The Normandy Sauce is a classic sauce for fish and seafood. It's also called Normande sauce and sauce Normande. It is made by flavoring a fish velouté with chopped mushrooms and then thickening it with a mixture of egg yolks and heavy cream called a liaison.
The Normandy Sauce can be served with fish, seafood, and with fettuccine dishes. It also is good served with vegetables. Escoffier has a recipe for the sauce to serve with Sole Normande and notes it is a perfect sauce for whitefish.
Normandy Sauce relies on first making a velouté sauce, which is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine identified by Auguste Escoffier. Velouté means velvet and is produced from unroasted bones, in this case, fish bones. It's thickened with a blond roux of butter and flour. Fish stock is used as a separate ingredient in this recipe as well.
There is no way around it, this sauce is very heavy in cream, eggs, and butter. Enjoy its silky richness but in moderation. It also takes much time to prepare unless you have a ready source of fish stock.
- 2 cups fish velouté
- ¼ cup fish stock
- ½ cup chopped mushrooms
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1½ tablespoon butter
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter and sauté the mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the velouté and the fish stock to the mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by about one-third.
- In a stainless steel or glass bowl, beat together the cream and egg yolks until smooth.This egg-cream mixture is called a liaison.
- Slowly add about a cup of the hot velouté into the liaison, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks don't curdle from the heat.
- Now gradually whisk the warm liaison back into the velouté.
- Bring the sauce back to a gentle simmer for just a moment, but don't let it boil.
- Strain, swirl in the remaining butter and serve right away.
Use the sauce over fish or seafood or mix with fettuccine or vegetables.
If you don't have a prepared source of fish stock, you'll need to learn to make your own fish stock. The good news is that it takes far less time than making chicken or beef stock. You can make it in 30 minutes with fish heads and bones. If you have access to a fish market, you can easily get these either for very cheap or free. But avoid salmon, trout, and other oily and fatty fish as their flavor is too strong unless you are specifically making a sauce from those fish.