When I feel like having fish for dinner, I never know what I’ll choose until I get to the store and see what looks freshest. On this particular day, the lemon sole at the fish market was particularly appealing – good size filets that were white as snow and looking quite firm and fresh.
Flounder or fluke, caught in the Atlantic Ocean, are also delicious in this recipe, although they’re not as delicate as sole. However, on my first ever deep sea fishing trip recently, I caught a large fluke that also turned out to be the biggest catch on board that day. So I not only hauled in a great meal, but also the cash prize (the pool) for the largest fish caught. I don’t know how much it weighed, but it was big, as you can see from the photo, and we enjoyed two meals from it.
I didn’t get good photos of our meal that night, so when I saw the beautiful lemon sole for sale at the fish market, I knew I wanted to try to capture better photos and write a blog post about this recipe. Incidentally, if you’re puzzled as to what’s the difference between flounder and fluke, click here to decipher it. I’m still confused, but as long as they both taste good, who cares?
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious way to enjoy fish filets, with this recipe, you can be eating diner in ten minutes from start to finish. Start by seasoning the filets with salt and pepper, then dredging them (and shaking off the excess) then sautéing them in some olive oil and butter. Brown on one side, then carefully flip over and do the same on the other side.
Meanwhile, sauté the slivered almonds until they’re a toasty golden brown, and make the brown butter sauce, keeping a close watch on it so it doesn’t burn.
Place the filets on a platter, then pour the sauce onto the fish through a sieve, so you don’t get any of the dark solid bits that settled on the bottom of the saucepan. Scatter the toasted almonds on top, and a little parsley. If you’ve got lemon balm, try it instead of parsley in recipes like this one. It grows like a weed in my garden and comes back each year with a vengeance. I’m forever finding it springing up in beds all over the yard, where I yank it out, but I try to keep a little patch going for culinary use.
And now — for what in the journalism business is called “burying the lede,” here’s the biggest news of the week.. the month… the year! – the birth of my granddaughter, Aurelia Jean. Welcome to the world, amore.
- 2 pieces of filet of sole, or flounder, or fluke
- flour for dredging
- salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- FOR THE BROWN BUTTER SAUCE;
- 3 tablespoons butter
- juice of half a lemon
- Make the toasted almonds first:
- Take the slivered almonds and put them in a saucepan on medium high heat without any butter or oil.
- (If you use butter, the solids will turn brown and make the almonds look "dirty."
- Toss the almonds in the pan until they are light golden brown. They will burn quickly so don't leave the pan for a second.
- Remove the almonds to a clean plate, while you cook the fish and make the brown butter sauce.
- Sprinkle the filets with salt and pepper, and dredge them in flour, shaking to remove the excess.
- There should be just a light coating of flour.
- In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
- When they have reached a sizzle, turn up the heat to medium high, and add the filets.
- Cook for just 2-3 minutes until the bottom has turned a light golden brown.
- Carefully flip and repeat on the other side.
- To make the brown butter sauce, place the butter in a saucepan and turn up the heat to medium. Melt the butter and let it continue to sizzle in the pan. Be careful to keep a close watch on it, because it can go from yellow to dark brown in an instant.
- When it is a golden brown color, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Pour over the cooked fish, using a strainer to eliminate any dark solid bits.
- Sprinkle the almonds over the cooked fish, and some parsley (or lemon balm) and serve.