I had a taste of summer in the last week locally with the weather getting warmer. It's been a struggle for me this year because I miss my grill. I do have a grill pan but it's not the same because, while I can still prepare grilled food, I can't cook in hot weather without heating up the kitchen. Sure there's dishes I can prepare such as ceviche and Vichyssoise but both you and I would get pretty bored quickly.
One way I've been able to beat the heat is to prepare lighter dishes. In reading Manuela of Manu's Menu post of a sole meunière dish recently, I was reminded of seeing the dish in Chef Bastianich's cookbook.
Prepare a dish that will soften the blow of not having a grill at my disposal.
Pages 132-134 of Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. I had to paraphrase Chef's Bastianich method because I find her style too wordy.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
6 fillets gray or lemon sole (approximately 2 1/2 pounds)
5 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
12 slices lemon, thinmy sliced (approximately 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsly, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 250° Fahrenheit. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the fillets in the flour and sear them in the oil, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side. Remove them from the pan and place them on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
2. Remove the oil from the pan and melt add the remaining butter and oilve oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon slices and cook until lightly browned. Add the capers to heat through, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil, then reduce by half. Add the stock, return to a boil until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 2 minutes, then season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. To plate, spoon the sauce over the fillets, then garnih with lemon slices and parsley.
If I were to prepare this dish again, I'd season the fillets with salt and pepper. Overall, it was still pretty tasty, however I still haven't filled the void. I also couldn't help but notice the similarities of this dish with the piccata di pollo.
In unrelated news, have you seen the first episode of the new season of Next Food Network Star? I almost consider this show more difficult than others such as Top Chef because the contestants need to have a marketable point-of-view, be likable, and able to communicate it to an audience in addition to culinary expertise. It is for this reason that I think Nikki is the early favorite to win, since she has experience in both. Who do I want to win? Not sure yet. Need to see more.