Chef: Jean-Pierre Billoux
Restaurant: Pre Aux Clercs
City: Dijon, France
Saint-Pierre (John Dory) and Vegetables with Oyster Jus
Simple, but unique: Chef Jean-Pierre Billoux uses oysters to thicken and flavor the sauce for these sauteed Saint-Pierre fillets. The fillets are topped with a crust of sauteed vegetables seasoned with a little mustard. This dish would be excellent with haricots verts, the long thin French green beans. Any firm-fleshed white fish may be used as a substitute for the Saint-Pierre.
- Large Oysters - 20 - 24 large
- Carrots - 4, cut in tiny dice (under 1/4 inch)
- Turnips - 3, cut in tiny dice (under 1/4 inch)
- Celery Stalks - 4, cut in tiny dice (under 1/4 inch)
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Onion - 1 medium, minced
- Dry Mustard - 2 teaspoons
- Saint-Pierre (John Dory) fillets, - 4, trimmed square
- Egg Whites - 2
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup
- Sweet White Wine - 1 cup
- Oyster Juice - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Chervil - 4 sprigs
Wash the oyster shells and chill the oysters in ice water to relax the muscles. Open and drain the oysters, reserving this oyster juice, or liquor. Put the oysters in the jar of a blender and chill.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the carrot, turnip, celery, shallot, and onion. Saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the dry mustard.
Put the egg whites in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Break up with a fork, beating 8 to 10 strokes. Dip a fish fillet in the egg white, then place it skin-side down on a plate. Press sauteed vegetables onto the flesh side of the fish to coat. Repeat with the other fillets.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Let the butter cook just until the solids begin to turn golden. Add the fish, skin-side down, to crisp the skin. When the skin is crisp, about 1 minute, remove the fish and set aside. Put the wine into the pan and let it bubble up and deglaze the pan; stir up the browned bits. Add the oyster juice and water. Return the fillets to the pan, cover with foil, and cook over medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fish is just done through. Lift the fillets out and set aside on a warm plate; tent loosely with foil. Put the pan back over the heat, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook for about 2 minutes to reduce the juice.
Put the blender jar with the oysters onto the blender base. Pour in the pan juices and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and stir in the lemon juice.
To serve: Place a piece of fish in the center of each warmed serving plate. Pour the oyster juice around the fillets. Garnish each with a chervil sprig.