Beautifully appointed Sole Maître d’Hôtel

Earlier in the week I went back to my old cookery book, with no known author, Modern Practical Cookery, and looked at the section ‘A Little Dinner – for every month of the year’. January table setting – yes it includes a suggested decoration for the table, is for lilies of the valley and violets, which sounds charming and elegant. The menu has four courses, the first of which is Brussels sprouts purée – a sort of thick soup made with sprouts and milk flavoured with onion. There is no onion in the soup, it just had a brief acquaintance with the boiled, sieved sprouts and the milk they were cooked in… no, I shan’t be trying that… The next course was Sole Maître d’Hôtel, which does sound rather tasty.

Sole Maître d’Hôtel

  • 2 lemon sole – about 1 lb each, filleted and skinned both sides, washed, dried, rolled
  • ¾ oz butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ flat teaspoon of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • brown breadcrumbs
  1. arrange the sole in a buttered dish and cover with buttered paper
  2. cook in the oven for about 15 mins or until completely white, 350º F, 180º C, gas mark 4
  3. meanwhile mix the butter and parsley with a fork, work in the lemon juice, form into two pats
  4. take the fish from the oven, and roll them in the breadcrumbs to coat
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1½ oz butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1½ dsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ pint milk
  • ½ gill water
  1. melt the butter and add flour to make a roux
  2. cook for a few minutes then add the milk and water
  3. stir in and gently bring to the boil
  4. simmer for a few minutes then draw to one side
  5. stir into the sauce and let cook for a few minutes without boiling, season to taste
  6. take it off the heat and stir in the lemon juice

To serve:

  1. put the crumbed fish into a serving dish and put a parsley butter pat on each
  2. carefully pour round the sauce

This might be tweaked in a modern way, I might prefer the fish unrolled,  and I might like some different herbs, but it does sound tasty!

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