The term bonne femme means food cooked in a simple way – and it couldn’t be more true than with this easyfish dish. A creamy sauce of mushrooms, white wine and stock is the only accompaniment you need for your fish – and maybe a nice bit of crusty bread!
- 45g butter
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1-2 lemon or Dover sole, filleted and skinned
- Salt and ground white pepper
- 450ml fish stock
- 4 tbsp white wine
- 2 level tbsp plain flour
- 2 level tbsp crème fraiche
- You will also need
- Ovenproof dish, buttered
Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Melt 15g butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and 2 tbsp water. Cover the pan and cook them over a medium heat for about 5 mins, or until they’re just tender, then remove the pan from the heat.
Scatter the shallots over the base of the ovenproof dish. Fold the sole fillets in half, with the skinned-side inwards and arrange them on top of the shallots. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
Pour enough stock over the fish fillets to come about halfway up the fish, but don’t cover them completely. Cover the dish with a piece of buttered baking parchment. Bake the fish in the centre of the oven for about 15 mins, or until it just flakes when tested with a fork.
Remove the dish from the oven and lift the fish out on to kitchen paper to drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Keep the fish fillets warm while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce: Add the reserved cooking liquid to any remaining stock and add the wine, then boil the mixture rapidly to reduce it to about 300ml.
Melt the remaining butter in a pan, then stir in the flour and cook over a low heat for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the reduced fish stock into the pan, then bring it to the boil, whisking continually to give a smooth sauce, then add the crème fraiche. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the mushrooms to the pan and heat through. Season the sauce to taste and spoon over the fish.
If you have any fresh herbs, try adding a tablespoon freshly chopped dill or parsley to the sauce just before cooking.