Just down 63rd street from Midway Airport in Chicago, the French Kitchen (now just a memory) served a dish called Sole en Sack. It doesn’t take a degree in the romantic languages to translate that, does it? There was nothing complex about the cooking method, seasoning or the presentation. When it was brought to your table, you tore open the paper lunch bag and ate the delicately steamed, lemon scented fish.
This recipe uses the same cooking method (although we use parchment sheets instead of lunch bags) with our favorite herbs and aromatics that enhance the delicate fish. We also add the flavor and creamy texture of Artichokes.
Some fishmongery tidbits: Here in the US, you will probably never buy Atlantic Dover Sole since the supply isn’t great enough to have large quantities shipped across the Atlantic. What we in the U.S. buy as Sole is actually fresh (never been frozen) Winter Flounder. What we know here as Flounder is the same fish just refreshed, meaning previously frozen.
Hearts and Sole
Yield: Serves 2 Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 12 Minutes
• 2 Sheets of Parchment Paper, 15” square
• 6 Thin Slices of Fresh Lemon
• 2 Sole Fillets
• Kosher Salt
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 2 Sprigs Fresh Tarragon
• 2 Artichoke Bottoms, thinly sliced
• 2 Scallions, white part only - Julienned
• ½ Cup Dry White Wine
• 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
• 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
• 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
• 1 Shallot, sliced
• 1 Tablespoon Fresh Tarragon, chopped
• ¼ Pound Cold Unsalted Butter, cut in 1 tablespoon portions
Step 1. Preheat Oven to 425ºF
Step 2. Lay a row of 3 Lemon Slices, slightly overlapped, in the center of each Parchment sheet. Lay
Step 3. Fold the long sides of the parchment up and bring together over the fish. Fold over several times to seal. Fold each short side of the paper over on itself and crease to seal each side. Place the parchment packets on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
Step 4. While fish is cooking make the sauce by combining the Wine, Lemon and Orange Juices,
Step 5. Reduce the heat to low heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons of butter. When all butter is incorporated remove the pan from the heat and continue whisking in remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Use a fine wire mesh strainer to strain out the shallots and tarragon and season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
To serve, carefully open the parchment packet – watch out for the steam, it can burn you - and slide the contents on to the serving plate. Drizzle with a generous helping of the sauce and serve with Lemon Tarragon Wild Rice.
Tips and Trending
~ If fresh sole isn’t available, or you’d just like to use this method with another fish, try substituting Orange Roughy or Turbot – both excellent choices.
~ Even though the recipe name refers to Artichoke Hearts, we use only the very bottom of the heart here without the leaves. And speaking of Artichoke Bottoms – this is one case when I will use the canned version. If you do too, be sure to buy bottoms that are packed in water, not in oil.
~ If you just happen to have a Meyer Lemon hanging around the kitchen – prepare this dish with that instead of a regular lemon. For the sauce replace both the regular lemon and the orange juice with Meyer lemon juice.
~ Add a bit of fun by allowing your guest to open his or her own parchment packet – but cut a small slit in the packet to allow the steam to escape and not burn your date! Served this way, you simply eat the fish directly from the paper. The presentation isn’t as pretty, but it sure is fun!