My best ever

The AAA man arrived this morning 10 minutes after I called, determined that the battery in my car was indeed dead, and jump-started it so I could run downtown and get myself a new battery. All taken care of in record time. AAA guys are the bestest.

Once my wheel toy was back online, I was finally able to get to the market and pick up the last few ingredients I needed for my Pan-Fried Dover Sole with Olives, Tomatoes, Capers and Beurre Blanc! I was so excited about making this dish, I can’t even tell you.

excited-animated

The sole was the real thing this time: small fillets that were as thin as a promise and as delicate as tissue. I dredged them through white flour seasoned with a bit of salt and fried them in butter. Easy!

The topping was almost as easy. Cut in half about a cup of cherry tomatoes, then cut in half about half a cup of green olives with pimentos. Throw a couple of scoops of capers on top. Melt some butter (you decide how much) over medium heat and add two cloves of thinly sliced garlic and as many red pepper flakes as you like. Heat this up—it doesn’t have to really cook so much as just get good and hot—and then pour the butter mixture over the tomatoes/olives/capers, stir it up and set it aside. Sprinkle some fresh thyme over it if you have some, and perhaps add a few twists from the pepper grinder. It’s plenty salty, so no need to worry about adding that.

Now, the beurre blanc is slightly more complicated so I refer you to the recipe. It takes about 20 minutes depending on how many chunks into which you cut your butter, I suppose. Basically you just melt unsalted butter slowly over very low heat in a reduction of white wine and white wine vinegar until you have a smooth, creamy, tangy sauce that, if you’re like me, you just want to dive right into and swim in until you blissfully drown! I’ve never had anything quite like it and man, oh man, I am head-over-heels in love with the stuff. I seasoned mine with a few sprigs of fresh thyme because I had some, but I suppose almost any fresh herb would be lovely in this.

Once the sole is fried, plate it up, cover it with topping, and drown it in beurre blanc (or lightly drizzle beurre blanc on it if you have more self-control than I do). I served mine with some oven-baked green beans (toss the beans with a little olive oil and seasoned salt of your choice and bake on a cookie sheet at about 400°F for 20 minutes).

And, voilà!

sole-and-greenbeans

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a food stylist, so please forgive me if this does not look to you like the most amazing meal EV-AR!

When my grandmother used to make a dish she’d made hundreds of times, such as potato salad, she would taste it and declare “it’s my best ever.” We have a running joke in our family that the first time you make a dish, it’s automatically your best ever because there’s nothing to compare it to. But I don’t mind saying, this is the best meal I’ve had in years, and I have had some amazing meals to which I can compare it. It is absolutely, hands-down, no-contest, far and away my best dinner ever. Lick the plate? Yes, please, don’t mind if I do!

All this cooking destroyed my kitchen so I’m going to be up late tonight doing the dishes, but it was worth it. So very worth it.

Beurre blanc is incredible stuff. As Julia Child would say, “you can never have too much butter!” I know my taste buds will be thanking me for this long after my arteries have (I hope) forgiven me.

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