As I was writing the menu for Wayfare Tavern, I needed some historical dishes to support my concept of an old American tavern that might have been there since the late 1890s. That search led me to Sole Bonne Femme, a dish that was served at San Francisco’s grand Palace Hotel built in 1875. I’ve put a modern stamp on the dish but at its heart this version is classic and true.
Place a deep skillet over medium heat and add
Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and white pepper and sprinkle the second side with the thyme leaves. Roll the fillets tightly, enclosing the thyme leaves, and use a toothpick to secure each roll. Gently slip the fish rolls into the liquid, making sure they are submerged. Cook over low heat with the liquid at a bare simmer, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through but not falling apart.
While the fish cooks, set another skillet over high heat and add a 2-count of olive oil. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, then add the remaining
Use a slotted spoon to transfer each fish roll to a plate or shallow bowl. Remove the toothpicks. Spoon a few tablespoons of the poaching liquid over each serving and top with the sautéed mushrooms and sage.
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