by a half to 1 third take off the heat and put to one side – you can even do this the day before if you wish. If the stock tastes watery just keep reducing.

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Close up look at the raw ingredients for a marmite before the cream sauce is added and it goes in the oven for 15 minutes.

Nows the time to lay out all your raw ingredients and the cooked potato and carrots in the final serving bowl. This can also be done hours in advance and covered with cling film and left in the fridge. It also means the fish never gets stirred or cooked or transferred from fry pan to plate to serving dish – so it doesn’t break up.

Deli Truck, Marmite Dieppoise, seafood, fish
The fish and seafood goes into its final serving bowl raw along with its vegetables. This means when the whole dish with the sauce goes in the oven for 15 minutes the fish is not overcooked. This also means all the flavour from the fish go directly into the sauce for even greater flavour.

Making the sauce is next and it’s very easy – lightly sauté shallots and lardon in the bottom of s largish pan for 10 minutes until soft and cooked. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a pinch of curry powder – then add a 1/3 of a bottle of robust white wine and the fish stock – two minutes later add around 250 ml of cream, stir well and bring to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, take off the heat and add the chopped parsley and chives and season to your taste with salt and pepper.

Cream Sauce
The Sauce is made by lightly sautéing shallots, garlic and lardon before adding the Fish Stock, saffron, white wine, Bay leaf, black pepper and chives, lightly reduced (it should be a runny light cream sauce – not a thick gluggy one) and a pinch of medium curry powder.
Deli Truck, Marmite, Cream, Chives
Just before the cream sauce is poured over the raw fish, add a good handful of chives and a squish of garlic for a subtle alum flavour.

Pour the sauce over the raw fishing and pop in the oven for 15 minutes at 200c – After 15 minutes the fish and seafood will be cooked… Eat and enjoy with lots of dunking. This is a great dish and very easy to make. I hope you have a go. If you’d rather just eat it, contact us at the Deli Truck and we will gladly add this to your next party menu…

Deli Truck, seafood, Fish, Marmite
And the final result as it comes out of the oven piping hot, unctuous and perfect with crusty bread and a good Sancerre.

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