Truite amandine

Use small trout that have been gutted and boned through the opening of the belly. The head of the fish should be left intact. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get it that way.  Do the best you can to present the fish on the plate nicely.  Serve one trout per person.

1 trout  (generally 10 oz each, but frozen ones can come smaller)
salt, pepper and flour
1 Tbsp of sliced almonds
slices of lemon, parsley

  • Sprinkle each trout with salt and pepper and fold in half.
  • Push the tail through the mouth.
  • Dredge lightly in flour.
  • Melt 3 Tbsp of  butter in a non stick skillet and, when hot, place the fish skin side down and cook on medium to low heat for 5 or 6 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the trout).
  • The skin should be crisp and nicely browned.
  • Place the trout in a warm plate and add  1 Tbsp of sliced almonds to the drippings.
  • Cook for about 1 minute or until just gold colored.
  • Spoon almonds and dripping mixture over the trout.
  • Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice and decorate with slices of lemon dipped in chopped parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

Thon à l’ail

Serves 4 people.

1 lb of tuna steak, cut 1 inch thick
3 Tbsp of oil (olive or peanut oil)
freshly ground pepper
20 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp of best quality red wine vinegar
salt

  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Lightly brush both sides of the tuna with some oil.
  • Season generously with pepper.
  • Broil until the flesh begins to turn opaque, about 5 minutes per side.
  • The fish should still be pink in the center.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and stir to coat with oil.
  • Sauté until light golden, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom.
  • Sprinkle the tuna with salt.
  • Transfer the fish to a warmed platter and pour the garlic sauce over all.
  • Serve immediately, with a warm bowl of pipérade alongside.

Pipérade Basquaise

6 Tbsp of olive oil
2 lb of tomatoes, peeled, cored, halved, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, sliced
3 large green bell peppers, cored, halved, seeded & cut lengthwise into thin slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper

  • In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  • In another skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and cook the onions until lightly brown.
  • Finally, in another 2 Tbsp of oil, cook the peppers until soft and tender.
  • Add the onions and peppers to the tomato mixture.
  • Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook, uncovered over low heat for 1 hour, stirring from time to time.
  • The pipérade can be served warm or cold.

Soles farcies sauce parisienne

Serves 6.

6 fillets of sole
1 package of frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
2 Tbsp of butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1/2 cup of cottage cheese
1 cup of swiss cheese
salt, pepper
1 cup of good dry white wine

Béchamel sauce

3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of flour
stock from the cooked fish & milk/cream

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter and gently cook the onion.
  • Add the spinach and the parsley.
  • Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Off the heat add the cheeses, salt and pepper.
  • Roll this stuffing equally into the 6 fillets.
  • Butter the bottom of a fireproof pan and set the fillet in it.
  • Add the wine.
  • Cover the pan with wax paper and poached in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Set the fillets in a serving dish and keep warm in the turned off oven.
  • Reserve the juices and reduce.

Preparing the béchamel

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour.
  • Cook gently for a few seconds.
  • Slowly add the juice from the sole and as much milk as necessary to have a smooth sauce.
  • Season to taste and bring to a boil.
  • Add some cream if desired.

Nap the sauce over the fillets and cook in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Sole Bercy

A whole sole is used for this classic Cordon Bleu recipe because the bones and head add flavors to the poaching liquid. However, small fillets can be used. This recipe serves 8.

4 lbs fillets of sole or 2 fillets per person
6 Tbsp of sweet butter (+ a bit more for buttering the wax paper)
1/2 cup of shallots
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of mushrooms, loosely packed
1 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 cups of dry white wine
4 Tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of heavy cream
few drops of lemon juice

  • Preheat oven 350°F
  • Rub a gratin dish with 1 Tbsp of butter and sprinkle shallots on the bottom of the dish.
  • Cover with the mushrooms.
  • Arrange the sole fillets, rolled or folded, on top of the mushrooms (be sure the fleshy side is on the outside so that the fillets keep their shape when cooking).
  • Dot with another Tbsp of butter.
  • Add the wine and parsley (save 3 Tbsp of parsley for decoration at the end).
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Cover the gratin dish with a buttered wax paper and place in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Lift the soles with a large spatula and place on a serving dish.
  • Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute on low heat.
  • Add the drippings of the sole along with the mushrooms and bring to a boil.
  • Add the cream if needed.
  • Simmer gently for a few more minutes.
  • Correct seasonings with salt and pepper and add drops of lemon juice.
  • Coat the soles with the sauce and sprinkle remaining parsley on top.
  • Serve immediately.

Saumon poché

For 4 people.

Court bouillon

5 cups of water
bouquet garni
1 onion sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 tsp salt, 4 peppercorns
1 cup of dry white wine

Simmer all the ingredients together for 45 minutes, strain and cool before using as required.

4 salmon cutlets
2-1/2 cups of court bouillon
4 shallots finely chopped
2/3 cup of dry white wine
2 Tbsp of fresh dill
reduced court bouillon
cream
salt and pepper

  • Poach the salmon cutlets in Court bouillon for 10 minutes or until the flesh is opaque.
  • Keep warm in turned off oven.
  • For the sauce, place the shallots in a pan with the white wine and 2 cups of the court bouillon.
  • Add the dill.
  • Reduce this by boiling until it looks syrupy in consistency.
  • Add some cream and reduce again.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve the salmon covered with the sauce.

Saumon braisé au porto

Serves 6.

2 or 3 lb chunk of salmon
Mirepoix of aromatic vegetables (2 cups of onions, 1 cup each of carrots and celery)
2 Tbsp of butter
salt and bouquet garni of tarragon, bay leaf and parsley
olive oil
2 cups of dry white wine
3 cups of chicken broth or fish stock

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a covered saucepan, cook the mirepoix in the melted butter until just tender.
  • Add a pinch of salt, pepper and bouquet garni.
  • Meanwhile put salt inside the salmon then brush with olive oil on the outside.
  • Put the salmon in a poaching pan with the mirepoix on top and around.
  • Add wine and broth.
  • Bring to the simmer on top of stove.
  • Cook in lower middle oven at 350°F for 45 minutes.
  • Baste from time to time.
  • Reserve the fish and keep warm in turned off oven.
  • Drain the fish stock.
  • Discard the vegetables.
  • Boil down the fish stock to 3 cups.
  • Peel the skin of the salmon just before covering with the sauce.

Sauce au porto

3 cups of the reduced cooking liquid
3 Tbsp of corn starch
1/2 cup of port wine
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of crème fraiche (1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of cream, mixed and left at room temperature for 6 hours)
parsley
1 cup of cooked mushrooms

  • Crème fraiche can be made the night before by mixing 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of cream, and leaving it at room temperature for 6 hours.
  • Mix together corn starch and port wine.
  • Add to it some of the hot reduced liquid.
  • Then pour this mixture into the remaining reduced liquid and bring to a boil for 2 for 3 minutes.
  • Mix the egg yolks with the cream and add to the sauce.
  • Add the mushrooms and the fresh parsley.
  • Bring to serving temperature before pouring 1/2 the sauce over the fish.
  • Keep the remaining sauce to cover each serving.

Rillettes de saumon

Take the salmon out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking so the fish is at room temperature. When forming the cakes, handle them gently so they don’t get too dense.

Poaching liquid

3 cups of water
2 cups of dry white wine
1 small onion with a clove in it
1 carrot
1 garlic & 6 whole peppercorns

Rillettes

1 lb of salmon fillets
1-1/4 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup of fresh parsley + a pinch of thyme
1 cup of prepared mayonnaise with dijon mustard
1/2 cup of diced onions and 1/2 cup of diced celery
2 Tbsp of diced cornichons and 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

  • Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the salmon and simmer for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  • Remove salmon from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool.
  • After removing the skin and bones, flake salmon into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper, the mayonnaise, onions, celery, cornichons, Worcestershire sauce and the egg.
  • Toss gently to combine with the salmon.
  • Place the remaining bread crumbs in a shallow dish.
  • Form the salmon mixture into 10 patties.
  • Carefully dredge them in the crumbs.
  • Remove to a plate, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook each patty for about 2 minutes per side or until brown.
  • Drain them on a paper towel.
  • Keep warm.

Velouté sauce

4 Tbsp of butter and 5 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of the reduced poaching liquid
1 or more cups of milk and 1/4 cup of cream
salt, pepper and nutmeg

  • In a saucepan stir the butter and flour until melted.
  • Beat in the cup of reduced liquid with a wire whip.
  • Add the milk and bring to a boil.
  • Season with salt and pepper and the nutmeg.
  • Add some cream if desired.

Reito de morue

This kind of stew brought back from Greece by the Phocaeans is one of the traditional provençal dishes for “le gros souper”, a meal served just before going to the midnight Mass on Christmas.

2 lb of Scrod (cut in 2 inch cubes)
1 large onion
olive oil (enough to fry the onion and the cod)
1 Tbsp of flour + 1 cup to roll in the fish pieces
2 cups of red port or wine + 2 cups of water
2 cloves of garlic
bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and parsley)
1 Tbsp of tomato paste
2 Tbsp of cornichons, chopped (capers can be substituted)
salt and pepper to taste

Dried, salted cod is traditionally used for this dish.  It should be soaked in water a day ahead with 3 or 4 changes of water and cooked in water for 1/2 hour.  Then follow the recipe below.

  • Brown the sliced onion in olive oil.
  • Add the flour and cook slightly.
  • Slowly add the wine or port and bring to a boil.
  • Add the water.
  • Cook gently for 1 hour with the bouquet garni, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  • Meantime, roll the pieces of fish in the flour and fry them in olive oil until gold on all sides.
  • Add the pieces to the wine sauce along with the cornichons and cook gently for an additional 15 minutes.

Matelote de pêcheur

From Yves Parent.

1 lb of salmon fillet (cut in chunks)
1 lb of cod fillet (cut in chunks)
1 lb of swordfish (cut in chunks)
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 big onion, sliced
1 leek
3 or 4 red potatoes, cut in small cubes
1 cup of fish stock (optional)
1 bouquet garni
1 Tbsp of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 quart of white mushrooms
1 carrot
1 cup of dry white wine (Sauvignon is preferred)
1 Tbsp of sour cream

  • Chop the onion, the scallions and the leek.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes.
  • In  a large saucepan, sweat the onion in the olive oil, but do not let it brown.
  • Add the leek and continue cooking gently for a minute.
  • Add the potatoes and bouquet garni, the chopped parsley, and one cup of fish stock (if you don’t have fish stock simply add water).
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook gently while adding the chopped mushrooms and chopped scallions.
  • Slice the carrot with the vegetable peeler and drop into the liquid as well.
  • Add the white wine.
  • Cook until the potatoes are tender.
  • The liquid must not reduce too much.
  • It should cover the vegetables.
  • First add the salmon, then add the swordfish.
  • Bring the liquid back to a boil, then add the cod, which cooks very quickly.
  • Stop the heat and let rest for about 4 minutes.
  • Before serving in hot soup plates or bowls, add the sour cream

Fish stock

2 lb of heads and bones of fresh white fish
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion and one carrot, peeled and sliced
4 fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of dry white wine
5 cups of water or enough to cover
bouquet garni

  • In a large casserole brown the onion in the oil.
  • Add the fish and water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
  • Add the mushrooms, carrot, bouquet garni and wine.
  • Simmer slowly, partially covered, for 1/2 hour.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing lightly on the bones and vegetables to extract all the liquid.

Fish provençal

2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 leek (white part only) cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 rib of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of fish stock
1 Tbsp of tomato paste
2 lb of fish (scrod, ocean cat fish, monk fish) cut in 2 inch pieces.
18 oil-cured olives, pitted
1 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of herbes de Provence
Salt, pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the leek and celery.
  • Sauté over low heat, covered, until soft (about 10 minutes).
  • Stir in the wine, the tomato sauce, stock and sun-dried tomatoes, add the garlic and herbs.
  • Raise the heat to medium.
  • Add the fish, the salt and pepper and cook until tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
  • One way to keep the fish pieces from falling apart is to cook them, coated in flour, in olive oil.
  • Gently warm them in the sauce before serving.