Filet de Sole Marie Walewska ('08)

Filet de Sole Marie Walewska ('08)

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Credit: Michael Voltaggio
Sizzle, Spring 2008


2 Dover Sole
1 T Active meat-binding enzyme
2 T diced onion
2 T diced celery
2 T diced leek
1 t chopped shallot
2 T olive oil, divided
1 T coriander seed
1 T fennel seed
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1.5 cups dry vermouth
4 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
3 sheets gelatin
1 cup ice water
2.5 grams agar agar powder
2 T butter
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 sprigs thyme
4 langoustine
Langoustine Sauce (recipe follows)
Butter to taste
1 black truffle, sliced
Trumpet mushrooms for garnish
Fresh dill for garnish

Langoustine Sauce
2 T olive oil
2 T diced onion
2 T diced carrot
2 T diced red bell pepper
2 T diced leek
1 t tomato paste
2 coins peeled ginger
1 stick lemongrass
1 star anise
1/4 cup mirin
1 quart water
1/8 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2.5 grams carrageenan powder


1) Skin, eviscerate and fillet sole. Carefully remove the 4 fillets from each fish. Chop bones into 1/4-sections; set aside.

2) Lay 8 fillets on tray with service-side face up. Lightly dust 2 fillets with Activa. Stack second fillet on each piece, tail to head. Lightly dust with Activa. Stack final fillets on, tail to head. Place stacks between 2 parchment-lined cookie trays. Place in walk-in; put small weight atop ( i.e. 2# butter). Allow fish to press and cure for 1 hour.

3) While fish is curing, prepare the fumet. In a small pot, sweat onion, celery, leek and shallot in 1 T olive oil on low heat. Add coriander, fennel, bay leaf and thyme. Deglaze with vermouth; reduce by half. Add chopped bones and ice cubes. Low simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat; strain through cheesecloth. Place back in pot; add heavy cream. Reduce liquid to 250 grams; season with salt and white pepper.

4) Bloom gelatin leaves in ice water. Remove gelatin; place in blender. Bring fumtet cream to boil; add agar agar powder. Pour contents over gelatin; blend on low speed for 1 minute. To form the fish fumet gelée, pour blended mixture onto flat plastic surface in cooler.

To assemble fish;
1) remove sole from cookie trays. Pat dry with paper towel.

2) Season each stack with salt and white pepper. Place butter over each stack, then shingle sliced shallot over each stack; place sprig of thyme on each stack.

3) Carefully roll each stack in plastic wrap; tie each end with butchers twine.

4) Place each package into vacuum bag; vacuum seal on #5 setting, #3 seal (machines may vary). Using a hypodermic thermocouple, cook fish in an ambient temperature of 65° C in bain-marie until internal temperature reaches 48° C. Remove packages; place in ice bath until service.

To finish:
1) Remove sole fillets from packages. Portion to desired shape; place in flat open, buttered casserole. Warm each portion under salamander; plate.

2) Cut piece of fish-cream gelée large enough to cover fish like a blanket. Place plate under salamander until gelée takes on form of fish.

3) Lightly season each langoustine tail with salt and pepper. Place a toothpick longways through each tail. Gently sear in sauté pan with remaining olive oil. Bring langoustine sauce to boil. Carefully dip each tail in liquid until it encapsulates tail. Place langoustine tail on each piece of fish. Garnish with shaved black truffles, fried trumpet mushrooms and dill sprigs.

Langoustine Sauce
1) Carefully remove langoustine tails from bodies; reserve bodies. Trim each tail, removing all shell;
reserve tails. Preheat wide saucepot to smoking; add olive oil. sear all bodies and shell fragments in hot oil.

2)Add vegetables, tomato paste and aromatics. Deglaze with mirin; reduce heat. Allow mirin to reduce to sec. Add water; simmer for 20 minutes. Strain contents through mesh strainer into another pot. Add cream, reduce to 250 grams; season with salt. Remove from heat; cool.

3) Once cooled, blend with carrageenan powder. Pour liquid back into pot; set aside.


4 tasting portions


Main Dish, Seafood, Sizzle

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