Alsatian Seafood Choucroute

Alsatian Seafood Choucroute 03

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Choucroute de la Mer à l’Alsacienne is one of my favorite dishes from the Alsace. I love this region with its Franco-German culture. Fillets of various firm fish, clams and shrimps are pan-fried or sauteed and served on a bed of creamy sauerkraut. I still remember our first Choucroute de Poissons in the Hostellerie Du Rosenmeer in Rosheim, this charming historic town about 30 minutes from Strasbourg. What a surprise – a combination that would have escaped most people’s mind.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 inch (about 1 cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (225 g) finely chopped onions
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 lb (450 g) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 4 salmon fillets of about 4oz (115 g) each
  • 4 white fish fillets like cod or monkfish of about 4oz (115 g) each
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Alsatian Seafood Choucroute 02

Preparation: 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook until nicely browned and crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels. Keep only 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the saucepan. Discard the rest. Reduce heat to medium and saute the onions until tender about 10 minutes. Add thyme, caraway seeds, star anise, bay leaf, sauerkraut, wine and chicken stock. Taste for salt and pepper. Bring sauerkraut to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally making sure there is enough liquid in the sauerkraut.  Cook for about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and star anise.  Add heavy cream to sauerkraut and cook stirring now and then for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened a bit. Keep it warm.

Salt and pepper the fish. Dust it with flour. Shake off the excess. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until golden brown on both sides about 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to a plate and keep it warm. Add shrimp to skillet and cook it just until pink. Place fish and shrimps on top of sauerkraut and reheat briefly just to allow the fish to absorb the sauerkraut sauce.

Serve on warmed plates. Small roasted potatoes are a good choice to go with.

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