Chef Michael Psilakis's Spicy Shellfish Yiouvesti Recipe

Still can't get enough of chef Michael Psilakis, even after last week's two-part interview, huh? We understand. After all, many Americans haven't ventured too far past Greek salad, gyros, and the occasional stuffed grape leaf, so we just gobble up whatever tidbit he's willing to share. (Those who want to seriously delve into the world of modern Greek cooking should get their claws on his cookbook, How to Roast a Lamb.)

Just gathering the ingredients for his spicy shellfish dish below is going to be an educational experience, but first it helps to know that yiouvesti is a typically Greek meal deriving its name from the dull red, round, terra cotta dish it is traditionally baked in. But nowadays, this flavorful mélange is often cooked in round, shallow aluminum dishes or even a deep pot.

Spicy Shellfish Yiouvesti

Serves 8

1 qt fish stock 
1 pc, 1 ¼ lb lobster poached, claw and knuckle shell removed
2 pc blue prawn
4 pc mahogany clam
6 pc mussel
2 pc whelk (braised)
2 pc crayfish (braised)
2 pc razor clam
2 cups orzo
1/2 tsp saffron
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp fish sauce
¼ tsp dried Greek oregano
1 tsp dill
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp mint
2 tbs sherry vinegar
shallot rings
garlic clove
1 tb lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil

  • Bring fish stock to boil, add ¼ tsp of saffron, season with salt and Espelette. Par cook orzo, pass through chinos, and reserve stock.
  • In a deep pan over medium-high heat, add shallot, garlic, paprika, and Espelette.
  • Deglaze with sherry vinegar; add 1 cup stock, mussels, and clams.
  • When shellfish opens, remove to previously braised and poached shellfish.
  • Add orzo, remaining saffron, oregano, fish sauce, lemon juice, and prawn.
  • Cook prawn; add remaining shellfish to warm.
  • Fold in fresh herbs, season with salt and Espelette, dress with olive oil, and enjoy.

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