This substantial main contains plenty of marine morsels and flavours to excite the palate. Serves 4
500g large mussels
500g large clams
2 sticks celery
1 head fennel
1 small leek (white part only)
1 large onion
1 red chilli
2 gloves garlic
1/2 bunch lemon thyme
50g fresh white bread crumbs
250ml white wine
1/2 a lime
Wash the shellfish under cold running water to remove sand. Remove any beards from the mussels.
Trim the celery, fennel, leek and peel the onion, reserving all the trimmings and peelings. Cut all the vegetables into 1cm cubes.
Finely chop the chilli, reserving the seeds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Add the chopped garlic and chilli to the diced vegetables.
Tie the thyme sprigs together with string. Grate the Parmesan and mix with breadcrumbs.
Put all the reserved vegetable trimmings and the chilli seeds into a large saucepan with the thyme and half of the butter.
Place over a high heat and cook the vegetables quickly, until softened. Add the wine and reduce by half.
Now add the shellfish and cover the pan. Cook over a high heat for four minutes or until the shells have fully opened, tip the contents of the pan into a colander set over a bowl so the liquid can strain through.
Take the mussels and clams out of their shells, wash the shells for serving the mix in and then roughly chop the shellfish about the same size as the diced vegetables and mix together.
Preheat the grill on a medium setting. Put the diced vegetable mix into a saucepan with the remaining butter and a pinch of sea salt.
Allow the vegetables to sweat down over a medium heat until softened, then add the liquid from the shellfish and boil rapidly until reduced by half.
Now add the shellfish and remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the shellfish and vegetables into the shells.
Sprinkle over the Parmesan mix and grill until lightly golden. Finish by squeezing some lime over the top.
Jamie Dobbin is head chef at One Canada Sqaure. Go to onecanadasquarerestaurant.com.