We regularly go to the port town of Dieppe. It I not too far from Paris, especially from our corner in the Yvelines, and you can buy fish almost straight from the boats. We also meet friends there.
In French cooking, the name of Dieppe is linked to sole. A fish that once swam in abundance near the coast there. Just across the Channel, the town of Dover gave its name to the Dover sole, the common sole, solea solea, named for its resemblance with a sole.
Dieppe sole turns the common flatfish into a gourmand’s meal because it adds mussels, prawns, mushrooms and cream. In a cookery book from the 19th century, the recipe also contained poached oysters.
Wine is added, or champagne, and some use shallots.
Outside of Dieppe, the recipe is also called Normandy sole. It seems the recipe was invented in Paris….
In any case it is a recipe for a festive meal, combining fish and sea food plus a creamy sauce.
In my version here, there is no wine, no flour to coat the fish and I poach the fish (as in the tradition) instead of frying it in butter (modern approach) so that it becomes less of a caloric bomb. I also omitted an egg yolk.
The preparation takes most of the time.
- Two soles (preferably of more than 300 grammes)
- A fist full of (cooked) prawns
- Half a litre of mussels
- 100 grammes of mushrooms
- Fish stock
- 20 cl of liquid cream
- Pepper, salt
- If you have large soles, you can raise the fillets and put them aside. Keep the skin and bones. I had small soles, so I only removed the skin and fins.
- Cook the prawns and shell them, keep the shells.
- Clean and wash the mussels.
- Put the skins, bones and shells in a pan with water, bring to the boil and add the fish stock (I used a sachet of Ariaké stock). Cook for 10 minutes.
- Cook the mussels until they open, let them cool en then remove the shells.
- Drain the fish stock. Preheat an oven to 150 °C.
- Clean and slice the mushrooms, cook in some butter until brown.
- Butter an oven-proof dish. Put the fish in the dish and cover with stock.
- Poach the fish in the stock in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Take the fish out and collect the stock.
- On high heat, reduce the stock into a sauce.
- Take the pan from the heat and add the cream, stir.
- Put the fish on a serving dish, add mussels, mushrooms and prawns, add salt and pepper and pour over the sauce.