Sole Dieppoise


serves 4
1 (800 g/1 3/4 lb) sole, cleaned and trimmed
fat for greasing
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 bouquet garni
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 dry white wine
12 mussels, scrubbed and bearded
15 ml/1 tbsp white wine vinegar
12 peeled cooked prawns or shrimps
1 tbsp (1/2 oz) butter
1 tbsp (15 g) flour
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup (3 fl oz) 90 ml single cream
salt and pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika


1. Grease a shallow ovenproof baking dish and a piece of foil large enough to cover it. Set the oven at 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

2. Skin and fillet the sole. Put the bones, skin and head in a saucepan with the onion, bouquet garni and white wine. Put the mussels into the pan, bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mussels. Discard any that remain shut. Shell the mussels and set them aside. Add 2/3 cup (5 fl oz.) 160 ml water to the pan and stir in the vinegar. Reduce the liquid by boiling gently for 15 minutes, uncovered, then strain into a jug.

4. Fold each fillet in half and place in a single layer in the prepared dish. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid and arrange the shelled mussels and prawns or shrimps around the fish. Cover with the foil and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Drain the stock from the fish into a saucepan and heat to simmering point. Keep the fish and shellfish hot. In a small bowl, cream the butter to a paste with the flour.

6. Add the butter and flour paste to the fish stock, a little at a time, whisking after each addition. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to the boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 10 minutes. Lower the heat.

7. Mix the egg yolk and cream in a bowl and stir in about 100 ml/3 1/2 fl oz of the thickened sauce. Add the contents of the bowl to the sauce and bring the mixture to just below boiling point. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour the sauce evenly over the fish and shellfish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and dust with the cayenne or paprika. Serve at once.

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