Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aiguillat, Saumonette, and Rousette; Rock Salmon in the UK. Small Sharks on French Menus.

   
Aiguillate or Rock Salmon
                                                               
from
Behind the French menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
 
Aiguillat and Saumonette.
Picked Dogfish and Rock Salmon 
    
The Aigullat or Saumonette is the Piked Dogfish or Spiny Dogfish in North America and in  the UK  called Rock Salmon, Darwen Salmon or Dogfish.  French chefs take these fish with their white lean, firm, tasty, flaky, meat and prepare them as filets baked, grilled or fried where they will be served with a sauce. They may also be smoked or served as a fish stew.
 
This fish is a popular and tasty member of the shark family;  it is a true shark though they only reach  4 to 6 foot in length. Worry not, these sharks and a number of similar tasting cousins will be keeping well away from you when you are swimming and certainly are quite safe when they reach your menu.
   
Rousette.
Bull Huss, Dogfish  or Greater Spotted Dogfish.

The Rousette is the Aiguillat’s cousin and in English called the Bull Huss, Dogfish  or Greater Spotted Dogfish. When these two fish are occasionally confused on a  menu it is not a terrible error. They taste much the same and when served will be indistinguishable

Aiguillat on French Menus:
 
Aiguillat  Fumé aux Petits Légumes -  Aiguillat smoked and served with young vegetables. From this menu listing, I imagine the fish served here is hot smoked. Hot smoking cooks the fish as well as adding a light smoky flavor.  Cold smoking cures, not cooks, the fish.
   

Meslcun a l’Aguillat Fume
A mesclun salad, a green salad traditionally made
with at least five different salad greens. 
Here the mesclun salad is served with smoked Aigulilat.

Darne  d’Aiguillat Grillées au Vinaigre Balsamic - A slice, filet or a steak from the Aigullate. The word darne emphasizes  a thick cut; here  the fish is grilled and served  with Balsamic vinegar.
    
Filets of Rock Salmon


Dos de Saumonette, Sauce Grenobloise - A thick cut from the back of the fish, the meatiest part, served with a Sauce Grenobloise.  Sauce Grenobloise is a butter sauce  prepared in the manner of the city of Grenoble in South Eastern France. This is a clarified butter sauce with lemon and capers and almost always used for fish. Chefs may slightly change the recipe with some adding parsley or other herbs,
   
Saumonette Sauce Aurore –  Aiguillate/Saumonette served with a Sauce Aurore. Sauce Aurore is a Sauce  Béchamel tinted pink by the addition of a touch of tomato puree, with so little tomato you may hardly taste it; it is the color that is important. Sauce Aurore is called a child of Sauce Bechamel which is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine. (For more about mother sauces click here for the most prolific Sauce Hollandaise. Sauce Hollandaise has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren).
   
Saumonette/Aiguilatte
 
Aiguillat  in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(Catalan – agullat), (Dutch - doornhaai ), (German – dornfisch, dornhai, gemeiner dornhai, grundhai),  (Italian - spinarola, spinarola brun, cagnoleto),  (Spanish – agullat, galludo, mielga).
         
Rousette
   
Rousette  on French menus:
Not to be confused with wines such as the Roussette de Savoie AOP.
 
Blanquette de Rousette et Petits Légumes au Piment d'Espelette – A blanquette is a traditional French stew that includes, wine, mushrooms, and crème fraiche. Here the stew is made from a Rousette  and prepared with young vegetables and those unique Basque Red Peppers from around the town of Espelette in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Chartreuse de Rousette au Beurre Blanc - Rousette prepared on a bed of cabbage and served with a Beurre Blanc Sauce. Chartreuse, the liquor, took its name from the color, and so dishes with Chartreuse in their title will generally include cabbage and no liquor.
  
Roussette à la Vapeur de Citron -  Steamed  Rousette flavored with lemon. 
  
Rock Salmon in the UK

The French have not yet picked up the British culinary art of the fish and chip shop where  these fish are deep-fried in batter. Obviously, when in France I tell no one about my tastes that include British fish and chip shops. There I eat rock salmon  accompanied by occasional soggy chips, salt, malt vinegar and pickled onions and cucumbers.
   

Fish and Chips.

These fish are becoming endangered.
   
Limits on the sizes and area of catches of these fish have been made by some countries.  The females give birth to live fish, between two to fifteen fish.  However, the females only  reach sexual maturity at about 12 years of age and their gestation period, a record for vertebrates, lasts between 22 and 24 months. For the fishing industry, these fish need a very long time to recover their numbers.
  
The Rousette in the languages of France’s neighbors:
     
(Catalan – gat vairy), (Dutch –kathaai), (German – pantherhai), ( Italian -  gattopardo), (Spanish -gata).


With thanks to Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (04/2015) for help with the non-English  names and part of the background to these fish.
  
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Bryan G. Newman
 
Behind the French Menu.
Copyright 2010,2015
 
For information on the unpublished book behind the blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com