Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins
16 small clams, such as carpetshell or cherrystone clams
4 pieces of turbot fillet, weighing about 175g/6oz each, skin on
2 shallots, finely chopped
85ml/3fl oz Chardonnay wine, preferably Australian
300ml/10fl oz fish stock
175g/6oz chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
1. Scrub the clams and cockles with a stiff brush to remove any sand or dirt, then wash in plenty of cold water and set aside.
2. If you don't have a steamer big enough for cooking the turbot, take a very large saucepan into which a dinner plate will fit and put some sort of trivet in the bottom, such as a small upturned bowl.
3. Add about 5cm/2in of water and bring to the boil. Season the turbot fillets lightly with salt, then put them on the plate, rest it on the trivet, cover and steam for about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, put the shallots, Chardonnay, clams and cockles into a pan, cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan every now and then, for 2-3 minutes, until the clams have opened. Discard any that remain closed.
5. Pour the shellfish through a colander set over a shallow pan, keeping back the last tbsp or so of liquid as this will contain some grit.
6. Shell half the clams and cockles. Add the fish stock to the cooking liquor in the pan and boil rapidly until reduced to about 90ml/6tbsp.
7. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time. Return all the shellfish to the sauce with the parsley.
8. To serve, put the turbot fillets on to four warmed plates and pour the sauce right over them. Re-arrange the shells so that they look attractive and then serve with, naturally, a bottle of Australian Chardonnay.