Crackling Fish Fillets
September 25, 2002

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Urvater/The Food Network

3/4 lb. fresh sole fillets, cut into four manageable pieces
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs flour
1/4 C water
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1- 2 Tbs butter
1/4 C parsley leaves, rinsed and minced.

Brush a non stick skillet with olive oil. Dip fish in flour and shake off excess. Heat skillet until hot. Add fish and sauté, without moving, until it just sets and turns a bit golden, 1 - 2 minutes. With a spatula, flip the fish over to the other side and cook until the fish is firm and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove fish to dinner plates. Add water, lemon juice, and lemon zest to skillet and increase the heat to medium high. Scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan and boil until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and swirl in butter and parsley. Season with salt and pepper with spoon over fish. Serve with steamed sugar snap peas or other vegetables. French bread on the side would be lovely.

Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Keckler's Komments:

Purchased two packets of sole fillets totaling .75 lbs but made up of five individual fillets. Half that amount would have been enough for two.

Did not see a reason for cutting the fillets into "four manageable pieces" when using a 10-inch skillet. I placed the fillets down separately, 2, 2, and 1.

Using a non stick skillet seems peculiar if you want there to be brown bits to "deglaze" with the water, lemon juice, and zest. Not many bits collected when I first made this dish.

The directions say to "heat skillet until hot" but doesn't say what level of heat it was being kept on when later in the recipe it calls to "increase the heat to medium high."

Brushing the oil onto a non-stick skillet was tricky, as a non stick skillet seems to repel oil. 1 Tbs seemed a bit excessive to brush all on at the beginning, so I brushed it before laying down each group of fillets.

Added 1 Tsp of fresh thyme leaves to the pan sauce and served with 1 lemon wedge squeezed over each portion once dished up on the plates.

The above method is a sound one for any grilling of sole. Alternative ways of serving: forget the pan sauce -- drizzle a good nut oil (walnut, hazelnut, or almond) over the fillets and serve with lemon wedge.

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