11-25: Best Ever Sole Au Gratin

This recipe is already setting high expectations with the title 11-25: Best Ever Sole Au Gratin, and I’m not here to completely dash those hopes. This is a pretty decent fish recipe, as those go (I’m usually wary of home-cooked fish recipes), but it’s nothing spectacular, despite Simply Delicious’ assertions. ?

This one gets fancy with the piping bag and tips for the potatoes. I still haven’t replaced my piping/pastry bag set-up since it all failed during the making of 17-52: Apricot Macaroons for the holidays last year (2015). Since I’ve yet to replace it, I’ll have to get creative again.

From this side of the card it’s obvious that this one’s been cooked before–that’s my mom’s handwriting, and judging by the date (10/19/2000), she made it when I was in the 10th grade, about a year after we had moved into a new house. This was probably a dinner attempt one night that took her longer than anticipated, judging by her noted emphasis on the length of cooking time.

Ingredients. The mushrooms I used for this were half maitake and half shitake–between the market and the CSA I end up with a few different varieties sometimes. I’m using this lame shrimp meat for this recipe–it’s not exactly fresh or gourmet, but as long as it’s not the featured part of the dish I don’t see it as the biggest culinary crime ever committed. LF milk for whipping cream, as we do sometimes.

I included chicken bouillon in the ingredients shot (which is what my mom subbed in when she made it, according to her notations), but I actually tracked down some fish bouillon (from Portugal, I think) on Amazon because some of the recipes in this project have been calling for it.

It’s surprisingly hard to find in regular supermarkets around here, but I haven’t hit the Asian ones yet–I bet I’d find some there. A secondary search turns up this stuff too, which I like in theory, but tend to pass on due to limited refrigerator space.

Shot/bowl #84794 of chopped yellow onions.

Boiling the spuds for mashed potatoes.

Added in my mushroom medley.

Made the roux, added the milk/cream and whisked it together with the fish stock.

Drained the now-soft potatoes so that they can be mashed. Doing so in the pot they were cooked in is the easiest.

Topped the taters with an egg yolk before mashing. You can add yours in after mashing, if you want.

Filled my seasoned sole fillets with the mushroom & onion mixture.

Rolled & ready for what comes next–sauce & shrimp.

Warming up my semi-frozen shrimp meat in the pan I cooked the veggies in–maybe that will redeem them somewhat.

Ok, those look somewhat more appetizing now.

I’ll spare you the messy details of assembling this beast, but I basically put my shrimp on top of the fish, poured the fish sauce on top, and then used a plastic gallon bag with the corner cut off (a poor man’s pastry bag) to “pipe” the potato around the edges. I finished it with the cheese covering the middle. Here goes nothing.

A bit messy, but definitely some good color. Once you pull it off the sheet pan and wipe the sides (something I should have done before taking the picture), it’s not a terrible looking dish. Taste-wise, it worked pretty well. I haven’t had many sole-au-gratins, but this one was pretty decent. “Best ever” remains to be seen. ?

Grade: A-