Sautéed Petrale Sole in Herb Butter Sauce

Raised Catholic, I grew up eating fish every Friday (not just during Lent as the custom goes these days). Often it was just a simple tuna macaroni salad, but we kids were exposed to a variety of fish and seafood on a regular basis. Thank goodness! We still eat fish almost every Friday (old habits die hard) and are always looking for new ideas to cook with the fresh fish we find at the market. Here is a recipe for petrale sole (a Pacific flounder) that is served with a quick sauce made with shallots, white wine, and butter. You could use this sauce over any mild fish fillet. This recipe we adapted from a recipe in a newsletter from a favorite local bistro, Paul Martin’s which focuses on using organic, local ingredients.

Do you have a preferred way of preparing sole fillets? Or other Lenten dishes? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh petrale sole fillets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp, cut into 4 pieces, cold, unsalted butter
  • Fresh thyme leaves (or any fresh herb for flavor)
  • Minced fresh chives
  • Lemon wedges (use Meyer lemons if available)

Method

1 Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels. There is a lot of moisture in petrale sole, so you might have to pat them dry twice. Lightly salt the fillets on both sides.

2 Heat oil in a large, stick-free skillet on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the fillets to the pan. Brown the fillets gently on both sides. Fish is cooked when it flakes easily and is no longer translucent. Sole fillets will cook up very quickly, no more than a few minutes on each side, so don't walk away from the pan while cooking. Once done, remove the fillets from pan and place on a warm plate.

3 Add shallots to the pan and sauté until soft. Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add butter and gently swirl to make a sauce. Add herbs, and squeeze a little lemon juice into the sauce. Spoon over the sole.

Serve immediately.

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