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Sole Veronique

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 sole fillets, about 3/4-inch thick, rinsed well and patted dry
  • Salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 cup Champagne
  • 1 cup dry white wine, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup halved seedless white grapes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 heads fennel, slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  • For the Braised Fennel: In a saute pan, add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the fennel and toss to coat well. Add the white wine and lemon juice and cover. Cook until the fennel is very tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly season both sides of the fillets with salt and white pepper.
  • Combine the Champagne, 1 cup wine, bay leaf, lemon juice, and black peppercorns in a large, shallow saute pan. Arrange the fillets in a single layer in the pan and if necessary, add enough water to come up the sides of the fish, up to 1 cup. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the fish is just barely cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a spatula and place in a baking dish. Cover to keep warm. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container and let cool.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, constantly to form a light roux, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of reduced cooking liquid and the remaining 1/4 cup wine, and cook over low heat, whisking, until well incorporated and thick. Remove from the heat and add the cream, whisking. Return to the heat and cook, whisking, until thickened and reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the tarragon, and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
  • Preheat the broiler. Pour the sauce and grapes over the fish fillets and run under the broiler until golden brown and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven. Divide the fennel, fillets, sauce and grapes among 4 dinner plates and serve immediately.