Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sole Food.

Today I ended up working from home to avoid the rather impressive snow storm we were having. I could have made it in to the office without too many problems but why bother when you don't have to? I planned ahead and brought my laptop and a couple documents home yesterday, so I was all set. Sasha bikes to work year-round so he decided that it would be much more productive to stay in as well. Although we spent the day working in separate rooms, it was nice to be there together. I liked making a pot of herbal tea and pouring a cup for us both before hunkering down to work again. Or having lunch together at out own table - a real treat!

You would think that, being home, I would have extra time for making dinner. I certainly didn't find that to be the case!  I decided to take some sole filets out of the freezer and do something with them. I know, I know, frozen fish is frowned upon and I agree for the most part. But you know what? Good quality frozen fish is sometimes a better option than fresh, especially when you don't live close to the sea! I have had both good and bad luck with both "fresh" and frozen fish. I find good quality frozen sole to be perfectly acceptable.

I kept it simple and made an old favorite.

Breaded Sole served with Chard and Brown Basmati.

I take one cookie sheet and line it with either parchment paper or wax paper. On the left, pour a pile of flour, preferably unbleached organic. On the right, pour about the same amount of breadcrumbs.  Be generous with both these amounts, based on the number of fillets you have. You want to have plenty to play with for the breading process. Season both with salt and pepper and any other seasoning of your choice (smoked paprika, herbs, Mrs. Dash, Old Bay, anything!)

In a bowl, whisk one egg very well. I sometimes add a splash of milk if I think I might have too many fish fillets for one eggs but not enough for two - it helps the egg go further and doesn't disrupt the dish at all.

I set up a station (sorry, no photo) with the raw fish on my left, the flour and breadcrumbs in front with the bowl of egg somewhere in between. I also have another sheet to my right, to place the breaded fillets before pan frying.

Take one raw fillet by the tip of one end and place on flour. Don't let go but give it a wiggle and flip over. Shake off excess and take for a bath in the egg. Then place on the breadcrumbs. You can use the parchment/wax paper to help tip the breadcrumbs on top, or just flip and press. 


I put a few tablespoons of olive or grapeseed (or a little of each) in a frying pan and cook a few fillets at a time. It takes only a minute or so per side. Keep warm in your oven or warming drawer while you cook the remaining fillets in batches.

The swiss chard was sauted with minced garlic in a tiny amount of olive oil. I place a lid on for half a minute to steam and then remove and toss until wilted. Today, I added a splash of balsamic vinegar and tossed until cooked down a touch.

Of course, a simple yet lovely meal like this needed something to round it out.

If only I had some ice cream!


Jason said...

One day I am coming to *your* house for dinner and I'm warning you right now that I am a BIG eater when I like what is on the menu ! :)

Glad you enjoyed your snow day. One of the best bonuses about doing what we do is working together with Melissa every day.

RuckusButt said...

And you would be welcome any time! I am good at cooking for large crowds (or small crowds with extra large appetites).