Dayboat Cod and Maine Mussel Stew with Saffron and Riesling


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 cup fish fumet (fish stock, available at most fish markets or specialty stores
  • 1 1/2 cup dry Riesling wine
  • 6 3 ounces pieces cod, lightly seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 18 Maine mussels, washed and de-bearded
  • 1/4 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomato
  • Turnips, carrots, potatoes and fennel (see note)
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In heavy-bottomed sauce pan melt butter gently over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sautee 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic and sautee for 30 seconds. (Note: Be very careful during the previous three steps not to let the butter, onions or garlic brown, you just want them softened.)
  4. Add the saffron, water, Riesling, mussels and cod. Bring to a quick boil.
  5. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the vegetables. Heat through for 1 minute.
  7. Season and serve in shallow soup bowls.

Note: At L'Espalier we "turn" (tourne) the turnips, carrots, potatoes and fennel. This means to cut each vegetable into 1" cylinders and carve into neat oval shapes. If you choose to do this allow 2 pieces per vegetable per serving. Alternately you may simply cut each vegetable into medium dice. and allow 1 tablespoon per vegetable per serving. When the vegetables are properly cut, blanch each vegetable separately by boiling until almost cooked through. Drain immediately, plunge into a bowl of ice water and drain thoroughly. This process may be done up to 1 day ahead of time.

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