Auguste Escoffier created Sole Véronique in 1898 at the London Carlton Hotel to celebrate the popular comedic opera Véronique. It is a delightful recipe where fresh sole is paired with a creamy sauce balanced with lightly sweet yet tart green grapes and the distinctively French accent of fresh tarragon.
Les Dames d’Escoffier is a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. We will be holding our Annual Conference in Newport Beach, CA the weekend of October 26-29. I am looking forward to attending some of the seminars and volunteering at the event.
I thought it would be fun to adapt an Escoffier recipe in celebration of our conference. I chose Sole Véronique as a way to use some of the grapes I had from the last photoshoot “Grape Still Life.”
Sole Véronique Recipe
- 1 lb. fresh skinless boneless sole fillets (we like petrale sole)
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- wondra (finely milled flour)
- clarified butter
- 2 T. shallot, minced
- 8 oz. dry white wine
- 3 T. creme fraiche
- approx. 8 green grapes, sliced
- 1 t. tarragon, chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Rinse and dry the fish with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1/16 inch clarified butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Lightly coat the fish with flour, shaking off any excess. Immediately add fillets to the pan without crowding. Sauté until lightly browned on one side then carefully flip and cook the other side. Remove fish to a platter. Keep warm.
Add shallot to the pan and cook until soft. Then add wine and reduce by half. Lower the heat, whisk in creme fraiche. Add grapes and tarragon. Adjust seasoning. Serve sauce over fish. Garnish with tarragon sprigs.
This is a loose adaptation of the original recipe where the fish is poached and the poaching liquid is used to make the sauce finished with heavy cream.