I had a hard time deciding on a recipe for this month but in the end I decided to go with something that is not only simple and seasonal, but also something that reminds me of my Aquarius father, who dearly loved his food and wine and would have loved this recipe! I know Valentine’s Day is coming up and you were probably expecting something chocolaty, but as we had something sweet last month, I thought we should go savory this time!
So you can cook this delicious dish for your loved one before you surprise them with desert. You may recall that this time last year we gave you a wonderful chocolate cake recipe, and I was delighted to subsequently receive an email from one of our readers (Jess Dudley from Wonderful Machine), telling me that “he” had made our recipe for his fiancé on Valentine’s Day – and even better, he also sent us a picture! Way to go Jess, she’s a lucky girl!
Anyway, back to our entrée course, which conveniently serves two, and is another classic from one of my favorites, Ina Garten, also known as “The Barefoot Contessa.”
½ cup all-purpose Flour
Salt & Black Pepper (freshly ground)
4 fresh Sole Fillets (3-4 oz each)
6 tablespoons Butter (unsalted)
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest (grated)
6 tablespoons Lemon Juice (freshly-squeezed, approx. 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon Parsley (finely chopped)
As this dish cooks quickly, Ina suggests preparing all of the ingredients before you start cooking. Zest the Lemons 1st, before cutting them in half to extract the juice, for example. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and have 2 heatproof dinner plates ready. Combine the Flour with 2 teaspoons of Salt and 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper in a large shallow plate or dish. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and sprinkle one side with a little Salt. Heat 3 tablespoons of the Butter in a large 12” sauté pan over medium heat until it just starts to brown. Dredge 2 of the 4 Sole Fillets in the seasoned Flour on both sides, shake off the excess and place into the hot Butter (topside down, so what was the “skin” side of the fish will cook 2nd). Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the fish over carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 more minutes on the other side. While the 2nd side is cooking, add ½ teaspoon of the Lemon Zest and 3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice to the pan. Carefully place the fish onto the heatproof dinner plates, pour the sauce from the pan over them and keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets, 1st dredging them in the seasoned Flour and then using up the remaining Butter and Lemon. When they’re done, add them to the other cooked fillets in the oven, sprinkle with chopped Parsley and some Salt & Black Pepper to taste and serve immediately. If some of you want a little more “bite”, add a few Capersto the sauce. Delicious!