13 October 2010
When you’re giving a dinner party it often good to serve fish because not all people eat meat (there are many vegetarians in the whole world nowadays). So, fish is a nice product and you can cook lots of dishes with it. We offer you just a few interesting and refined dishes from our collection: Casserolettes de sole, Crepes bon viveur. And also here are some advice for you.
Casserolettes de sole (Individual Sole Flans)
Ingredients: 1 lb savoury short paste; 6 oz skinned fillet of sole; 1/4 pint milk or top of the milk; 2 1/2 fluid oz single or unwhipped whipping cream; 1 egg; 1 extra separated yolk; 1 oz finely grated Parmesan or substitute very hard cheese; salt and pepper to season; 12 transparently thin 'leaves' of Emmenthal; 1/4 pint (unshelled weight) brown or pink shrimps.
Savoury Short Paste
Ingredients: 8 oz sifted flour; 4 oz butter (or 2 oz each of butter and lard); 1 raw egg yolk; 3 oz grated stale cheese (ideally Parmesan); 1 rounded teaspoon salt; 1 level eggspoon pepper; approximately 1/2 gill water.
Method: Sift flour into mound on cold surface. Gather fingers of one hand into posy and push out flour from centre to form a steep-sided ring. Place butter, egg yolk, salt and cheese in centre. Work these ingredients together with a small table knife held in each hand. Draw flour in, gradually cutting and pressing mixture and add water very sparingly bearing in mind that a shade less than given quantity may be needed in warm weather. Continue working until mixture forms a smooth dough, lift on to a floured cloth, fold up lightly and store in mild refrigeration for minimum 2 hours, maximum 7 days.
Method: Roll out prepared paste fairly thinly. Line into 12 plain 4 1/2" diameter, 1/2" deep patty tins, previously lightly dusted with flour. Trim off edges neatly. Cut sole into matchsticks and use to cover bases of all cases. Whip together milk, cream, egg, extra yolk, grated hard cheese and generous pinches of both salt and pepper. Shell shrimps and arrange equally over sole matchsticks. Spoon in whipped mixture within 1/8" of pastry rims. Lay a leaf of cheese on top of each. Set all on a metal baking sheet and bake at Gas Mark 6 (400° F) one shelf above centre for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to Gas Mark 2 (3100 F) and bake for approximately ao minutes or until pastry is browned at edges and mixture browned and domed centrally. Remote carefully to a serving dish and intersperse with chosen garnish.
Filling for Casserolettes de Fruits de Mer (Individual Sea-Food Flans) Replace sole and shrimps with 4 oz flaked white crab meat; 2 oz brown crab meat; 1 teaspoon strained lemon juice; 2 medium scallops diced small.
Method: Prepare paste cases as above. Cover base of each with white crab meat. Mix brown crab meat with lemon juice, make second layer spread with this mixture. Scatter diced scallops on top and proceed exactly as described for Casserolettes de Sole. NOTE: Given quantities allow two each when serving as main course dish.
Crepes bon viveur (Stuffed Baked Fish Pancakes)
Ingredients: 12 leaf-thin pancakes; 6 oz shelled shrimps; 1 small, level teaspoon anchovy puree; strained juice of 1/2 lemon; 2 generously heaped tablespoons of real mayonnaise, of whipped double cream and of milled parsley; 5 fluid oz top-of-the-milk or single cream; pepper; 1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan or other very hard cheese; 1 1/2 oz butter.
Ingredients: 8 oz sifted flour; 1 egg; 1 extra egg yolk; 2 tablespoons oil; milk.
Method: Place flour in bowl, make central hollow, add eggs and oil and add milk gradually, beating mixture down with milk to the consistency of single cream. Use immediately or store under covering for up to 24 hours in mild refrigeration (Mark 4/5). Heat small shallow pan very thoroughly over very low heat. Brush surface of heated pan with oil. Hold pan handle in one hand, tipping it slightly. Pour batter in from raised side of pan, so that a very thin skin of batter flows evenly over hot surface. Set pan back over low heat and leave until edges begin to colour faintly. Flip over, allow a few seconds only on second side and then slide on to lightly oiled greaseproof paper.
Ingredients: 4 egg yolks; 1/2 pint oil; 1 scant level teaspoon salt; 1 scant level eggspoon pepper; 1 rounded teaspoon mustard; 2 dessertspoons strained lemon or orange juice or 2 scant dessertspoons vinegar.
Method: Place egg yolks in basin and whip with rotary whisk, loop whisk, or ideally with electric mixer untill y°lks are thick and creamy . . . 5 minutes by hand, 2 1/2 minutes by electric mixer. Beat in oil gradually, beating well between each addition until 1/4 pint has been absorbed into mixture. Add all seasonings, 1 dessertspoon vinegar or citrus juice and continue beating in remainder of oil. Add remaining citrus juice or vinegar. Store in mild refrigeration Mark 4/5. Will keep for 3-4 weeks.
Method: Spread pancakes singly over cold working surface. Mix together in a bowl the shrimps, mayonnaise, anchovy puree, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and the whipped cream. Add a generous pinch of pepper and mix all together thoroughly. Divide equally across centres of all pancakes. Spread to within minimum 1" of edges. Roll up into cylinders. Butter a shallow rectangular or oval dish large enough to accommodate the 12 cylinders. Arrange in line down centre. Mix remaining parsley with single cream, or top-of-the-milk and pour over pancakes. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover with piece of kitchen foil. Bake at Gas Mark 4 (355° F), centre shelf until piping hot (approximately 15-20 minutes). NOTE: This dish can be prepared, refrigerated for up to 12 hours and then baked immediately prior to service.
Presentation and garnish
The Casserolettes can be made to simulate miniature (edible) casseroles with (edible) spoons. Just gather up the pastry paste trimmings, roll out to a 1/8" thickness. Take a cardboard spoon of the kind supplied with ice cream tubs. Place on the paste and draw round. Remove pattern, detach spoon from surrounding paste and make as large a hole as possible in the 'handle' — remembering that paste contracts during baking! Lay at least 12 spoons on a lightly floured baking sheet. Bake at Gas Mark 5 (380° F) one shelf above centre until golden brown. This only takes a few minutes. When casserolettes are almost cooked slip them back into the oven to warm through on lowest shelf. When casserolettes are arranged on their individual plates or serving dish, drive a spoon into the side of each one and send to table. Eat these with a fork.
Crepes. Serve from baking dish or hand this round with, ideally, a large fork and tablespoon. Eat with a fork.
The little pastry spoons are fragile. Be wise: make more than you need as they tend to break while removing from baking sheet.
Pre-cooking the actual casserolettes and re-heating at Gas Mark 1 (290° F) centre shelf takes nothing from the flavour. The only snag is that the golden brown domes tend to collapse and once down will not rise again!
Dry white wines are the only possible accompaniment to these three fish dishes. If you wish to be very fastidious, there is a claim for choosing a slightly more lusty wine of this type to accompany the Casserolettes de Fruits de Mer and the shrimp-filled pancakes than the one which complements the more delicate sole filling. We suggest for this latter a Chablis, a light Moselle or a Pouilly-Fuisse and for the former a Pouilly-Fume, one of the Montrachets or a Meursault. On the most modest level you can team any of them with a dry white Portuguese Dao or even a Spanish Chablis-type. If anyone queries your use of the word 'type' in this context, explain to them that true Chablis can only come from the Chablis region of northern Burgundy. Chilling of all these wines before service is precisely as explained in Programme 1 for white aperitif wines.
If you are fortunate enough to possess an elaborate assortment of wine glasses, you can serve a Moselle or hock in a long-stemmed 'hock' glass, provided the bowl of the glass is uncut and uncoloured, or you will be perfectly correct if you serve it in a 6 2/3 fluid oz plain 'tulip' glass. Indeed you will be perfectly correct if you use this type of glass for every table wine and in so doing, you can confidently serve them all to the greatest wine connoisseurs in the world.