"Normande sauce is generally a fish velouté with cream and butter, but in this recipe I've replaced the fish velouté with dashi, which sneaks some extra underlying umami in there," says Daniel Pepperell. "Pour the fries on top for extra fun eating and to soak up the sauce."
- 2 starchy potatoes (such as russet Burbank), peeled and cut into julienne (500gm)
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- ¼ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
- 5 thyme sprigs, leaves only
- 50 ml white wine
- 1 kg clams or pipis, cleaned
- 150 gm butter, diced
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 1 tbsp chives, cut into batons
- 10 chervil sprigs
- 10 tarragon leaves
- 2 pieces konbu
- 2 large handfuls (40gm) katsuobushi (see note)
- 1 snapper head (or head of other white fish)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
- 1For dashi, simmer konbu and 500ml water in a large saucepan over low heat until infused (50-60 minutes). Remove from heat, add katsuobushi, cover pan and set aside to infuse (20-25 minutes). Strain stock through a fine sieve into a clean large saucepan, pressing gently on the katsuobushi with a ladle. Heat a char-grill pan over high heat, add snapper head and grill until charred, then add to konbu stock. Simmer stock gently over low heat until fish head flavours stock (45 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve and season with soy sauce. Reserve 300ml. Remaining fish stock will keep frozen for 3 months.
- 2Rinse potatoes thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 170C and deep-fry potato in batches until crisp and golden (4-6 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Fry parsley and thyme until crisp (30 seconds), then crumble over potato and season to taste with salt.
- 3Heat a saucepan over high heat, add wine and reserved stock and bring to the boil. Add clams, cover, and cook just until the clams start to open (2-4 minutes). Remove from heat, remove clams with a slotted spoon and transfer to serving bowls. Gradually whisk butter into stock to form a shiny sauce, then season to taste with lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Gently stir the herbs into the sauce and spoon sauce over clams. Serve hot with fries.
Katsuobushi, dried bonito flakes, are available from Japanese providores and select Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre 3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale, France. Drink suggestion by Andy Tyson