Recipe: Fillet of Sole with Mushroom Sauce

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In this recipe, strips of fillet of sole are rolled to form what French cooks call paupiettes. Rolled beginning at the thickest end, the paupiettes will not unfurl as they cook. Using whipped butter makes the preparation easier, because when the butter boils it holds together without breaking down as regular butter might.

The traditional version is made with wine, cream, and mushrooms, but Sole Normande can include cider, tomatoes, herbs, or even cooked apple, all Normandy products.

Any of the different types of flatfish available, from gray to lemon to Dover sole and from fluke to flounder, are fine for this recipe; the important consideration is freshness.

4 servings

Cut each fillet in half lengthwise, removing and discarding the small strip of sinew from the center of the fillets. With the white side that touched the bones on the outside of the paupiettes, roll up the fillets, starting at the thick end.

Gently place the paupiettes and the remaining ingredients, except the butter and chives, in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and boil gently for about 3 minutes.

Holding the lid so the paupiettes remain in the pan, pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and place it over high heat. Boil for a few minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add the whipped butter and mix in well with a whisk. Bring to a boil and boil for a few seconds.

Divide the paupiettes and mushrooms among four warm plates, pour the sauce on top, and sprinkle on the chives. Serve immediately.

Episode 214: Sole-ful Suppertime

Jacques makes the sweet, nutty flavors of winter squash tickle the palate with a warm and creamy Butternut Squash Velvet, while he admits to supplying his brother with seeds of this New World squash. Blossoming roses of creamy fish paupiettes in Fillet of Sole with Mushroom Sauce are paired with Peas, Mushrooms, and Endive along with tips to help keep your sauce from breaking. The meal ends with an unusual combination of Seckel Pears in Coffee and a grated chocolate garnish.

Minute Recipe: Goat Cheese Toasts

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Goat cheese toasts make excellent hors d'oeuvres or garnishes for a salad. I like the small Bûcheron goat cheese, which is about 1 3/4 inches in diameter, or any other soft, creamy, and mild goat cheese of about the same size. Montrachet is also a very good imported chèvre, or goat cheese. Combining the cheese with a little herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning and some slivered garlic adds complexity. The toasts can be assembled and toasted at the last minute.

Preheat the broiler. Cut as many 1/4-inch slices from a baguette as you need for serving. Arrange the slices side by side on a baking sheet. Cut enough 1/4-inch-thick slices from a tubelike container of goat cheese (dental floss is good for slicing the cheese) for each of the bread rounds. Press a slice of cheese on each slice of bread, taking care to cover the entire surface of the bread so it doesn't burn under the broiler. Sprinkle a small amount of herbes de Provence on each toast and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, remove thin slices from a large peeled garlic clove and press 1 sliver in the center of the cheese on each toast. Sprinkle each toast with a few drops of olive oil. Slide the toasts under the broiler, so they are 4 to 5 inches from the heat source, for about 2 minutes, or until the tops are bubbly, hot, and lightly browned. Arrange the toasts on a serving platter. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.