Fillet of sea bream stuffed with scallop mousse, piquillo pepper sauce and pine nuts

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Daniel Clifford's recipe for sea bream stuffed with scallop mousse is a fantastic example of how evolved the dishes are at Midsummer House. Combining perfectly cooked fish with Mediterranean flavours of roasted peppers, courgette and basil, it is a beautiful showcase of classical technique.

First published in 2018





Scallop mousse

Fillet of bream

Garlic chips

Basil crisps

Pepper sauce

Courgette and basil purée

Courgette slices

To serve


  • Blender
  • Food processor
  • Fine sieve
  • Piping bags 2
  • Temperature probe
  • Mandoline


Begin by making the pesto. Blend all the ingredients together until very smooth and set aside
To make the scallop mousse, place the scallop meat in a food processor and blend for 1 minute. Add the egg white and blend for a further minute. Gradually pour in the cream while blending, then season and pass through a fine sieve
Split the mousse in half, adding 2 tbsp of the pesto to one of the bowls, folding it in until the mousse is a uniform light green colour (save the rest of the pesto for plating). Place both mousses into separate piping bags and store in the fridge until needed
To prepare the bream, wash the fillets and dry with a clean cloth. Using a sharp knife, cut sideways into the fillet from the belly side to the thick side, without cutting all the way through, so that you can open the fillet up like a book. Lightly dust the cut fillets with the transglutaminase, then pipe alternating stripes of the different colour mousses on top. Gently close the flesh over the mousse, making sure the mousse is encased. Allow them to set in the fridge
Preheat a pan of oil or deep-fryer to 160°C
  • oil, for deep-frying
Next prepare the garlic chips. Finely slice the garlic, place in a saucepan with 100ml milk and bring to the boil. Drain and rinse with cold water, then repeat two more times. Deep-fry in the oil until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt
For the basil crisps, heat a pan of oil to 180°C
  • oil, for deep-frying
Cut each leaf into eight pieces and fry in the oil until crisp. Season with salt
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To prepare the pepper sauce, drain the peppers, spread out on a tray and roast for 5 minutes. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve
Bring the cream to the boil in a small pan, add the vinegar and 50g of the blended peppers. Lightly heat through, add the butter and whisk until combined. Season with salt and lemon juice
To make the courgette and basil purée, peel and finely slice the courgette. Heat a frying pan until very hot and briefly sauté the courgettes until soft, but not coloured. Blend the courgette with the basil and pass through a fine sieve. Season to taste and place in a squeezy bottle or piping bag
Cut the baby courgettes into thin slices using a mandoline and set aside
Remove the stuffed sea bream fillets from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking. Preheat a pan over a high heat with a dash of oil and add the fillets, skin-side down. Cook for 1 minute then place in the oven and cook until the core temperature reads 42°C when tested with a temperature probe. Turn the fillets over and deglaze the pan with lemon juice. Season with sea salt
Quickly sauté the courgette slices in olive oil then season with salt. Gently warm the pepper sauce in a small pan
To serve, place a tablespoon of the warmed pepper sauce into the centre of each plate. Carve the fillets in half, showing the mousse in the centre, and place a piece on each plate. Lay the courgette slices on top like fish scales. Add a few pine nut halves, the garlic chips, a few dots of the courgette purée and the fried basil leaves. Place dots of the remaining pesto around the outside of the dish and serve

A broad range of experience in some of the top kitchens in the UK and France along with hefty doses of innovation, dedication and originality have led Daniel Clifford’s style to be widely praised.

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