Sole, Brown Butter, Olives, Peas, Mint, Cherries?!

21 May

Between travel and work it hasn’t been a great few months for cooking. Trying to get back (on/off) the wagon, I went by Bi-Rite and picked up some sole and some newly-in-season vegetables and fruit. What can I make, while hungry, without a plan?

Sole filet– should I bread it? Fry it? It’s so thin… hmm. I peeked in The New Best Recipe and took their suggestion on cooking style, which worked well– salt and pepper on both sides, let the filets sit 5 minutes, heat 1 Tbsp oil and butter together to high heat (butter alone would burn), bring it down to medium-high once the butter melts and saute the fish (3 minutes on the non-skin side, then about 2 minutes on the skin side, until it flakes apart under a toothpick). Then I browned half a Tbsp of butter in the pan as a sauce, along with some minced up salt-cured olives. This was excellent.

To go with it, I improvised a ‘salad’ of steamed freshly-shelled peas, mint ricotta (heat a few mint leaves in a quart of milk, take them out, gently bring the milk to a boil, add 1 1/2 Tbsps of white vinegar, bring it down to low heat and stir for a few minutes, then strain out the cheese), and cherries. Hey, I figured, ricotta and mint could both go in a ravioli with peas, or in a dessert with cherries– maybe they could bridge the gap. No luck. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a great combination. (Edit: Who am I kidding? It was terrible). And the ricotta was too minty and wasn’t the smooth creamy texture I was hoping for (maybe I heated it too much? Maybe not including some cream was an issue? It seems fairly finicky).

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