Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heart and Sole.

We have now been on the coast for almost a week and until last night had not made seafood.
Almost offensive.
After spending the day exploring the woods and wine tasting, I needed to pull dinner together quickly while still obviously charming the pants off of my boyfriend.

There is really no easier way to charm a boys pants off than with food.... let me tell you.

So-- quick dinner.

Please notice that I did not say "simple dinner" because I know of no such thing. 

Before I get into food and cooking.... quick side note.

Best wine ever. Absolutely delicious. 
Thank you Oregon for making outstanding Pinot Noir. 

On the menu last night: Fillet of sole with a beurre blanc sauce and asparagus. 

Richard had never had a beurre blanc sauce before. I now have bragging rights in the kitchen (as if I didn't already....)

this did not photograph well. deal with it. 

Fillets of sole (fresh from the Oregon coast, of course.)
White wine
Salt and pepper

Season fish with salt and pepper. I pan fried the fish in a tiny bit of oil. 
Sole is so thin that it cooks annoyingly fast. It also breaks apart very easily causing me to come rather close to having my first breakdown in front of you know who. 
I am a perfectionist. 

For the beurre blanc sauce begin by sautéing the shallots in a dry pan over low heat. Do not let them get brown as this will affect the color and taste of your sauce. When they have just started to cook add a few squirts of fresh lemon juice. 
In school I learned to prepare this sauce with white wine vinegar, but since I was serving it with fish I decided to replace the vinegar and use lemon as my acid. 
Add a cup or so of white wine and reduce to 'au sec.'
When the wine has reduced remove the pan from the heat and begin to add butter very slowly. The butter should be cold. This sauce is a huge pain in the ass as it is very easy to break. Swirl the butter into the pan very slowly until you have added enough to bring the sauce to a nice consistency. 
Season. Strain out shallots. Serve over fish. 

To die for. 

I served the sole with asparagus which I blanched first and then threw in the oven for a couple of minutes with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Super easy. 

Submerge asparagus in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes or until just tender. 
This method brings out the color of the vegetable and keeps it from overcooking. 
Remove asparagus from heat and place in an ice water bath to stop cooking process.
The asparagus can be held at this stage for as long as you need until you are ready to finish cooking it. 
I just placed the asparagus on a baking sheet and baked it for 5 minutes at 400 degrees until it was warm. 

Really good food. Really good wine. Really charming evening........

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