26 years ago I first stayed at a small boutique hotel in Sausalito, California called the Casa Madrona. It is still there, and has become more fabulous as the years have gone by. Around the corner from the hotel there was a new French Bistro opening that evening. I went there, was one of the first customers, and had an incredible meal.
Christophe Restaurant Francais is still going strong even though I haven't been there in awhile. It still serves some of the best regional French Cuisine in California at decent prices. This recipe is from the first meal I had on opening night at Christophe's.
This recipe sounds hard to make, but it is actually pretty simple, and only takes around a half hour to put together if you have your ingredients handy. It is one of my favorites, and people bow when you make this recipe, but the secret is, it is very simple to make.
Stuffed Sole with Scallop Mousse
1 lb of Fresh Petrale Sole Filets
1/2 pound bay or sea scallops
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 chopped Shallot
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/8 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup White wine
Place the scallops into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 4 to 5 times. Add the egg whites and pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon zest and parsley. Pulse to incorporate. With the machine running, slowly add all of the cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl 1 last time, put the lid back on and run for 5 more seconds.
Wrap the Sole Filets around the Mousse and place in a pan with butter and lightly brown. Place filets in pan with wine as the braising liquid, and put in the oven to cook at 375 for 14 minutes. Take out, and plate with a little base of champagne sauce. Drizzle the champagne sauce over the top, and serve.
What Sauce to Use?
Well we just spent a week going through the mother sauces, what do you think would work well? Hollandaise, Beurre blanc, and Veloutte's all come to mind for me.
I am going to go for something that is Veloutte based. Veloutte as we know is one of the mother sauces. Since this is seafood I am going to reach in the freezer, and bring out a portion of the shellfish based veloutte I have made.
I like to keep four different veluote's pre made in the freezer. Chicken, Fish, Shellfish, and Veal. I make them once a year, and freeze them in portion cups. Shellfish, chicken, and fish are easy to make in a couple of hours, the veal however takes awhile. I make Shellfish veloute out of lobster, crab, crayfish, or shrimp shells.
1/2 cup shellfish veloute, or you can substitute with fish stock, or chicken broth
1/2 cup champagne
1/8 cup cup butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
In a medium saucepan, reduce 1/2 cup of champagne, and 1/2 cup veloutte to approximately 1/4 cup of liquid. Add the cream and reduce mixture to 1 cup of liquid. Add butter and stir until butter melts and thickens the mixture.
If you have any fresh Truffles around this is a great time to use some. Truffles can be overpowering, not to mention expensive, so only use a little bit. If you live in the Northwest keep an eye out for the fabulous Oregon Truffles. Oregon Truffles are much less expensive than their French, and Italian counterparts. James Beard felt the Oregon Truffle was on a par with the European Truffle, but take that with a grain of salt because the late great chef who lived most of his life in New York City was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.
Chanterelles grow wild out in the Northwest, but they also abundantly grow wild in Western Michigan. Sliced Chanterelles are also a great addition to this sauce when they are in season. Same with the fantastic Michigan Morels.