In John Gardner’s For Special Services (1982), James Bond enjoys a meal of sole au Champagne at Le Perigord, an elegant French restaurant on East 52nd Street in New York. Bond’s dinner companion is none other than Felix Leiter’s daughter, Cedar.
Recipe (serves two)
- 2 fillets of sole
- 1 small onion or 2-3 shallots, finely chopped
- 250ml fish or vegetable stock
- 25ml double cream
- 1 glass Champagne
- Knob of butter or tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley to garnish
In a deep, wide pan, fry the onion in the butter or oil until the onion is soft. Remove the onion and set aside. Pour the stock into the pan and heat until the stock bubbles. Lay the sole fillets into the pan. Poach the fish in a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes or until cooked. Transfer the fish to a plate and cover to keep them warm. Bring the stock to boiling and reduce the volume of liquid by approximately a half. Return the onions to the pan and add the cream and Champagne and season with salt and pepper. Stir and heat through. To serve, place the fillets on plates, spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with parsley.