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Lemon Sole in Browned Butter

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.

Lemon Sole in Browned Butter
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Make the toasted almonds first:
  2. Take the slivered almonds and put them in a saucepan on medium high heat without any butter or oil.
  3. (If you use butter, the solids will turn brown and make the almonds look "dirty."
  4. 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.
  5. Remove the almonds to a clean plate, while you cook the fish and make the brown butter sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the filets with salt and pepper, and dredge them in flour, shaking to remove the excess.
  7. There should be just a light coating of flour.
  8. In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
  9. When they have reached a sizzle, turn up the heat to medium high, and add the filets.
  10. Cook for just 2-3 minutes until the bottom has turned a light golden brown.
  11. Carefully flip and repeat on the other side.
  12. 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.
  13. When it is a golden brown color, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  14. Pour over the cooked fish, using a strainer to eliminate any dark solid bits.
  15. Sprinkle the almonds over the cooked fish, and some parsley (or lemon balm) and serve.
 

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Flounder And Fennel With Lemon And Oranges

Flounder and Fennel with Lemon and Oranges

 The older I get, the harder it becomes to shed those extra pounds. It seems like the resolve I had to lose weight at the beginning of the year is always thwarted by another dinner party, another restaurant meal, another gift of chocolates or some other temptation that I’ve been given.

I confess I’m not very good at resisting all these treats, but in an attempt to ameliorate the extra calories that pile on, I cook a meal like this and it helps assuage any guilt.
But I don’t make this meal just because of the lower caloric load. It’s also because it just tastes so delicious. The fish was caught locally off New Jersey shores and that helps. The short cooking time and technique also ensures you’ll have a flaky and moist piece of fish to serve. It’s quick and easy enough to prepare for a weeknight meal, but good enough for company too.
Start by buttering an ovenproof dish and slicing fennel into “matchsticks.” Salt and pepper the fennel,  then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes at 475 degrees F.
Remove from the oven then place the fish on top of the fennel.
Scatter a little butter on top (I used less than 1 T. for two servings), season the fish, and place slices of lemon and orange on top. Squeeze more juice and some white wine over all and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle a little parsley on top, serve with a side of veggies and enjoy a no-guilt meal.

 

Ciao Chow Linda is also on Instagram, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Click here to connect with me on Facebook, here for my Pinterest page, here for my Twitter feed and here for my Instagram page to see more of what I’m cooking up each day.



Flounder and Fennel with Lemon and Oranges
printable recipe here

For Two Servings:

Two pieces of flounder or fluke (about 6 oz. each)
1/2 fennel bulb
1 T. butter
1 clementine or small orange
1 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
salt, pepper
minced parsley

Lightly grease an ovenproof pan with a little of the 1 T. butter. You’ll use the rest of the butter on the fish later.
Slice the fennel into “matchstick” size pieces. Scatter them in the pan, season with salt and pepper and cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake in a 475 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, and place the fish over the fennel. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze the juice of half a clementine or small orange, and half a lemon over the top. Pour 1/4 cup dry white wine over the fish and dab with the rest of the 1 T. butter.
Cover with the aluminum foil and place back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flaky. It may take less than 10 minutes if your fish pieces are thin, so check after five or six minutes)