Friday, March 14, 2008

Fish Recipe

Since a few of you asked for that fish recipe I made the other day, here it is! I got the recipe from Cuisine TV. Eric Léautey did a show this winter about fish, and this was one of the recipes he did.

Le merlan
(image from

It's made with merlan, a white fish found off the European coast in the Atlantic. I don't know if it's available in the US, or even what it would be called, but I suspect you could use any firm white-fleshed fish for this dish and it would be great.

Merlans à la moutarde
Merlan with mustard

3 shallots
200 g button mushrooms
two merlan fillets (or your favorite firm white fish)
1 tblsp dijon mustard
100 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
2-3 tblsp butter
salt and pepper

Finely chop the shallots. Chop the mushrooms into a duxelle (use the food processor if you have one). Lightly sauté the shallots and mushroom duxelle together in a little oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper. Don't fully cook them.

Spread half the shallot/mushroom mixture on the bottom of a baking dish. Put the fish fillets on top and season them with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining shallot/mushroom mixture on top of the fillets.

Dissolve the mustard in the white wine (use a whisk if necessary). Gently pour the sauce over and around the fish. Dot with bits of butter.

Bake in a pre-heated 190ºC (375ºF) oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

For an extra touch, remove the fillets after baking and mix the the sauce with a stick blender together with a tablespoon or so of crème fraiche. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with fresh lemon slices if you like.

The recipe called for 4 fillets, but I think you'd need more mushrooms & shallots for that. Adjust accordingly.

I didn't take any photos of the dish, so I put up a picture of a whole merlan instead. ;)


  1. Looks great. I think it's called pollock in English, something they try to attract us to instead of the vanishing cod. Perhaps they should start using the French name.

  2. A merlan in French slang is also a barber. Go figure!

  3. You mean I have to skin that fish?...

  4. autolycus, you never know with fish names, do you? Have you heard of whiting?

    chm, Mme. Barbier wouldn't like it if I called her a merlan... or would that be une merlane?

    claudia, your fish monger can do that for you!! ;)

  5. 'Will you walk a little faster?' said the whiting to the snail,
    'There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail'

    From one of the Alice books by Lewis Carroll

  6. Merlan
    The merlan is a European food fish found in the Atlantic Ocean from the waters of Norway to Gibraltar, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and off the coast of Iceland. It is the smallest of the cod family and is closely related to the English whiting (Melangus vulgaris) and the North American silver hake (Merlucius vulgaris). Merlan is its French name. It is known as pescadilla in Spain, while the Italians call it merlano.

  7. Oh.....I forgot to mention that we can get Whiting in our local market. We've had it a couple times, but I think I would prefer this recipe with Mahi Mahi or Orange Roughy.

  8. Bonjour!
    So happy to find your blog! My family will be traveling to the Loire Valley in just three short weeks. I was hoping to find what we might expect in the way of fresh foods for this time of year. We will be there 4 weeks and so excited. Thanks for sharing your life!...going to read more.


  9. autolycus, that would be "Alice at the Fish Monger's," of course.

    starman, wow!

    notquitejune, you should find plenty of local asparagus and even strawberries by the time you get here. And, you're looking lovely, today, Mrs. Cleaver... ;)


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