Shellfish Acorda

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Complex

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

Technically this is not a soup as we know it but closer to a sopa seca, or dry soup. It’s another good old Mediterranean meal in a bowl. While this is not as economical as the simple acorda, a little shellfish will go a long way in combination with the egg and bread and will satisfy your passion for those seafood delicacies without emptying your pocket-book.

Ingredients

  • About 1 cup fruity olive oil
  • 12 to 18 thick (1 inch) slices French or Italian peasant bread (enough to cover the bottom of each bowl)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 cups Fish Fumet or Shellfish Stock
  • 18 large or 24 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
  • 12 to 18 mussels, scrubbed and bearded, or 18 Manila clams, scrubbed
  • cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro

    Method

    Film a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add as many slices bread as will fit without crowding and sauté, turning once, until golden on both sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then, while the bread is hot, rub both sides of each slice with the clove of garlic. Repeat with the remaining bread, adding more oil as needed.

    Mash 3 tablespoons of the minced garlic and the salt to a paste in a mortar with the pestle.

    Poach the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still quite runny. Set them aside in a bowl of cold water.

    Heat the fish fumet to simmering. Add the shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    Cook the onions in about ¼ cup olive oil in a skillet over low heat until translucent. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons minced garlic and the red pepper flakes; cook about 3 minutes, then add to the hot stock.

    Just before serving, steam the mussels or clams open in the wine in a covered saucepan. Remove the mussels or clams with a slotted spoon, strain the cooking liquid, and add to the hot fish stock.

    Divide the bread, fresh parsley and cilantro, and garlic paste among 6 soup bowls. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to each bowl, then add the cooked shrimp and mussels or clams. Using a slotted spoon, remove the poached eggs from the water and very gently nestle them in with the shellfish. Now ladle on the very hot stock. Serve immediately.