Fruits de Mer

Fruits of the Sea

Fruits de mer, or fruits of the sea, is a harvest of shellfish. It may contain all of those listed or only some of them, depending upon what you have available, or how expensive you would like to make the dish. Perhaps the one requirement is that it should contain both crustaceans and mollusks, and not just one or the other. This is one of my favorite recipes.


  • 3 raw lobster tails, or 1 pound
  • 1 pound raw shelled and deveined shrimp
  • ¼ pound bay scallops, or sea scallops, quartered
  • 1 cup small fresh oysters
  • 2 cups light cream
  • ¼ pound butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup vermouth or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, or whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Coquilles (shells) or pastry shells


  1. Shell lobster tails, remove vein, and cut into slices ½-inch thick. Put on plate ready to use. If shrimp are large, cut in half lengthwise. Add to plate. Wash scallops and oysters in the 2 cups cream. By so doing the liquids from these foods are left in the cream to add flavor to the sauce. Wash them well and then place them on a plate ready to use. Strain cream through dampened cloth into a bowl and have ready to use.
  2. Melt butter in enameled skillet or saucepan. Add lobster tails, shrimp, and scallops to butter. Heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, vermouth, and 2 tablespoons sherry. Stir with wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes. With slotted spoon, lift seafoods out of liquids to plate with oysters.
  3. Boil liquid, reducing it down to the butter. Stir in flour and cook a few minutes. Add strained light cream and stir until thickened. Add oysters and other seafoods from plate. Heat. Add about ½ cup sauce to crème, then stir into pan. Add 3 tablespoons sherry and Cognac, season, and then taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve in coquilles (shells) or pastry shells.