Nage de Poisson Recipe
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Paule Caillat of Promenades Gourmandes, which offers cooking classes and market tours in Paris, suggests drinking a white wine, something slightly ‘mineral’ and dry like a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley or a Sancerre with this French Atlantic coast dish. Since "nage" means swimming in French, the recipe's name comes from the idea that the fish are 'swimming' in the aromatic poaching liquid (the equivalent of a court-bouillon). -- Yasmin Fahr
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, julienned
- 2 carrots, julienned
- ½ celery or 1 fennel, julienned
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove, sprout removed, minced finely
- 1 shallot, minced
- A few saffron threads or a pinch of powdered saffron
- 1 bouquet garni*
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- 4 fillets of fish, salmon , white fish (such as monkfish) or seafood such as scallops, shrimp
- Parsley, chervil or chives
*Note: A bundle of herbs, parsley stems, 1 bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, tied together.
In a pot, bring 1 cup wine and water to a boil and cook for 3 minutes to evaporate the wine's acidity.
Over low heat, melt the butter in a pan, add the vegetables, season with salt and sweat until tender, adding the minced shallot and garlic after a few minutes.
Add half of the wine/water combination, the saffron, the bouquet garni, cook a few more minutes, then remove the bouquet garni.
Remove the vegetables, still slightly al dente, and save in a warm spot. Strain the cooking liquid into a pot.
Bring this liquid to a boil, add the crème fraîche and reduce to the desired consistency (the longer it boils, the thicker the sauce.)
Add the remaining cup wine to the pan, and, when simmering, add the fish or seafood and cook until done, which will depend on the thickness of the fillets or the seafood.
Serve the nage on a serving dish or on individual plates. Place the vegetables on the plate first, then the fish over the vegetables and top the fish with the sauce.
Garnish with parsley or chervil or chopped chives
What is Salted Fish-Poisson Salé?
Salted fish is fish cured with dry salt and thus preserved for later eating. Commonly known as Snoek, slated fish has a very distinctive taste. In Mauritius, the salted fish can be found in various dishes. From the popular rougaille to the fried rice or to simple a chatini accompanying another dish, the salted fish remains a must taste dish while visiting the beautiful island of Mauritius. If ever you want to try to cook some by yourself… Here is our selection of recipes just for you Creole food lovers.
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Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
Feather light, fluffy fish dumplings bathed in a creamy, intense shellfish sauce -- quenelles Nantua is a legendary dish and one of the highlights of French regional cooking. Chefs strove to perfect their quenelles, knowing their career would look up if they could get them just right. And the classic dish, which has all but disappeared in the United States, is making a comeback in France, where it’s on the menu in half a dozen trendy Parisian bistros.
Traditional ones have reappeared, such as herbed fish quenelles in white-wine-butter sauce or quenelles of chicken breast in Madeira sauce with wild mushrooms. And new spins include tuna quenelles with shrimp in a miso broth.
At fashionable Galeries Lafayette, a department store with an impressive food hall, a whole counter is devoted to “Soupe de Poissons et Quenelles” -- snowy white quenelles made of the traditional pike, or trendy ones dyed a stark black with squid ink. Baby quenelles are ready to float in bowls of fish soup, and giant ones invite a classic coating of lobster sauce or a creme fraiche-laden puree of morels. But still most popular of all, says cheerful Henri behind the counter, are crayfish quenelles in luscious sauce Nantua, a recipe that dates back at least 200 years.
The finest quenelles are light as a cloud, a sumptuous combination of pureed white fish, egg whites, the same choux pastry that is used for cream puffs and heaping spoonfuls of thick cream. It’s the choux dough that inflates as well as binds the mixture, a trick of classically trained chefs.
Equally crucial to a luxurious dish of quenelles is the sauce (there should be lots of it) -- maybe a fish veloute or simple cream sauce with a bit of cheese, but the queen of them all is Nantua. This aromatic essence of crayfish is extracted by simmering the shells with a mirepoix of onion and carrot, white wine and fish stock. What more could be needed but a final swirl of butter?
Once tasted, never forgotten. My perfect quenelle memory revolves around a back street bistro and a hefty cylinder of fragrant fish in a lake of sauce. With a basket of fresh baguette, this was a main course for me, though I noticed my French neighbors awarded them appetizer status. So popular are quenelles in their native habitat, the chilly town of Nantua to the east of Lyon, that locals bring them as a dinner gift to thank their host instead of a bouquet of flowers.
When making the dough, lightness and flavor must be balanced against a tendency for such a delicate mixture to fall apart during cooking. I start with the binder, the choux pastry. Choux is based on a combination of butter, flour and water cooked to a stiff paste (a panade) on the stovetop. Then eggs are added. When baked, or poached in water in the case of quenelles, the eggs puff and lighten the dough.
For the fish, full-flavored pike is customary, as its white, close-textured flesh holds the dumpling together well. Sea fish such as flounder, sole or sea bass are less traditional (Nantua is hundreds of miles from the sea). Salmon quenelles emerge pale peach-pink. When served in Nantua sauce, chicken or veal quenelles are as delicious as fish, so boneless chicken breast or veal escalope can be substituted.
Pureeing the fish takes only a minute or two in a food processor. Working the puree through a tamis sieve ensures a silken texture and removes any tiny bones (pike is a culprit in this regard).
Egg whites go in next. Some cooks omit the choux pastry and rely on whites alone to bind the quenelles. Not me. I find egg-white-based quenelles granular and soggy, and such a mixture, technically called a mousseline, is better baked in a mold.
Quenelles are cooked, like poached eggs, in a large shallow pan of simmering water. The characteristic oval that results when shaping with two spoons has become so popular that pates (and ice cream and mousses) are shaped the same way. A tablespoon is the most common size, but mini-quenelles are good for garnishing soup. The traditional dumpling from Nantua, a 6-inch cylinder, is readily available in French supermarkets and exported to Paris and beyond.
For sauce Nantua, the trick is to extract maximum flavor from the crayfish. They look like tiny lobsters, and like lobsters, they must be alive when you cook them. Tiger shrimp are an alternative (the bigger the better) they must be raw and come with their heads, but can be frozen.
The crayfish are simmered, then shelled to extract the tail meat. All of the heads, bodies and shells with their juice are valuable for the sauce and so are set aside to pound and simmer again in the cooking liquid. The sauce is then a simple matter of binding the ambrosial juices with creme fraiche and a butter-flour roux.
With these two preparations in hand, the cooked quenelles and the crayfish sauce, presentation is a matter of choice. The elegant option calls for individual porcelain baking dishes. I prefer rustic terracotta. A single, family-size baking dish can be substituted. All should be deep enough for a generous layer of sauce that will bubble around the edge.
As you may have gathered, quenelles Nantua take half a day to create, but they have the enviable advantage of waiting peacefully in the refrigerator for a day or more, needing only to be quickly baked before serving. In brisk heat, quenelles puff like tiny souffles and arrive at the table lightly browned in a bubbling lake of fragrant sauce, a triumph indeed.
Soupe De Poisson
In the large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, leeks, and fennel and let them sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, then add the small fish. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups of water, as well as the bouquet garni and orange zest. Stir well add the saffron, salt and pepper, and Pernod. Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool slightly. Taking care not to splatter or scald yourself, strain the liquid into the large bowl. In the pot, crush the heads, bones, and vegetables as much as possible, then pass that through the food mill in batches. Return to the pot along with the strained broth.
Bring the soup back up to heat and serve with croutons, rouille, and some grated Parmesan on the side. The idea is to smear a little rouille on the croutons, float them in the soup as a garnish, and allow guests to sprinkle cheese as they wish.
Poisson Gros Sel or Coarse Salt Fish
Poisson Gros Sel or Coarse Salt Fish is a very popular dish in Haiti. As it is a wonderful way to prepare fish, it is also one of the unique ways to appreciate the taste of fresh fish. The dish is traditionally prepared with coarse sea salt (gros sel found in Haiti) and a mixture of fresh herbs.
Over the years and because of the scarcity of certain products, people have learned to substitute and replace. It is said that the gros sel found in Haiti is very similar to regular sea salt. But in my opinion, in terms of flavor, the taste is similar to Fleur de Sel which is “is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans.” (Wikipedia, 2014)
Poisson Gros Sel made with Fleur de Sel is more flavorful than the regular sea salt in my opinion. Of course, as there are many brands of sea salts, there are also many brands of fleur de sel. The tastier the salt the more expensive it is. Finding the right salt is only a matter of choice. Only taste is important and finding the right one is not only a monetary choice but a palette choice as well. Choose wisely!
Poisson Gross Sel is made with any meaty fish that will absorb the fresh spices. Such variety may be snapper, barracuda, or kingfish. But any other similar type will work as well and as long as the fish as a lot of flesh and tiny bones. My preferred choice is snapper (pink or blue) and barracuda. The dish can also be prepared with swordfish, and again it is by choice. This one is not my personal favorite because I find the texture to be firmer than other types of fish.
The dish is prepared with fresh spices such as scallion, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, and scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper. Additionally, a mixture of salted seasoning salt is added. Many add chicken bouillon. My prepared choice is a good brand of fish seasoning for more flavoring.
I will sometimes bypass the fish seasoning if I am preparing the fish with Fleur de Sel because of the bold flavors released by the salt. The fish is marinated for a long time and slowly cooked to preserve texture. The sauce is separately made with the fish marinate and poured over the fish as the final step. A spicy and flavorful way to cook fresh fish!
Amok (Papillote de poisson)
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- 1 tige de citronnelle fraîche, coupée en tronçons
- 50 g d'échalotes
- 1 piment doux, épépiné
- 10 g de galanga
- 3 feuilles de kaffir
- 350 g de lait de coco (1 boîte)
- 600 g de poisson, coupé en dés
- 20 g de sauce de poisson (nuoc-mâm)
- 6 feuilles de bananier (voir "Conseil(s)")
- 200 g de feuilles d'épinards frais
- 200 g de chou chinois, émincé
- 30 g de cacahuètes, grillées et salées
- 12 feuilles de basilic thaï frais
- 300 g de riz thaï
- 1000 g d⟪u
Cassoulet De Poissons (Fish Casserole)
1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover. Drain and rinse. transfer to a large saucepan and cover with 4 to 5 inches of fresh cold water. Peel the whole onion and stud with the clove and add to the pan along with the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and skim the froth that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt. Add the carrots and continue simmering until the carrots and beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain discard the bouquet garni and the onion.
2. While the beans are cooking, heat 3 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the chopped onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until tender but not colored. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Clean the trout (or whiting) and cut into 1 inch slices. Cut the monkfish fillets into 1 inch thick slices. Cut the scallops in half cross-wise. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the trout (or whiting) slices and saute until golden brown on both sides set aside. Brown the monkfish and sliced scallops in the same way set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 450F
5. Combine the tomato mixture and drained beans in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spread one-half of the mixture over the bottom of a 10x15" gratin dish. Arrange the fish and scallops on top and cover with the remaining bean mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 10-15 minutes. F
Coconut Fish Curry | Cari de Poisson
When the sun dips low and spreads her rouge all over the sky, I enjoy knowing that this glorious watercolor of light travels around the world like a comet, leaving behind a glowing trail for all to see.
No matter where they are from, or where they are going.
The sun has universal beauty.
Mahe Beach on sunset, Seychelles. Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki.
It makes me smile to know that, somewhere in the Seychelles – half a world away – they, too, see her rose and curried colors curl through the clouds, right before bedtime. And I imagine that maybe, just maybe, they watch the darkening sky at the edge of their sandy shores, while spooning Coconut Fish Curry among friends.
Considering fish curry is one of the most popular recipes in this African island nation, this is a gamble I’m willing to take.
Everyone on the islands, from weather-worn fishermen to stern grandmothers, serve up the day’s catch like this, with a little bit of India, China, and France, in the form of homemade curry powder (called massalé), fresh ginger, garlic, and thyme.
Hello. Three continents in one bite. That’s a mighty recipe. Quite the culinary crossroads.
A creamy, cooling swirl of coconut milk usually makes it’s way into the simmering mix, too.
For now, feel free to play with the quantities of spice and tamarind- the full amounts are quite unapologetic, which is grand if you’re used to such flavors. Which, if you’re not, you can be… simply by trying.
Traditional Seychellois proverb with a striking sunset at Anse Sévère, La Digue, Seychelles, photo by Tobias Alt.
2 lbs firm fleshed fish, like snapper or Burumundi
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 Tbsp homemade massalé (stay tuned for this recipe)
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 tsp dried thyme leaves (or fresh, if you have it)
1-2 Tbsp tamarind paste (I like just 1)
1 can light coconut milk (water could be used here instead)
Roasted Serranos, or chili peppers of choice
Let’s create a curried Sunset.
First find a darkening day, drawn with several clouds for optimal light display.
Seychelles, view from Mahe to Silhouette Island. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.
Next, soften the chopped bits of onion in oil. When they release their fragrance and are soft to the teeth, stir in the massalé and golden turmeric …
Once your pan is awash with gold, stir in the ginger, garlic, and thyme.
Cook a few moments, until the ginger and garlic lift up their aromas, then pour on the coconut milk and tamarind paste. A squeeze of lemon juice works in a pinch if you can’t find tamarind.
Season this sauce with salt and gently simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors mingle and the dried thyme soften. Then add on the fish (or whatever meat you prefer).
Fisherman and his catch, Seychelles. The fishes in this catch, including small sharks, were hooked on hand lines many miles off shore. Photo by Maxime Fayon (1977)
Cover and cook gently until tender – cooking times will vary from just a few minutes to 20 or more, depending on the cut of fish you choose. Take comfort in this: fish flakes easily with a fork when done.
Meanwhile, grill, broil, or roast some peppers for garnish and a bit of heat. You can do this in a dry comal or skillet. Simply cook on each side until charred and softened.
Serve the curry with a hearty scoop of rice and plenty of the sunset sauce.
A quenelle is an oval-shaped dumpling and can be made with fish, meat, liver, or poultry. Firm and airy — moist, dense, and light at the same time — these quenelles are made with white fish, heavy cream, and egg whites. They are perfect as a main course at a special dinner.
Since the albumin in the fish holds the quenelle mixture together, you need a species that is high in albumin and as fresh as possible. Albumin contracts when cold and, for that reason, all the ingredients should be cold so the mixture stays firm and tight. Whiting has a tender, soft flesh, while lemon sole contains plenty of albumin, so the two fish work well together. Any fresh white-fleshed fish can be tried in combination, according to availability and one’s taste.
The sauce is made with a puree of mushrooms, but other garnishes, like sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, and herbs can be substituted. The quenelles can be served individually or home-style in a gratin dish.
Serves 15 as a first course, 4 as a main course
8 ounces skinless lemon sole fillets
8 ounces skinless whiting fillets
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cups very cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 pound fish bones
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced leek (including some green)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
5 ounces mushrooms, cleaned
1 1/2 cups reduced fish stock (from above)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon arrowroot or potato starch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
FOR THE QUENELLES: Chill the bowl of a food processor. Make sure the fish are very cold.
Process the fish in the food processor until pureed. With the machine on, slowly add the cream in a thin stream, mixing until incorporated. Add the salt and pepper and process for 20 seconds, to tighten the mixture.
Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then reduce to just a simmer the water should be at least 2 inches deep. Using a large serving spoon, scoop up some of the quenelle mixture, pressing it against the side of the bowl to smooth the top. (Each quenelle should weigh about 2 ounces, and you should have at least 8.) Place a second serving spoon against the side of the mounded mixture and slide it underneath to lift up the quenelle and shape it further. Scoop up the quenelle with the other spoon again and let it drop into the hot water. Repeat the process to make more quenelles. The water should remain at about 180 degrees. (If the water boils, the quenelles will cook too fast and expand, which they should not do during this first cooking.) Poach for about 12 minutes, turning them over after 5 to 6 minutes.
When they are cooked, remove the quenelles with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. When they are cold, after about 30 minutes, drain the quenelles, arrange them on a tray, cover, and refrigerate.
FOR THE STOCK: Combine the fish bones, onion, leek, celery, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, white wine, and water in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and boil gently for 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine strainer into another saucepan. (You should have approximately 1 1/2 cups.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
FOR THE SAUCE: Process the mushrooms in the food processor until finely chopped. Add to the fish stock, along with the cream, salt, pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the dissolved arrowroot to the sauce, stir, and bring to a boil again to thicken set aside.
Arrange the quenelles in a gratin dish and coat with the warm sauce. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffy and hot shake the dish after 10 minutes to be sure the quenelles are not sticking to the bottom.
Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.