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 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.

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.

Choulibiac

Serves 8 to 10.

Batter for Giant Crêpe

1/3 cup of flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp of cooking oil / 1/2 tsp of salt

Pâte à choux

1-1/2 cups water in 2 1/2 quart saucepan
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter cut into pieces
1-1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of flour
6 large eggs

Filling

2 lb of sole fillets (16 fillets each about 9×2 inches)
1/2 lb skinless and boneless halibut or more sole fillets
1 cup of heavy cream
10 oz of mushrooms
several shallots
salt, pepper, nutmeg, some additional butter

  • Arrange about 3 layers the fillets with sprinkling of minced shallots, salt and pepper and a few drops of Cognac.
  • Refrigerate.
  • For the Giant Crêpe, place flour in a bowl and make a hole in center.
  • Add the egg, oil and salt.
  • Beat together and slowly incorporate the flour as you add the milk.
  • Let rest for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Smear a sturdy jelly roll pan with butter, roll flour in it.
  • Put a thin layer of crêpe batter into pan and set in lower oven for 4 or 5 minutes or until set.
  • Then place under the broiler to brown top slowly and lightly.
  • Slide crêpe off into a cake rack.
  • Refrigerate between two sheets of wax paper.
  • For the pâte à choux, bring 1-1/2 cups of water to boil with the cut up butter and salt.
  • As soon as the butter has melted, remove from heat and dump in all of the flour at once.
  • Beat  vigorously until smooth.
  • Set again over high heat beating continuously to evaporate excess moisture.
  • Scrape paste into a mixer.
  • At low speed, incorporate 5 eggs one after another.
  • Break sixth egg in a small bowl, beat it, and add it to the mixture by droplets, only as needed, so that the mixture holds its shape.
  • Remove 1/2 cup and refrigerate for fish mousse.
  • Set the rest in a bowl over warm water for final assembly.
  • For the fish mousse, cut the halibut and one of the sole fillet into chunks.
  • Place in the food processor with cold choux paste, 3/4 cup of chilled cream, 1/2 tsp of salt, grinds of white pepper, pinch of nutmeg.
  • Ground into a fine paste.
  • If too stiff add more cream, but it should hold its shape.
  • Cover and refrigerate.
  • For the mushroom duxelles, mince mushrooms by hand or in food processor.
  • Sauté in frying pan in 2 Tbsp of melted butter with some minced shallots for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour in 3 Tbsp of Cognac.
  • Boil down rapidly to evaporate liquid.
  • Scrape into a bowl and reserve.

Assembling the Choulibiac

  • Spread the Giant Crêpe on a buttered baking dish (nonstick if possible) and trim off any stiff edges.
  • Spread 1/3 of the fish mousse in a rectangle about 12 x 5 inches and arrange half of the fillets over it.
  • On top of that, spread half of the duxelles, then the rest of the fillets and remaining duxelles.
  • Beat any fish-seasoning juices into reserved mousse and spread it over top and sides of fish structure.
  • Then, bring the ends and sides of the crêpe up over the fish, trimming off any crêpe in excess of 1 inch edging.
  • Reserve half cup of choux paste for decoration; then, using a flexible spatula dipped in cold water, spread choux pastry evenly over top and sides, masking structure completely.
  • Poke holes in the lower part of the four corners and insert buttered foil funnels.

Decoration and baking

  • Preheat oven to 425°F and set rack in lower-middle level.
  • If choux paste has cooled and stiffened, beat over warm water.
  • Spoon in pastry bag with half inch cannelated tube.
  • Paint Choulibiac with a coating of egg glaze then decorate as you wish.
  • Reserve 5 or 6 Tbsp of choux pastry for velouté sauce.
  • Glaze the decorations and the rest of the pastry with two coatings of egg.
  • Immediately set in oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until pastry is slightly brown and puffy.
  • Turn oven down to 375°F and continue baking another 20 minutes.
  • Serve as soon as possible with a velouté sauce.

Velouté sauce

2 cups of fish trimmings
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, chopped
parsley, bay leaf
1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of water, 1/2 tsp of salt
5 to 6 Tbsp of choux pastry
1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of cream
white pepper, lemon juice, butter (as much or as little as you wish)

  • Simmer the fish trimmings with the vegetables, herbs, wine, water, salt for half an hour.
  • Strain, then boil down rapidly to 1 cup.
  • Gradually blend in the choux pastry, pour into saucepan and simmer thinning out as necessary with spoonfuls of milk and cream.
  • Sauce should coat a spoon lightly.
  • Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Add additional butter if you wish.

Coq au vin

Serves 4 to 6 people.

The following recipe comes from Burgundy. A Beaujolais wine is best used both for cooking and drinking with this dish.

1 Tbsp of oil and 2 Tbsp of butter
3 oz of salt pork
3/4 lb of small white onions peeled
3-1/2 lb of chicken, jointed
3 Tbsp of brandy
1 Tbsp of flour
1-1/2 cups of red wine
1 cup of chicken stock
3 small tomatoes & 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
bouquet garni and garlic
nutmeg
1-1/2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
croûtons
chopped parsley 

  • Heat the oil and butter in a heavy saucepan and cook the salt pork and small white onions until they are golden brown.
  • Remove them and brown the chicken joints in the pan.
  • Flame with the warmed brandy.
  • Remove the chicken joints and some of the fat.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Return the chicken to the pan along with the onions.
  • Pour in the wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, bouquet garni, nutmeg, mushrooms, salt and pepper.
  • Cover loosely and cook for approximately 1 hour or until chicken is tender.
  • Arrange the chicken in a serving platter covered with the mushrooms and onions.
  • Remove the grease from the juice, reduce, taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Strain the sauce over the chicken.
  • Garnish with the croûtons and some chopped parsley.

Escalopes de veau chasseur

Allow 2 or 3 scallops per person, depending on the size of the pieces of meat. Veal scallops are cooked quickly and need to be tender and of the palest pink you can find.  Serves 6 people.

12 veal scallops
4 Tbsp of butter
¼ cup of minced shallots
3/4 lb of firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
1 garlic, minced
salt and pepper
½ tsp of tarragon
½ cup of white wine
½ cup of brown stock
½ lb of fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
2 Tbsp of butter

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F
  • In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and sauté the veal scallops on high heat until brown on both sides.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the scallops to a serving dish and keep warm in a turned off oven.
  • Deglaze the skillet with a little bit of the wine and pour the liquid over the veal.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and sweat the shallots for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, seasonings and herbs.
  • Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Pour in the wine and the brown stock.
  • Boil rapidly for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Correct seasoning and remove from heat.
  • In a separate skillet, sauté the mushrooms in butter.
  • Add a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add to the tomato sauce and simmer for a minute.
  • Baste the scallops in the serving dish with the hot sauce and decorate with fresh tarragon or parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

Daube d’agneau provençale

This is a very simple and inexpensive stew which is better done at least a day ahead.

2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 onions, sliced
3 lb of lamb shoulder cut in large pieces
10 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, sliced
1 can of italian tomatoes
1 cup of white wine
1 Tbsp of Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper
garlic and parsley
green olives (optional)
2  10 ounce packages of mushrooms

  • In a large covered casserole heat the oil and sweat the onions.
  • In the meantime, brown the pieces of meat in a large skillet.
  • Add the meat to the casserole and deglaze the skillet with the white wine.
  • Add the resulting liquid to the casserole as well. Sprinkle the Herbes de Provence on the meat.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, herbs, garlic and parsley.
  • Cover with the tomatoes.
  • Cook for 1 hour without stirring.
  • In the meantime, cook the mushrooms.
  • Season and reserve.
  • After 1 hour of cooking, add the mushrooms (and the green olives).
  • Cook for another 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.