Filets of Sole with Oysters and Champagne Sauce

January 26, 2011

From Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia –

Filets of Sole with Oysters and Champagne Sauce
“This is the dish to prepare when you want to pull out all the stops!”, says Chef Jacques.


¼ cup EACH, julienne leeks, carrots, and celery root
4 fillets of sole (lemon or gray sole), deboned and skinned
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon finely minced shallots
3/4 cup Champagne
6 – 8 shucked medium-sized oysters
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 ounce Osetra Caviar or Salmon Caviar
Sprig of fresh dill
2 chive straws


Clean, peel, and cut the vegetables into a matchstick-size julienne and steam or parboil in salted water for 1 – 2 minutes.

Julienne should be al dente. Immediately plunge into cold water, drain, and reserve.

Lay the prepared sole fillets, white side down, on your work surface. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Divide the vegetables into 4 portions and place each bundle on the large end of a fillet. Fold the end of the sole fillet over the vegetable bundle in jelly-roll fashion. Place each folded side down in a small saucepan smeared with the butter and the minced shallots. Pour the champagne around the fish, place the pan over high heat, bring to a boil, cover, and boil for about 3 minutes until the fillets are just cooked through. Remove pan from heat, lift the fillets out of the pan onto a dish and keep warm.

Place the pan in which the fillets were cooked back on high heat and add the oysters. Lift the oysters out of the wine with a slotted spoon as soon as the liquid begins to boil again. Keep warm with the fillets.


Boil the remaining wine over high heat until reduced by 2/3, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, boil for another 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and gently stir in ½ of the caviar and taste and adjust seasonings.


Divide the sole fillets and oysters onto two serving plates. Coat with the sauce and garnish the oysters with the caviar.

Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques at Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia is one of the best French restaurants around. Simply the best!

Bouillabaisse from Chef Jacques Haeringer

November 18, 2010

Bouillabaise from Chef Jacques Haeringer of L'Auberge Chez Francois


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup EACH finely chopped onion, carrots and leeks, well-washed
1/8 cup finely julienned celery
2 teaspoons minced shallots
3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fish stock
1 tablespoon sea salt, approximately

I bouquet garni consisting of ½ teaspoon fennel seed,
1/2 teaspoon anise seed, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove, pinch of thyme and 2 cloves garlic crushed, wrapped in a cheesecloth
1/2 teaspoon saffron
10 mussels
8 little neck clams
1/4 pound sea scallops
1 ‑1 pound Maine lobster
1/4 pound raw shrimp (20‑24 count)
8 ounces fish fillets (red snapper, sea bass, grouper)
4 oysters, optional
2 teaspoons Pernod
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh fennel
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions, leeks, celery, and carrots and cook covered until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots, tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, fish stock, salt, and bouquet garni. Boil for approximately 2 5 minutes. Add the saffron, and simmer 5 more minutes.

While the broth is cooking, prepare the seafood. Clean the mussels individually under cold running water, scraping off any clinging barnacles or “beards.”

Discard any half‑open shells or any unusually heavy ones, indicating internal grit.

Rinse the clams, oyster, and scallops in cold water.

Using a sharp heavy knife, force the point of the blade through the top of the lobster head between the eyes; then cut down through the center of the head and tail, splitting the lobster in half. Remove and discard the stomach sac behind the eyes, and the intestinal vein running down the center of the tail. Remove the claws and crack them with the blunt edge of the blade.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp.

Cut the fish fillets into 2‑ to 3‑inch diagonal slices.

To prepare the Bouillabaisse:

Add the mussels and clams to the boiling broth and simmer 5 minutes. Then add the lobster, shrimp, scallops, and fish. Continue boiling until all the shellfish are open, approximately 5 to 8 more minutes. Do not overcook.

Remove from heat, adjust seasoning (more garlic or saffron according to taste), add Pernod, chopped fennel and serve immediately in large warm soup platters.

Garnish with the garlic toasts.

Hint: Prepare the broth ahead and refrigerate. Reheat and cook the seafood just prior to serving. Freeze any remaining broth to use another time.

Thank you to Chef Jacques Haeringer for allowing us to repost his recipe. If you are in Northern Virginia, you must go to his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois. It is simply the best!

Grilled Scallop Kabobs

October 4, 2010

1/3 cup Honey Dijon Mustard – French’s is very good with this –
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 cup canned pineapple cubes or chunks
12 scallops – cut in half crosswise
12 strips uncooked bacon – cut in half

Soak 12 – 6 inch bamboo skewers in water for at least 15 minutes. Combine mustard and marmalade in small bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture to serve with cooked kabobs.

Wrap 1 pineapple chunk and 1 scallop half together with bacon and thread through on bamboo skewer. Repeat this until the skewers are filled. Put two or three wrapped kabobs on each skewer. Spray grill grid with oil. Place skewers on grill, and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Turn often while cooking and brush with mustard and marmalade mixture. Serve hot with remaining mixture that you set aside. Makes 8 to 12 skewers.

Grilled Mussels in Beer and Garlic

September 16, 2010

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time about 10 minutes

2 lbs mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 teas crushed red pepper flates
3 tbsp finally chopped fresh parsley
1 12 oz bottle light beer or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth + 1 tsp hot sauce

Preheat grill to medium (300-350 degrees F). Divide mussels among 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil. Pull the ends of the foil up; crimp the edges and sides to enclose the juices. In a bowl stir together the beer or broth, hot sauce, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour sauce over mussels. Place foil pouches with mussels on grill, and cook covered for 5 to 6 minutes until mussels begin to open and turn opaque. Transfer grilled mussels and juices to a serving platter or bowl. Discard any mussels that did not open. Sprinkle parsley over mussels and serve. Serves 4.

Courtesy of Safeway – they handed a version of this recipe out in the store.

Baked Salmon Fillets

November 7, 2009

FishCourtesy of Safeway
Their suggested sides: Rice and Steamed Asparagus
Their suggested Dessert: Blueberry Cheesecake

Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 lbs. salmon fillets, trimmed, skin removed
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut 1 (16 inch) lone sheet of heavy duty foil for each fillet and let aside. Combine lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper to taste in a dish with sides. Add fillets, turning to coat well. Place each fillet toward 1 end of foil sheet. Place 1 onion and lemon slice on top, drizzle with oil mixture. Fold to enclose salmon fillet. Seal well. Place packets on a large baking sheet with sides. Bake 10 minutes or more, if needed, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven. Sit for 5 minutes. Open packets. Place on individual places and top with juices.

Serves 6. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 to 20 minutes.
Per Serving: 320 calories, 16g fat, 2g carbs, 105mg sodium, 42g protein, 115mg cholesterol, 2g Omega-3

Crab Cakes with Lime and Cilantro

March 6, 2009


– 1 pound crab meat, squeeze out any excess liquid
– 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
– 3 eggs
– 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
– 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
– 3 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, minced
– 1 tablespoon (to 2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
garnish: cilantro sprigs
garnish: lime wedges

In a large bowl, combine crab meat, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 slightly beaten egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro. Form mixture into patties.
Beat 2 eggs. Place eggs in a shallow pan or plate. Pour 1/4 cup of bread crumbs onto a plate. Dip each patty into beaten egg, covering both sides, and then cover with bread crumbs.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet. Over medium high heat, cook patties for approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve hot.
Garnish with fresh lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Enter desired servings:


Glazed Salmon

March 6, 2009


Holly says: Easy elegance! Everyone said this was the best salmon they had ever had. The glaze on the crispy crusted salmon took only minutes to prepare and to disappear from the plate.

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 (6-ounce) salmon filets


In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lime juice, and mustard. Marinate salmon in the refrigerator in sauce several hours or until ready to cook. In a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook salmon on each side until golden brown and crispy and just cooked through. Transfer salmon to 2 platter. Add remaining honey glaze to skillet and simmer, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Return salmon to pan, heat, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Food Facts
Calories 273
Protein (g) 35
Carbohydrate (g) 19
Fat (g) 6
Calories from Fat (%) 20
Saturated Fat (g) 1
Dietary Fiber (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 88
Sodium (mg) 400
Diabetic Exchanges: 5 very lean meat, 1 other carbohydrate

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