Sole ala Normande

Sole ala Normande
I finished reading the introduction to Tony Bourdaine's Les Halles Cook Book the other night. He was talking about how to approach the seemingly complicated French recipes in his book. He recommended breaking the recipes down into different tasks such as deep prep, prep, assembly, etc.

I decided to try this approach on Sole ala Normande, a recipe in an old French cookbook that I bought for only 5 smackers!! The preparation of this dish could have gone wrong at many points. However by reviewing the recipe carefully in advance and getting everything that I needed organized beforehand, I was able to construct this dish without any problems. Anyway, here is the recipe for Sole ala Normande:

mortar and pestle

2 sole/flounder fillets
3 shallots
5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 tspn thyme
1 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 cups water
2 egg yolks
6 shiitake mushrooms

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add sea salt, pepper, olive oil, diced garlic, diced bay leaves, and thyme to a mortar and mash ingredients together with pestle.
  3. Rub mixture from step #2 onto the fillets and set aside for 20 minutes.
  4. In a sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons of flour and stir.
  5. When butter has combined with flour, add 2 cups of water and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. The sauce should be white in color.
  6. Add egg yolks and mushrooms to the butter, flour, water mixture. Stir and reduce heat to low. Season this with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Put 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 diced shallots in a skillet and place a fillet on top of the shallots and butter. Cook on medium-low for 10 minutes then flip fillet and cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. Pour the mushroom sauce over fillet, cover skillet, and bake in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  9. Plate the fillet and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.
  10. Repeat steps 7 - 9 for each fillet or you can bake both fillets simultaneously if you have a big enough skillet (or small enough fillets).
Need a wine to go with this? Try this one: Casa-Silva-Sauvignon-Blanc

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