Ballottine of Sole Sauce Emeraude
In this classic preparation, the white flesh and mild flavor of Dover sole is combined with the pink flesh and assertive taste of salmon. The dish is served cold, with an emerald-colored sauce of parsley, spinach and watercress.
- Dover sole fillets - 9, skinned (about 3 pounds)
- Eggs - 3
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salmon fillet - one, 8-ounce, cut into three 4-by-1/2-by-1/2-inch fingers
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Fresh thyme sprigs - 2
- Sauce Emeraude
- Fresh parsley sprigs - 1/2 cup, minced
- Spinach leaves - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Watercress Leaves - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Homemade Mayonnaise - 1-1/2 cups
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Carrots - 2, cut into thin carrot curls
- Tomato Roses - 8
To make the mousseline: Cut three of the sole fillets into small chunks and place them in a blender or food processor with the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper. Process for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth. Cover and refrigerate the mousseline if not using immediately.
Using the side of a cleaver, gently flatten the remaining six fillets until they are of a thin, even thickness. Spread some of the mousseline on a fillet, top with another fillet, and spread again with a thin layer of mousseline. Add one of the salmon fingers and roll the entire assembly into a tight coil. Spread some mousseline on each end of the roll and set aside. Repeat until all of the fish are rolled into three cylinders.
Wet a clean cloth kitchen towel, squeeze out all of the excess moisture, and spread it on a work surface. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the towel and lightly brush it with olive oil. Arrange the cylinders of sole on the paper end to end across the narrow edge of the paper, fitted snugly together without any space between them. Using the edges of the towel and paper to push, roll the fish tightly, then wrap it inside the paper and cloth and tie the ends and middle of the bundle with cotton string. Tie just tightly enough to hold; do not pinch the rolls.
To cook the ballottine: Use a deep saute pan or skillet wide enough to hold the ballottine without bending. Place the pan over high heat and place the ballottine into it with enough lightly salted water to cover the ballottine. Add the bay leaf and thyme. When the water comes to a boil, lower the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the ballottine from the water and drain. Cut the strings and, while it is still encased in the paper and towel, roll the ballottine even tighter. Retie it in the same three places and place back into the poaching liquid for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.
To prepare the sauce: Wrap the chopped herbs tightly in a cloth kitchen towel and twist it tightly until all the juices are extracted, catching the juices. In a small bowl, stir the juices into the mayonnaise and let stand to intensify the flavor. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne before using.
To serve: Unwrap the chilled ballottine and slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place two slices on each serving plate. Surround with some of the sauce, and garnish each with carrot curls and a tomato rose.