According to our Mediterranean “spoiled” taste, the sole fish, of the Soleidae family that live in both fresh and salt water and grow up having one eye, the right one specifically, is supposedly one of the least flavoured fish. Several chefs would disagree though, when most recipes use butter, while the French use sour cream, vegetables, herbs and ingredients that guide the fish’s so called “neutral taste” to a specific direction.
Nevertheless, this fish has many advantages for the same reason. Like models in photo-shootings, the neutrality of their characteristics allows to create many different looks. The mild taste of the sole has the exact same ability to transform into anything from just simple plain to something rather exciting. Plus, the sole belongs to the fish family that apart from its only backbone, the rest is pure, boneless and ready to eat without any technical eating difficulties and childish complaints.
Fresh sole can be delicious even in its less fancy way. In this main dish of sole fillet with white wine sauce, the sauce has been thickened with butter and its sharpness has been highlighted with lemon. The flavour outcome is delicate and interesting and a glass of Chardonnay will suit it perfectly.
Sole fillet with white wine sauce
Preparing: 15 minutes and about 25 minutes cooking. If the fillets are in their skins make some slashes on, so they don’t wrinkle. Make sure you have all the ingredients near you. The recipe is of medium difficulty but makes a great dish, so it worth the trouble.
If you make the sole fillet with white wine sauce as an easy one main dish dinner, use as a side dish a rather hearty salad such as a potato salad or something similar (not just vegetables). Increase also the quantity of fish and serve it on a heated platter. Even though we use butter and not olive oil in the recipe, the dish is rather light and doesn’t empower the sense of fullness.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
8 sole fillets (750-800gr)
1.5-2 tsp. butter melted
1.5-2 tsp. lemon juice
1 small onion finely chopped
100gr mushrooms finely sliced (4 medium)
150ml white dry wine
4 tbsp cream (heavy or half-half or light)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
75gr lettuce, the smaller leaves, cut into 5cm long
20gr chives for garnish
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C.
To prepare the fillets: Mix the melted butter with the lemon juice and spread on the fillets on both sides. Season with salt and pepper generously and fold them in the middle with the skin from the inside.
In a short but large pan or casserole, with an oven-proof lid, heat 15gr of the butter in medium to low temperature and sauté the onion for 2 minutes to soften without changing colour. Cut the rest of the butter into small cubes and put it in the fridge.
Add the mushrooms in the onions and cook for 2 more minutes constantly stirring. Pour the wine, turn the heat on and wait for 1 minute to boil. Add the water, stir and remove.
Place the fillets one next to the other on the base of the pan amongst the other ingredients and cook in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on the fillets’ thickness.
NOTE: Make sure the oven has the demanded temperature and not less.
To make the sauce: Wait for 5 minutes for the pan to cool or move its interior to another cool medium-size pan. Add the cream and lettuce and bring to boil. Add the cool butter gradually, constantly stirring for 2-3 minutes until the sauce becomes smooth and all the ingredients soft. Season with salt and pepper, taste, fix if necessary then add the lemon.
To serve: Heat the fillets for 1-2 minutes in the oven. Put them in the centre of a platter or on heated plates, 2 fillets on each, on top of the vegetables. Pour the sauce. Garnish the sole fillet with white wine sauce with fresh chives.