Lemon sole is neither a sole, nor is it lemony. It’s a flounder and it tastes great with a lot of butter. You could just simply fry it with a squizz of lemon, and some salt and pepper and you’d be happy. But we (I) got greedy and bathed it in a beurre blanc with capers and parsley.
If you’re not aware, beurre blanc (white butter) is a simple butter sauce. It normally just comprises of white wine vinegar, water, chopped shallots and butter. The key is to whisk the cold diced butter in at the end to thicken the sauce. It’s intensely satisfying to make.
We bought our soles whole, but you could just buy fillets. It’s a very easy fish to fillet though, so well worth a try. We checked up on youtube and both filleted one each. Very satisfying. Not as satisfying as the eating though…
2 whole lemon soles (these produce 4 fillets each, but they are small and we are greedy), filleted – we left our skin on
For The Sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
100g cold butter, diced
Small handful of capers, roughly chopped
Bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tblsp crème fraîche combined with 1 tblsp whole milk
1 spike of star anise
4 tblsp white wine vinegar
6 tblsp chicken stock
Squeeze of lemon
Buttered (yes) new potatoes (with heavy seasoning and nutmeg)
For the sauce, melt a small knob of butter in a saucepan. Add the shallot, bay leaf and star anise. Fry for a few minutes with a couple of twists of pepper, to soften (but not colour) the shallot. Add the white wine vinegar and reduce until almost gone. Then add the stock and reduce again by half. Then add the cream and milk combination (you could just add single cream, but we don’t tend to stock that). Turn down to a simmer and gradually whisk in the diced butter. Then pass through a sieve and return the sauce to the saucepan and add the capers, parsley and lastly a squeeze of lemon.
Once you have filleted the fish (with the help of some feline friends), pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust in seasoned flour (this helps keep the flavours in, plus it forms a pleasing crust). Heat some olive oil and butter in a pan, fry for two to three minutes on each side. Serve with the potatoes and spinach. Spoon over the sauce and drift off dreamily…