Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunday Fish Fry

Perhaps you haven't heard, it's still cold in the northeast. But that's okay. That's why there are things like coats and boots. Besides, all this cold and snow is a great excuse for comfort food. This fish has a fancy name, Sole Meunière. In reality, though, I used a different sauce and it's not so intimidating as the name might make it sound.

Thinking back, maybe I should have left the sauce alone. Compared to Julia Child, what do I know? Sole Meunière happened to have been one of her favorite dishes. In her memoir, she talks about how it was her first meal in France. Hell, she named a section of the same book after the dish. But I'm not Julia Child and I have a terrible time not mucking with (or up) a recipe.

Being the unrefined oaf that I am, I wanted mashed potatoes and peas with my better than fish sticks fish. Growing up, I loved to mix my peas and mashed potatoes together. I would then dip my fish sticks in the mashed potato mixture. I told you I wasn't refined. But now that I'm older and wiser, I know that peas are more starch than they are vegetable, so wanted to sub that out. Enter this recipe. I followed if pretty exactly.

Can I ask you something? Have you ever smelled a potato. I don't just mean smelled them as they were cooking or baking. These potatoes smelled so wonderfully potatoey the minute I cut into them. It was just that earthy snap that's so unmistakably - potato -. This is just another of the reasons I loved getting my veggies from Parker Farm all summer and fall. And I'm still enjoying some of the bounty now.

Back to the fish. Despite the Julia Child association, it's really easy. There are few ingredients and prep and cook time are minimal. Over the years, I've learned that a good rule of thumb for such simple recipes is quality ingredients. When there are only 4-5 components to a dish, each one had better be fantastic. Fortunately for me, the CAFC CSF has been supplying me with some pretty great fish. The rest is just salt, pepper, flour, butter and olive oil.

Take the fish, season both sides. Dredge and hit a hot pan with olive oil and butter. After just 2-3 minutes on each side, the fish is golden brown, done and delicious. The traditional sauce is more butter, some parsley and lemon juice. Me? Well, I decided I wanted a brown butter white wine sauce. Because I'm difficult.

The entire meal comes together quickly. It's also easy and fairly budget friendly. I found the potatoes a little dry, but with a light drizzle of my sauce and all was right with the world again. The fish was light and tender. I can certainly understand how Julia* fell in love. The potatoes and green beans offered a great starch-veggie combo I craved.

*After a few mentions in one post, I figure we're on a first name basis.

This will definitely have to be a repeat dish.

Pan Fried Sole with White Wine Butter Sauce

1/2 c. All purpose flour
1 lb sole fillets
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs canola oil
salt & pepper

1-2 tbs butter
1 - 2 tsp flour
1/2 c. Dry white wine
salt & pepper

Salt and pepper both sides of the sole fillets. Place the flour in a pie plate or other wide, shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. When the oil is glossy, add the butter. While the butter is melting, dredge fillets through the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

When foam subsides, add fillets to pan. Be sure not to crowd the pan, work in batches if needed. Do not disturb or check so that a nice crust can form. After 2-3 minutes, the fillet should have released itself from the pan and be ready to flip. Finish cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Place on a plate with a paper towel for a few minutes.

Pour the drippings out of the pan; do not wash or wipe clean. Place butter into the pan and allow to melt. Add flour and stir to combine well. Let cook for a minute or two to get rid of the flour taste. Add the white wine; allow to cook down for 5 minutes. season to taste.

Plate the fish and drizzle sauce over the top. Serve your sides as well.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Can you cook this for me? I'm terrible with fish even if it's easy. haha!