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!

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

Grilled Soy-Lemon Halibut

February 19, 2009


2 lbs halibut filets
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3 tablespoons Soy Souce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon each Worcestershire and sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or ½ teas ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teas. peper

In shallow dish, mix melted butter and
other ingredients. Add fish and coat on
both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2
hours. Spray grill with cooking spray and
place fish on grill. Cover (leave vents
open) and grill fish, turning once, until fish
flakes when prodded in thickest portion
with fork (typically takes 8 to 10 minutes
till done). Serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 6.

Mediterranean Flounder

February 19, 2009

(From Lockhart’s of Norfolk restaurant)

4 ( 10 ounce) flounder fillets
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 teas oregano
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic chopped

Spray pan with non-stick oil. Place flounder in dish. Place
ingredients on flounder. Pour in wine. Cook on med-high
flame until flounder is half done. Pour off liquid before
serving. Stick under broiler until brown on top and fish is
done. Serve with red skinned potatoes or rice.

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