For the last few weeks, nearby churches have hosted fund-raiser fish fries on Friday nights. By six o’clock, the kitchens bustled with volunteers and the parish halls echoed with conversation and laughter.
Friday Fish. It can hit just the right note on spring nights, even after Easter. It’s lighter than the heavy stews and braised meats of winter, like doffing the heavy coat for a light jacket.
And it’s quick to prepare and cook, letting us linger outside as the days lengthen.
There, the cool evening air, warmed by afternoon sunshine, beckons. Even mowing the fast-growing grass is a pleasure. In the garden, plants muscle their way out of the dirt. Many need dividing, or moving, still others seem slow to appear, causing worry about winter damage.
This easy fish dish spends 20 minutes in the oven – time enough to cook a vegetable and make a salad – and comes out moist and flavorful.
So spend a few minutes a-bustle in your own kitchen then recruit a table-setter and call the family to supper. Hear your own home, your own halls, ring out with talk and laughter.
SOLE with MUSHROOMS & ONIONS
Time-to-table: 40 minutes
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 4- to 6-ounce sole filets (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
- ¾ cup very finely chopped onion
- 4 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup white wine (see TIPS)
- ¼ cup clam juice or chicken broth
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh chive, minced
- Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly butter or spray a baking dish large enough to arrange the fish in a single layer.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a broad dish. Dredge (see TIPS) the filets in the flour mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Spread the onion, then mushrooms on top.
Mix wine, clam juice, zest and lemon juice in a small bowl, then pour over the fish. Top with herbs, then a twist or two of salt and pepper. Cover dish with foil.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
• (2007) In recent weeks, I've made this with both tilapia and fresh walleye (pickerel).
• (2007) Tarragon is lovely, for sure, but so is basil, so is sage. The chives do seem to add an edge that make me think they're quite necessary in the herb mix.
• (2007) I prefer the color of brown baby portobella mushrooms (vs white button mushrooms) in this dish.
• (2008) A friend suggests to take care when opening the hot-hot-hot packets. Keep your face at a distance.
More Fish Recipes
(click a photo for a recipe)
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
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