Monday, February 13, 2017

Filet of Sole Princess

     A Nice Valentine's Day Entrée For The Ladies! 
     Filet of Sole Princess is a modern fine dining recipe that was popular from the 1970's through the mid 1990's.  I have cooked Filet of Sole Princess at French cafés and yacht clubs as a special du jour and this entrée always sold well.  Filet of Sole Princess was designed to appeal to the ladies and it is a classic choice for a Valentine's Day menu.
     Filet of Sole Princess is a classic modern recipe that originated in the 1900's.  This entrée should not be confused with the classic French Veal Princess Veal recipe, that if my memory serves me correctly, was prepared by Escoffier for royalty in England about 100 years ago.  The classic French Veal Princess Entrée does not resemble the modern Princess preparation and the recipe is much more complicated.  The two Princess theme entrées are two completely different recipes.  The old Escoffier recipe was prepared and elegantly presented to a Royal Prince and Princess, while the modern recipe theme is designed to entertain a female guest as if she was a princess.  Either way, both Princess entrée recipes have elegance and sophistication as a central theme.  
     I made the Filet of Sole Princess for today's recipe photo example many years ago, when Lemon Sole was still available.  Since then, Lemon Sole has practically become an endangered species.  Today's recipe can be made with nearly any kind of whitefish filet and it can be made with salmon.  This is good to keep in mind, because many sole species are no longer sustainable.  Sole is the classic choice and it is best to check the sustainability status before purchasing any kind of sole.  Follow this link to a reliable seafood sustainability resource that offers good information about which kind of sole is the best choice:  Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch 
     There are two well known Hollandaise recipes and both have been published in this website.  The Le Cordon Bleu recipe that was popular through the early 1970's requires a cold start with chilled butter.  This recipe also requires Dijon Mustard as an emulsifier and extra flavors are added, like Worcestershire Sauce.  This recipe was sanctioned by Le Cordon Bleu for a few decades in the mid 1900's, then this French culinary institution reverted to the original classic Escoffier Hollandaise Recipe, which is better suited to be used as a Mother Sauce, because the flavor is less complicated.  The Classic French Cuisine Mother Sauce Hollandaise is made with only the basic ingredients and the butter is butter is clarified to a light amber yellow color before it is added while it is warm.      
     Classic Hollandaise Sauce: 
     This is the old Escoffier recipe variation that is the French Hollandaise Mother Sauce standard.  Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     Classic Hollandaise Sauce

     Filet of Sole Princess:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Peel and trim 5 White Asparagus Spears, so they are 4" to 5" inches long.  (Only peel the White Asparagus Spears if they are wide and have tough skins.)
     Set the White Asparagus Spears aside.
     Step 2:  Select 1 whole sole filets that weighs about 8 to 10 ounces.
     *A whole sole filet looks like 2 joined individual filets with a dividing lateral line, because sole is a flatfish.  One side of the filet will be much smaller than the other.
     Cut along the lateral line to separate the 2 filet sections.
     Lightly season the sole filets with sea salt and white pepper.
     Set the sole filet sections aside.
     Step 3:  Place 1 1/2 cups of flour in a shallow wide container and set it aside.
     Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk till blended.
     Set the egg wash aside.
     Step 4:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.  (The sauté pan must be seasoned or it must have a non-stick surface.)
     Add 1 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Step 5:  Dredge sole filets in the flour.
     Dip the sole filets in egg wash.
     Lightly dredge each sole filet in the flour a second time and place them side by side in the hot butter and oil.
     Step 6:  Sauté the sole filets till the bottom half is a light golden color.
     Use a long spatula to flip the filets in the pan.
     Sauté till the sole filets are a light golden color on both sides.  
     Step 7:  Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine.
     Add 1/4 cup of fumet (clear white fish broth).
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Add the reserved white asparagus spears to the liquid in the pan.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till the sole filets are fully cooked and the asparagus is tender.  Allow the excess liquid to evaporate.
     Remove the pan from the heat.

     This recipe describes 1 entrée presentation.
     Step 1:  Place the sole filets on the front half of a plate, so they slightly overlap.
     Arrange the white asparagus spears on top of the sole filets, so the spears resemble the points on a royal crown.
     Step 2:  Spoon a generous portion of the hollandaise sauce over the asparagus spear stalk ends and the back half of the sole filets.  (About 1/4 cup)
     Step 3:  Serve with a vegetables and a potato of your choice on the back half of the plate.
     *The entrée in the photos was served with a buttered boiled medley of Yukon Gold, Yukon Bliss and Purple Peru Potatoes.  Braised Kale and a Baked Tomato topped with Cheddar Cheese are the vegetables.
     Filet of Sole Princess is a nice simple elegant entrée that tastes great! 

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