Stuffed sole fillets and honey glazed new turnips

For this recipe, I wanted to use those beautiful white baby turnips, with their beautiful greens, bought at the farmers' market. Just to give you a hint, you can eat them raw, like a radish without the pepperiness, they are sweet and delicious.

But I was also, very remotely and freely, inspired by the fillet of sole stuffed with crayfish recipe by 3-star chef Éric Fréchon... A very sophisticated recipe involving crayfish, lobster coral powder, fine chicken stuffing with morels, a lightly creamed fish bone reduction, using sous-vide to firm up his stuffed fillet (ftr, this is the very first time that I saw a recipe by a 2 or star chef using sous-vide apart from stocking purposes, and it is not for cooking)… Probably one of the most sophisticated recipe I have even seen. So, obviously, my goal was not to replicate, or even, to try to mimic it. I was just interested in the sole fillet stuffing process, which I adapted with my own means (freezing instead of sous-viding…). Although the results has obviously nothing to do with the original Fréchon’s recipe (see, “pour le plaisir des yeux”, the picture below), I enjoy this dish a lot: the mushroom-sorrel-turnip green-goat cheese stuffing was perfect to enhance the delicacy of the sole fillets, and the glazed turnips were like… bonbons!!!

Definitely one of what I call my “wow dishes”, where the taste overcome my own expectations! 

Levels of difficulty

60 minutes
10 minutes
45 minutes

Ingredients 2 servings

§  4 sole fillets
§  8 (or more!) baby turnips with their greens
§  A big handful of sorrel leaves
§  An assortment of mushrooms (here, beech, portobello, shitake) finely shopped
§  1 shallot
§  ¼ red onion, roughly cut
§  2 tbsp. of honey
§  1 cup of goat milk (or normal milk)
§  1 oz. of fresh goat cheese
§  1 egg
§  Butter
§  Grated lemon rind
§  Piment d’Espelette
§  Salt
§  Edible flowers

1.     Honey glazed turnips
§  Remove the greens from the turnips, and separate the leaves from the stems
§  Make a quick (or improvised!) broth with the stems, the onion, the mushroom stems, and any other broth flavoring ingredients you may have (carrots, celeriac, celery…)… or use a ready-to-use vegetable broth
§  Brush vigorously the turnips. Normally, such “young” turnips don’t need to be peeled. This was the case here. Otherwise, peel them. Keep them whole.
§  Heat a generous quantity of butter in a pan till it becomes foamy and keep it at this texture and temperature. Add the turnips and cook/coat them in this butter for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tbsp. of honey and keep cooking/coating for another couple of minutes
§  Add the broth so that it covers around 2/3 of the turnips. Make a parchment circle, with a chimney in its center, of around the size of your pan. Place it on top of the turnips, and let simmer/reduce, just turning regularly the turnips. Simmer for around 20/30 minutes (depending on the size of the turnips) or when the turnips become tender in their center
§  Remove the possible remaining broth, leaving only the quantity to cover the bottom of the pan, add the second tbsp. of honey and a tbsp. of butter, and let reduce, coating regularly the turnips into this “juice”. When it is quasi reduced, add a tbsp. of water to finish the glazing. Reserve the turnips and the glazing.

2.     Stuffed sole fillets
§  Salt the sole fillets and keep them in the fridge for one hour so that their flesh firm up
§  Make a duxelles of mushrooms (beech, portobello, shitake) and gently sauté it in "foaming" butter with shallots
§  Blanch the turnip leaves in boiling water for less than 1 minute, then plunge them in iced water; poach the sorrel leaves in lukewarm milk (maybe 160 F), the important thing being not to boil the milk otherwise the sorrel will turn khaki. In this mixture, the sorrel leaves bring their acidity and the turnip leaves help fixing the green color while, surprisingly enough, bringing some sweetness. Mix the turnip greens and the sorrel together in a blender. Strain those greens, keep the “green juice” and the equivalent of 1 or 2 tbsp. of the “green purée” for a sauce later on. Mix the rest of the “green purée” with the goat cheese.
§  Add the green purée to the duxelles, adjust the seasoning (pepper and salt, moderately, as the sole fillets are salted) add an egg white (keep the yolk), and let cool down
§  Put a fillet on a cling film, spread a strip of the mushroom filling on it, place another fillet on top, wrap tightly the whole in the film and make two tight knots at both ends. Reserve 5 to 10 minutes in the freezer to firm it up.
§  Steam those wraps above boiling water for 10 minutes or in a preheated steaming oven at 375 for 15 minutes, and let rest for a few minutes… in order not to burn yourself when opening the wrap.

3.     Sorrel and turnip leaves “green” sauce
§  Mix the spared green purée and green juice in a blender to give it smooth coulis texture
§  Put it in a pan and heat it up to reduce it a bit if it is too liquid, adjust the seasoning
§  Out of the burner, add the yolk to the sauce and stir/whisk it vigorously

4.     Plating (as an example)
§  With a brush, make a green strip on the plate with the green sauce
§  Plate the stuffed fillets on the strip
§  Placed the honey glazed turnips on the green strip, aligned with the fillets (2+2 or 3+1)
§  Disposed a few edible flowers here and there

Fillet of sole stuffed with crayfish by Éric Fréchon