Phyllo-Crusted Dover Sole with Crab Brandade, Dijon Beurre Blanc and Haricots Verts

Recipe courtesy Chef Michael Mina

Note: when making this recipe, get all the components together and then prepare the fish last. For more information visit

Serves 4

Phyllo-Crusted Dover Sole

  • 1/2 package phyllo pastry sheets
  • 4 fillets Dover sole, skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 cup clarified butter
  • Crab Brandade (recipe follows)
  • Haricots Verts with Horseradish Cream (recipe follows)
  • Dijon Beurre Blanc (recipe follows)

To make the phyllo-crusted Dover sole, separate the layers of the phyllo and lay out on the counter overnight to dry completely. Once it is completely brittle, crush it into small pieces with your hands. Spread the phyllo crumbs on a shallow platter.

Season the sole on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip the fish into the beaten egg whites to coat completely, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge both sides of the fish in the crushed phyllo, evenly covering the surface. Press firmly to insure that the crust sticks.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Working in 2 batches; add the clarified butter to the pan and wait until it just begins to smoke. Carefully lay 2 fillets in the hot pan. Saute until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over with a spatula and cook the other side for another 3 minutes until a crisp crust forms. Remove to a side plate and repeat with the remaining 2 fillets, adding more butter as needed.

Crab Brandade

  • 1 Dungeness crab, (about 1 1/2 pounds), live
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 cups heavy ream
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 pound Dungeness crab meat, pickled over for shells
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 Russet potatoes, peeled

To make the crab cream for the brandade, it is important that the crab be raw to infuse the deepest flavor into the cream. You can ask your fishmonger to clean the crab for you. It is best that once the crab is cleaned, it be cooked right away. Using a meat mallet, crack the body and legs of the crab.

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium flame. When the oil is hazy, add the onions, garlic, and pieces of cracked crab. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the crab cream through a fine mesh sieve and reserve warm.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil, uncovered. Simmer until there is no resistance when a fork is inserted into the potatoes, about 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and while they are still hot, process through a food mill or ricer into a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

To put it all together, stir the crab cream into the mashed potatoes, 1 cup at a time. Continue to combine until all the cream is absorbed and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Fold in the crabmeat being sure to break it up and distribute evenly. Adjust seasoning as needed and hold the crab brandade warm.

Haricots Verts with Horseradish Cream

  • 1/2 pound haricots verts (French green beans), ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the haricots verts with horseradish cream, first blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the beans for only 30 seconds, they become tender very quickly. Drain the beans and plunge in an ice bath to "shock" them, i.e. stop the cooking process and cool them down right away. This procedure also sets the vibrant color of the green beans. Drain the blanched beans and reserve. Just before serving, heat the green beans in melted butter to warm through.

To make the horseradish cream, whip together the Mascarpone and horseradish in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Dijon Beurre Blanc

  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh preferable
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, cold and cut in chunks
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

To make the Dijon beurre blanc, combine the aromatics: the shallots, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns, in a sauce pan with the white wine and vinegar. Simmer over medium heat to infuse and reduce until the liquid is almost totally evaporated. Stir in the cream and cook down until reduced again by half. Turn the heat to low and slowly whisk in the butter, 1 or 2 chunks at a time. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated, producing a creamy emulsified sauce. Whisk in the mustard, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and keep warm. Stir in chopped parsley just before serving.

To serve, spoon an oval pile of the crab brandade in the center of each plate. Lay a fillet of Dover sole on top. Garnish the fish with a few pieces of haricot verts and a dollop or quenelle of horseradish mascarpone. Spoon some of the Dijon beurre blanc around the dish to finish it off.

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