VSL:FOOD // Cooking for the new (downsized) economy

Flaubert, Baudelaire, and the Goncourt brothers were all regulars at the Café Riche in Paris. The restaurant served a mean sole — bathed in a velvety cream sauce and garnished with lobsters and truffles. (Riche indeed!) Master chef Alain Ducasse revived the recipe in 2004, in his imposingly titled cookbook
Le Grande Livre de Cuisine d’Alain Ducasse, but the filet de sole façon riche remained out of reach for the rest of us: The book was as expensive as
a Ducasse meal — $250 — and the techniques were way too complicated for most home cooks to master.

In her new cookbook Ducasse Made Simple, French chef Sophie Dudemaine takes it upon herself to simplify the recipe. With the help of Monsieur Ducasse, she downgrades the lobster to prawns, the truffles to cremini mushrooms,
and the tempering to simple stirring.
The result may not be as soigné as the 19th-century original, but the sole itself is transcendent.

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