Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
To serve: 4
You will need
8 fillets sole
salt and pepper
2 level tablespoons chopped shallot or onion
2 sprigs parsley and 1/2 bay leaf
1/2 pint (U.S. 1 1/4 cups) dry white wine
1 1/2 oz. butter
1 1/2 oz. flour
2 egg yolks
1/4 pint (U.S. 5/8 cup) thick cream
few drops lemon juice
8 prawns (U.S. shrimps) or 4 crayfish, cooked
2 pints (U.S. 5 cups) mussels
2 truffles (optional)
8 button mushrooms
8 crescents of fried bread
One of the great classic dishes. Season the fillets, roll up, and arrange in buttered shallow ovenproof dish with the shallot or onion, herbs and wine. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper. Poach in a pre-heated moderate oven (375°F. or Gas Mark 5), until cooked about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile wash mussels thoroughly, discard any that fail to shut tightly when tapped, and scrap off beards. Put into a large pan, cover, and shake over sharp heat until shells open, about 5 minutes. Remove mussels from shells; strain and retain liquor from pan. Wipe mushrooms and cook à blanc as described below. Strain and reserve liquor. Now make the rich sauce Normande. Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook gently, stirring, for 2 minutes. Strain cooking liquor from fish into a measure, add mussel and mushroom liquor to make up to 3/4 pint (U.S. 3 7/8 cups). Add to roux, whisking with wire whisk until sauce is smooth and boiling; simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile beat egg yolks and cream together, gradually stir in about one-third of the sauce, then return all to rest of sauces and heat gently without boiling, stirring all the time. Check seasoning and add a few drops of lemon juice. Arrange drained fish in clean hot dish with mussels and mushrooms. Coat with the sauce and garnish with the prawns (U.S. shrimps) or crayfish, pieces of truffle (if used), and crescents of fried bread.
Note The original classic recipe includes 8 poached oysters as well as the mussels.
To cook mushrooms à blanc:
Leave mushrooms whole and unpeeled.
In a small saucepan bring 4 tablespoons water, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 oz. butter to boil. Add mushrooms. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, tossing the pan now and then.
© Shufunotomo Co., Ltd., Japan 1968 English text © The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. 1968