We’ve got Sole by Nate 03/18/2013

Sole Two Ways:

I. Pan Seared w/ Buerre Blanc, Shiitake Slaw & Spinach Salad

II. Olive Oil Poached w/ Roasted Radicchio & Fennel

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Jazz (We’ve Got) A Tribe Called Quest
I’ve always been a great fan of sole, ever since I was a kid. My dad loves fish, and as a result we found it entering our meals as the main protein at least once a week. But we rarely ate sole, and at the time I despised other species of fish, salmon especially. Sole was for special occasions, and so when I found it at the Food Co-op a few weeks ago, I bought it right away, and once again, only days later. Sole is a delicate, flaky white fish, with sweet tender meat, making it a versatile ingredient. Sole stands up to citrus, tomatoes, wine, butter and everything in between. Sole can also be flaked into a rice or pasta dish. It pairs nicely with a white or red wine.
Lately, shiitake mushrooms have become a favorite of mine. As a mildly fragrant mushroom, it never overpowers a dish, but lends a recognizable, meaty flavor, that combines with both western and asian flavors. I throw them into fried rices, pastas, and more recently I’ve developed a strong affinity towards Hugh Acheson’s shiitake slaw. Like the rest of his dishes the shiitake slaw is a marriage of two culinary identities — it’s a refined play on a typical Southern American BBQ side dish. With a creamy olive oil based vinaigrette and the sharp aftertaste of shallots, the delicate mushrooms simply explode in your mouth. It’s an ideal accompaniment to many dishes and is to be eaten in small portions, as the mushrooms reduce when cooked. Though you’ll find yourself nibbling at the shiitake slaw until there’s none left for tomorrow.
On these two occasions, I liberally adapted a Hugh Acheson recipe for Mahi Mahi, and inspired myself from a Floyd Cardoz dish I’d recently sampled at North End Grill.

I. Pan Seared Sole w/ Buerre Blanc & Shiitake Slaw
Adapted from New Turn in the South, by Hugh Acheson
Ingredients & Directions:
12 oz Filet of Sole
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp butter
In a sauté pan, combine the shallot, cider vinegar and lemon juice. Reduce to 1 tbsp of liquid and slowly whisk in cold butter. Reserve sauce, leaving a touch in the pan. Turn the flame up to medium high, and just before smoking, add the fish. Sear on both sides for approximately 3 minutes each, until golden and cooked through. Pour the sauce back on top and simmer, serve pouring sauce on top of the fish.
Mushroom Slaw:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups stemmed, thinly sliced shiitakes
salt & peper, to taste
1 tbsp salted butter
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette (see below)
Heat Oil over a pan until just before smoking. Add mushrooms and stir to prevent burning until they are golden brown. Add 1 tbsp butter, plus salt and petter for an additional 30 to 45 seconds. Strain off excess oil and place in a mixing bowl. Add vinaigrette, balsamic, parsley and thyme. Toss ingredients and let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

3 stems of fresh thyme
1 1/2 shallots, finely minced
1/6 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt, to taste
Using the blunt side of a kitchen knife, bruise the thyme by pounding it. Place all the ingredients in a pint sized mason jar. Close tightly and store for 24 hours. Remove the vinaigrette from the fridge, bring to room temp, and pass through a strainer. Discard solids and place strained vinaigrette back into the mason jar. Shake well before using.
II. Olive Oil Poached Sole w/ Roasted Radicchio & Fennel (Over Pasta)

Ingredients & Directions:
12 oz Filet of Sole
1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup white cooking wine
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Heat oil, wine & lemon juice in a sauce pan, until simmering. Turn to the heat to low, keeping a rolling boil. Add fish filets, making sure they are almost completely submerged in liquid. Simmer on both sides until cooked through and tender.

1/2 Radicchio shaved into thick pieces
1 Fennel Bulb, ferns and core removed, cut lengthwise
1 cup pitted gaeta olives
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp oregano
Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Add oil to an ovenproof sauce pan, and once hot add Radicchio & Fennel. Sautee until radicchio cooked down, and fennel golden brown. Add wine, lemon juice, balsamic, oregano, salt and pepper and stir. Place pan in the oven. After ten minutes remove, stir, and roast for another 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Chop fish, and serve over pasta topped with radicchio and fennel.

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