Broiled Fish Fillet, Saffron & Mussel Sauce with Caramelized Fennel


Broiled Fish Fillet, Saffron & Mussel Sauce with Caramelized Fennel

One of the first dishes we did at the opening of Cook'n With Class in 2007! Caramelizing fennel really brings out the sweetness and this works as a great bed for serving fish on!
Servings 4 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • Cutting Board, Knife, Large Frying Pan, Saucepan, Whisk, Cutting Board, Oven Baking Sheet, Colander


For The Fennel

  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Honey
  • To Taste Salt and Pepper

The Sauce

  • 500 Grams Fresh Mussels 17.6 oz
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1 Small Bouquet Garni
  • 200 Milliliters Dry White Wine 7.2 oz
  • 100 Milliliters Whipping Cream 3.6 oz
  • 1 Pinch Saffron or green curry powder

The Fish

  • 4 Red Mullet Fillet with Skin and No Bones
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Handful Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Chives


For the Fennel

  • Clean and remove the heart of the fennel bulb. Slice the bulbs into thin slices.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the fennel before the oil starts smoking.
  • Sautรฉ until golden brown. Add the honey and lower the heat to medium. Add salt, and pepper.
  • Set aside.

Make the Sauce

  • Be sure your mussels are fresh and alive, wash them in cold water, and remove the beard.
  • In a large saucepan, add all the chopped shallots, wine, and bouquet garni, then the mussels. Put a lid on, and cook until they open, not too long or they will be chewy. Remove the lid and let them cool down a litlle.
  • Keep 12 mussels for the deco with the fruit inside.
  • Remove the fruit from all the shells and discard the shells.
  • Pass the liquid through a colander into a saucepan, add the saffron and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cream and boil until the sauce thickens. Season with pepper and maybe salt, taste as mussels can be very salty. Keep aside at room temperature.

Prepare the Fish

  • Turn your oven on to the high heat broiler setting.
  • Check to be sure you have no bones and no scales.
  • Chop the parsley and shallots.
  • On your baking pan, spread them a little to make a bed for your 4 fish fillets, add a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the fish, skin up, salt and pepper them on the skin, drizzle the olive oil.
  • Broiled closest to the heat as possible to get the skin crispy. 4 to 5 minutes should do. Remove and let the fish rest and finish cooking for 2 minutes on the kitchen counter.


  • Make a bed with the caramelized fennel on each plate.
  • Delicately add a fish fillet on top.
  • Reheat the sauce and add the mussels, serve a large spoon of sauce with mussels on each plate.
  • Decorate with mussels shells and chopped chives.


For the fennel: The amount of olive oil really depends on the size of your fennel bulb. You don't want to have the fennel soaking in oil but you don't want it to stick to the pan either.
Don't forget the mussel rules:
If they are opened before cooking, garbage. If they do NOT open after cooking, garbage.
Also, mussels are very delicate and you need to be careful when you cook them, they get chewy if you cook them too long, As soon as they open they are ready.
Any fish can do for this recipe. Like seabass or seabream. I like crispy skin for this recipe, but to make it simple you can make it without skin.


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