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Venetian-Style Sweet-and-Sour Sole
Makes 4 Entr
*1 1/2 lbs. fresh sole fillets
*Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*About 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
*About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*4 shallots, thinly sliced
*1 garlic clove, finely chopped
*1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
*2 tbls. raisins, soaked in 6 tbls. dry Marsala or dry sherry
*2 tbls. pine nuts, toasted
*3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
*1 tsp. champagne vinegar
*2 oz. flat-leaf spinach, trimmed of thick stems, washed, and dried
1Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a platter in the oven while it warms.
2Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in each of two large saute pans over high heat. You'll have to cook the fish in two batches, adding additional olive oil with the second batch. Saute the sole on the first side for 3 minute, then flip and cook on the other side until just done, 1 to 2 minutes; it should be golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer the fillets to the platter in the oven as they finish cooking.
3Add the shallots to one of the pans (set the other pan aside). Lower the heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about a minute. Add the red pepper flakes, the raisins, with the Marsala, and the pine nuts and bring to a boil. Add the orange juice and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk the remaining ¼ cup olive oil into the orange juice to create an emulsion. Whisk in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4Add the spinach to the second pan and cook over high heat, tossing, until it wilts, a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper.
5To serve, spoon the sauce over the sole. Garnish the platter with the wilted spinach and serve immediately.
In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard (HarperCollinsPublishers; January 2002)