Dover Sole Ballotine A La Polonaise Recipe

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HERE AGAIN we are inspired to explore a classic French recipe and add our own twist. The concept of cauliflower à la Polonaise, a simple recipe involving a sprinkle of hard-boiled eggs, is reinvented as the accompaniment for an elegant sole cylinder stuffed with a delicate fish mousse and topped with a caper and Marcona almond gremolata, a chopped herb condiment. The saltiness of the capers nicely offsets the subtlety of the fish.
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For the Dover Sole
  1. Chill the bowl and blade of a food processor. Trim the ends and sides of 8 sole fillets to square them off and lightly score the skin side of each fillet (this will help prevent them from curling while cooking). Dice the trim and remaining 4 fillets and transfer to the chilled food processor with the egg, 1¼ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon piment d’Espelette, and pulse until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and with the machine running, stream in the heavy cream to make a smooth mousse. Pass the mousse through a fine-meshed drum sieve, transfer to a piping bag with a ½-inch-diameter tip, and reserve, chilled.
  2. Season the scored sides of the sole fillets lightly with salt, pepper, and piment d’Espelette. Horizontally lay 1 fillet, seasoned side up, on a 12-inch sheet of plastic wrap. Pipe a line of mousse across the top. Lay a second fillet, seasoned side down, on top, with its thicker end meeting the bottom fillet’s thinner end. Tightly roll the fish in the plastic to form a cylinder and tie off the ends. Repeat with the remaining fish to make 4 rolls; reserve, chilled.
For the Cauliflower Puree and Gratin
  1. Cut at least eight 1-inch cubes from the cauliflower head so that the cubes can stand with the florets facing upward. Preheat a steam oven or stovetop steamer, add the cubes, and steam for 6 to 8 minutes, until easily pierced with a cake tester. Reserve, chilled.
  2. Trim 2 tablespoons tiny cauliflower florets from the remaining cauliflower and reserve for the gremolata. Chop the rest of the cauliflower with the stem into small dice and transfer to a small saucepan. Add the milk and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. With a slotted spoon, scoop the cauliflower into a blender and puree with just enough of its cooking liquid to form a thick puree. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce and pass through a fine-meshed sieve; reserve, chilled.
  3. Up to 1 hour before serving, season the cauliflower cubes with salt and pepper and stand upright on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the yolks, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer and place the bowl on top. Heat the mixture, whisking continuously, until thickened and pale but not curdled (155°F). Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the 2 cups warm melted butter until well emulsified, to make a hollandaise sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep in a warm place, covered.
For the Caper-Almond Gremolata
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the egg and season with salt and pepper. Separate the egg yolk from the white, press both through a fine-meshed drum sieve, and reserve, chilled.
For the Potato Tempura
  1. Melt the clarified butter in a medium saucepan. With a mandoline, slice the potato lengthwise into ⅛-inch slices. Cut at least eight 1-inch triangles from the slices. Season the triangles with salt and pepper and submerge them in the butter. Cook at just below a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Strain the potatoes onto a paper towel–lined plate and pat dry. When ready to serve, fill one-third of a medium saucepan with canola oil and heat to 350°F. Individually coat the potatoes in the tempura batter and fry until golden brown (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer to a paper towel–lined tray and sprinkle with salt.
For the Glazed Romanesco
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water on the side. Cut at least twelve 1-inch-tall florets from the romanesco, trimming the stems so that they can stand. Trim 2 tablespoons of ¼-inch florets from the remaining romanesco. Boil the large florets for 3 minutes, or until tender, then chill in the ice water; strain and pat dry. Boil the ¼-inch florets for 15 seconds, then chill in the ice water; strain and pat dry. When ready to serve, in a small sauté pan, melt the butter with the chicken stock. Add the large romanesco florets and cook, stirring, until heated through and glazed; toss in the ¼-inch florets. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed and keep warm.
To Finish
  1. Preheat the broiler. Using an immersion circulator, preheat a water bath to 145°F. Alternately, preheat a large saucepan filled halfway with water to 145°F, and maintain the temperature as best as possible using a stem thermometer. Transfer the cauliflower puree to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir to heat through. Spoon the hollandaise sauce onto the cubed cauliflower to coat and broil until the sauce is browned.
  2. Submerge the fish in the prepared water bath and cook for 9 minutes, or until just cooked (you can check with a cake tester or stem thermometer; it should reach 140°F internally). Remove the fish, trim the ends, remove from the plastic, season with salt and pepper, and brush with the melted butter. Evenly divide the gremolata, a sprinkle of egg, and a few tiny romanesco florets into a neat layer on top of each fish portion.
  3. For each serving, spread a spoonful of cauliflower puree in a rectangular shape the length of the fish onto the bottom of a warm dinner plate. Place the fish on top. Alternate 3 glazed romanesco, 2 cauliflower gratin cubes, and 2 pieces of potato tempura in a line parallel to the fish.