Saturday, January 25, 2014

dover sole & kale salad

The French language makes it possible for things to have fancy-sounding names to us humdrum English speakers, but really, they're pretty simple. Sole meunière? It's just sole fried in butter with a squeeze of lemon and some herbs.

I'm not knocking the French, though, because this is so delicious it almost makes you want to just keel over. Dover sole is wonderful, light, and flaky, and takes very kindly to being cooked this way.

I know that a French cook would probably die at the thought of putting Old Bay in the flour...which I we're not gonna call it sole meunière. That lets me off the hook, right? At any rate, I think it adds a little oomph.

This recipe is so quick it'll make your head spin! And yet, it's worthy of a date-night dinner. It's a lot of butter, so perhaps not a diet food, but the kale salad balances it out, right?



Serves 2
Total time: 30 minutes

4-5 filets Dover sole
5 tbsp butter
~1/2 cup flour
pinch each of salt, pepper, and Old Bay seasoning

kale salad

1 bunch lacinato or dinosaur kale
1 tbsp olive oil
handful walnuts, crushed
1/2 organic Opal apple, diced*


juice of 1/2 lemon
~1 tbsp mustard
~1 tbsp honey
~1 tbsp capers
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

*I've become an apple snob since moving to the PNW. You can use whatever you want. If it's not organic, you should probably peel it.


Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.

I like to do the salad first, since the fish cooks so quickly and the skillet needs time to get to temperature.

Wash your kale. Tear off bite-sized pieces off of the stems. If the stems are supple enough to come off when you tear, then you can use them, but once they become hard and woody on the way down the stalk...we don't want those.

Add them to your mixing bowl with your tbsp of olive oil. Massage the kale. Yes, rub the oil into the leaves. There is some debate surrounding the efficacy of this in reducing the sometimes bitter taste of kale--I just do it because it makes it less toothy and dry and it becomes all oiled up and lovely...just generally more palatable.

Kale. Mmm.

Chop up your apple and add it in with your kale. Toss in walnuts and whatever else you're adding.

In a small glass or jam jar, add in dressing ingredients except olive oil. If you've got a lid, you can just put the olive oil in and shake the jar with the lid on. If you don't (I couldn't find mine) then stir with a spoon or a whisk as you slowly add in the oil to create your emulsion.

Yay! Wait to dress your salad until the last possible moment before you eat!

Salad at the ready!

Spread flour on a plate and add in spices, mixing well. Lay out sole filets on flour one at a time and flour both sides. Your skillet should be ready.


Add in your butter. Wait until it melts and the foam begins to turn brown. You should be able to smell a faint nutty smell.

Turn down the heat to medium-low (this is critical so your butter and fish don't burn!) Add in your filets with space in between them, doing this in batches if necessary. I add a little extra salt and pepper on each side when I cook them.

Butter and fish.

Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until the flour coating has turned a light brown.

Remove to plate and serve immediately with your salad. Don't forget to pour the brown butter in your skillet all over your fish. (If you don't, Bearcat and I will judge you forever!)

Just look at that withering stare.

Bon appétit!

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