Fresh seafood – in Switzerland? Absolutely…
Some people assume that a restaurant in a country without a coastline can’t possibly serve fresh seafood. The reality is that Swiss restaurants do have delicious fresh seafood dishes on the menu. The chain from the fishing ground to restaurant can be incredibly fast due to air travel. Due of the efficiency of this process, people no longer need wary of seafood options on Alpine menus – fresh tuna, sushi, mahi-mahi, mussels and gambas amongst others, are all mouth watering options alongside the more traditional Swiss cuisine.
Verbier is fortunate to be abundant with innovative restaurants producing cuisine of a high international standard with skilled chef’s don’t shy from serving excellent seafood.
This month’s recipe comes from talented Chef and proprietor, Tierry Corthay of Le Grange.
16 large whole prawns (gambas)
For the coating:
Flour, beaten egg
4 parts breadcrumbs to 1 part grated coconut
Sweet and sour sauce
100g of fresh pineapple or a tin of pineapple
150 g of sugar
3dl of chicken stock
1,25 dl white wine vinegar with herbs
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
½ teaspoon of grated ginger
½ teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of very finely chopped coriander
1 star anis
1 teaspoon of corn flour
½ teaspoon of chilli paste (sambal)
1 green part of a spring onion or chives, chopped
½ a red pepper, yellow and green
Twig of dill
Sweet and sour sauce
In a small saucepan, prepare the syrup with 150g of sugar and 2 dl of water. Add the core of the pineapple, simmer and pass through a sieve.
Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan. Add vinegar, tomato puree, ginger, garlic, coriander and star anise. Bring the liquid to a rapid boil for around 12 minutes until reduced. Pass the sauce through a sieve and leave on the side in the saucepan. Mix the cornflour with a little bit of cold water before adding it to the sauce. Whisk whilst bringing it to the boil. Let the sauce thicken then, simmer until it becomes syrupy. Add the sambal and the diced pineapple. Season with salt and pepper. Put to the side. Just before serving, sprinkle in the chopped spring onion or chives.
Decoration: Cut open the peppers. Peel the inside to remove any of the white parts. Cut the pieces into thin strips and then into small cubes. Blanch the pieces of pepper in salted water, then drain. Put to the side.
Preheat the oven to 200˚. Remove the head of shrimps and peel off half of the shell off the body, leaving the bottom part and the tail. ‘Butterfly’ the exposed flesh of the prawn by slicing into the flesh (not all the way through) and opening it up exposing a larger surface area. Dip the prawn in the flour, shake off any excess, the dip into the beaten and roll into the mixture of breadcrumbs and coconut. Heat a big frying pan, pour in the olive oil, allow to heat up and then add the prawns; cook on each side for about 20 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and add pepper. Place the gambas in a heatproof dish and place in the preheated oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve on hot plates, accompanied with the sweet and sour sauce. Add the diced of peppers and decorate with a sprig off dill.