Plateau de fruits de mer is the French term for seafood platter, and this recipe comprises both cooked and raw seafood on a chilled platter, often on a bed of ice. If you order a fruits de mer recipe, you can expect shellfish along with bread, mayonnaise (preferably homemade) and condiments like cocktail sauce and mignonette sauce. The serving platter will be above table level on some kind of stand, and sometimes there are several tiers, both to make it look for elegant, and also because some of the shellfish is served on the half-shell or in the full shell, and then it takes up a lot of room.
A fruits de mer recipe is traditionally served after midnight mass in France as a Christmas treat. Fill your tiered platter with as much wonderful seafood as it can hold and chill the rest until you are ready to replenish it. Prepare homemade mignonette and mayonnaise, ensure you have plenty of bread and white wine (or Champagne) and get ready to wow your dinner guests with this authentic French seafood dish. Gin goes well with seafood so perhaps serve martinis or even gin and (a good quality) tonic before you bring out the show-stopping pièce de résistance – your icy platter of shellfish in all its glory.
Do you have a simple platter or tiered platter for your fruits de mer recipe? If not, you can use a cake stand under a dish to give your fruits de mer recipe some height. Spread the surfaces with crushed ice and add seaweed for decoration if you have some. Use coarse dishwasher salt instead of ice if you are not serving the dish immediately.
Arrange your seafood on the tiers and drape a couple of the prawns over the sides. Add mayonnaise, lemon wedges and maybe some mignonette too. Serve the bread on the side and make sure everyone has a little bowl with water and a slice of lemon so they can wash their hands, or at least some moist towelettes. You can buy little pins for the winkles, so people can get them out of the shells, and other implements.