Something for the Weekend: Shellfish & Champagne

Long weekends are bliss. Perfect time to get together with family and friends, share some quality time. And why not catch up over some uncomplicated food and drink?  Indulge and linger over a glass of refreshing bubbly to ease slowly into a pleasant state of relaxation.

I can stress how much I enjoy getting together over a long lunch over the weekend and even more at  Bank Holidays – extra time to socialise and have fun – perfect recreation time.

Sometimes is nice to indulge in some high-quality champagne too and to celebrate  Spring, my chosen tipple this week is Billecart-Salmon Vintage 2006. This Extra Brut dosage wine  (zero dosage = no added sugar) has a beautiful personality of Champenois Pinot Noir (75%), counterbalanced by the elegance and subtlety of the Côte des Blancs Chardonnay.

Billecart-Salmon Vintage 2006

Its Golden yellow hue flowed gently into the glass and highlighted by a plentiful and lively bubbles. Fruity and elegant aromas with a biscuity finish. A sensorial experience accentuated by notes of buttery of pastry.

It’s a beautifully refreshing wine with a mousse-like palate. A delicately refined champagne with a  finish is firm and rounded persistent.
Regarding food pairings, it again goes well with top quality fish and shellfish dishes, fine hams and light risottos, not too substantial or robust in flavours.

My suggestion for a meal  to match this beautiful champagne is seafood platter with an appetising sauce. This recipe is actually inspired by my food travels. This time is Barcelona, where they have Suquet de Peix, a Catalan fish stew which is made with picada, a nutty and light sauce. It’s a deconstructed version of it.  I added brown crab meat to the sauce and used Brazil nuts; the Catalans used almonds – of course! In any case, it’s delicious!

Shellfish Platter

Delightful Shellfish Platter & Crab Sauce Recipe 

drinks suggestion: Billecart-Salmon Vintage 2006

500g Clams, scrubbed
500g Mussels, scrubbed
150g squid, cleaned and  cut into rings
250g white crab meat, already prepared
250g Freshwater prawns

1 cup of preferred nuts, toasted – I used Brazil Nuts
2 cloves of garlic
Handful of coriander (30g)
30g croutons (a handful)
4 tomatoes, grated or crushed
150g of brown crab meat
100ml Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

start with the crab sauce:
1) in a pestle and mortar, or food processor,  place the nuts, the peeled garlic and the coriander leaves. Pound and mix well. Add the olive oil, croutons and tomatoes. Pound more and mix well. Season to taste and add the lemon juice.  Reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.  It’s a thick sauce. Just before serving blend in the brown crab meat. Serve immediately. It makes about 500g.

Platter method:
1) Slowly simmer 1 cup (200ml)  dry white wine, 2 finely chopped shallots, 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), and 1 bay leaf in a big pot for 5 minutes.
2)Add the scrubbed clams, cover the pot, and turn the heat to high, cook for 5 minutes, shake the pan,  check if most of the shells have opened. If not, continue steaming until they do. Throw away any unopened shells. Reserve.
3)In another pan start the process above but cooking the mussels for 3 minutes, until they all open. Throw away any unopened shells. Reserve.
4) Cook the prawns, brush the prawns with a little olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt, pepper and garlic. Shallow fry for 3 – 4 minutes or until the prawns have turned pink. Remove from the heat and reserve.
5)start to assemble the platter, as you like and see fit,  and at last cook, the squid pieces just need to be cooked for 30-40 seconds on a very high heat. Serve immediately with the sauce on the side and crusty bread.

The RRP for the Billecart-Salmon Vintage  2006 cuvée  from £62, a good price for a great vintage champagne. Harvey Nichols and The Good Wine Shop are good places to find Billecart-Salmon range, either in store or online.

Disclosure: I was sent a bottle of Billecart-Salmon to pair with on of my favourite dish. All views are my own.



  1. Nayna Kanabar
    April 28, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    THe perfect accompaniment to your feast. I don't drink but For those who do what a lovely treat.

  2. April 28, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    This platter is to die for! I visit my seafood market every weekend, but for me to create this gorgeousness as you have, I would need to set aside a weeks pay (not really… but). Seafood is so expensive. But, perhaps for special occasions, totes worth it. 🙂 Also… love the ol school champagne glass, I have an event coming up and they have requested a tower.

  3. Melanie Ed
    April 28, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Wow that selction of seafood looks amazing. I do love that sort of meal.

  4. Rhian Westbury
    April 29, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Looks like an amazing feast, I am not a huge fish fan but know it's something my parents would love! x

  5. Erin Ek Rush
    April 29, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    Wow! It looks like you were in a nice restaurant. Your family must love it when you entertain. It all looks amazing!

  6. Working Mum Blog
    April 29, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    The whole combination sounds like heaven to me! I'm off to get the ingredients 🙂 – thank you for the inspiration

  7. April 29, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    My daughters would absolutely love this – what a treat. Kaz x

  8. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    April 30, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Wow this looks amazing and it's something that my husband would love! It looks so delicious

  9. Amy-May Hunt
    April 30, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    All of the photos on here look absolutely delicious! I'm out this weekend and I'm not going to hold back on the champagne!

  10. Sarah Mumx3x
    May 1, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    Ooohhh this actually looks really nice! I'm not a lover of shell fish but your food looks AMAZING! This really would make a perfect, sociable family lunch. Thanks for sharing 🙂 xx

  11. Angela Milnes
    May 1, 2016 / 4:13 pm

    this does look really tasty and a stunning layout.

  12. Andrew
    May 2, 2016 / 9:30 am

    It is rare for people to match champagne with food, seeing Champagne as an aperitif or stand alone drink but it works so well, especially with seafood as you demonstrate here. Damn nice wine that…