751 Velouté d’Eperlans

Method

Stew together 150 g (5 oz) fillets of smelt; 350 g (13 oz) flesh of whiting, John Dory or sole; 100g ( oz) finely chopped onion, the juice of half a lemon and 100 g ( oz) butter. Add 1 litre ( pt or U.S. cups) Ordinary Velouté or milk panada made by adding 150 g (5 oz) white breadcrumbs to 9 dl (1⅗ pt or 4 U.S. cups) boiling milk.

Finish cooking these ingredients together and pass them through a fine sieve. Adjust the consistency with dl (9 fl oz or 1⅛ U.S. cups) fish stock made from sole bones, pass through a fine strainer and reheat without boiling. Finish with the liaison of 6 egg yolks and 2 dl (7 fl oz or U.S. cup) cream and 150 g (5 oz) butter; season lightly with Cayenne.

Observations concerning the preparation of Velouté d’Eperlans and other Veloutés made of fish

  • Because the flavour of smelts can be almost disagreeable, the proportions of the flesh of this fish should not exceed a third of the total required. The other two-thirds of flesh should be obtained from such fish as whiting, sole or particularly John Dory all of which have a fairly neutral flavour thus preventing the flavour of the smelts being too pronounced.

  • The use of Ordinary Velouté or milk panada as indicated in the observations concerning the theory of thick soups instead of Fish Velouté is recommended for making fish Velouté soups; this obviates a too pronounced flavour of fish. The milk panada is most suitable for all kinds of fish Velouté soups.

  • The garnish of the above Velouté should be very small Quenelles made from a mixture of half smelt and cream forcemeat and half whiting or sole and cream forcemeat.

  • All fish Velouté soups and those Veloutés moistened with fish stock should be prepared as quickly as possible and served immediately. If allowed to rest they are likely to separate and lose their flavour; it is therefore recommended that these fish-based Veloutés should not be started more than half an hour before they are required for service.

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