"Busted flat in Baton Rouge..."
This past weekend the Earth had a close encounter with a heavenly body. No not Heidi Klum, this was an asteroid 70 feet by 150 feet wide, more Aretha Franklin than Gisele Bundchen. This galactic pebble came within 49,000 of the Earth; worse still was that it got perilously close to communication and television satellites orbiting the planet. I can cope with the end of civilization so long as I can watch The Simpsons and American Idol.
They say this rock was about the same size as the one that hit Siberia in 1908. That one leveled over 800 square miles of forest, or roughly the equivalent of Los Angeles and Chicago combined. Better still, we all had less than 3 days notice. Kinda makes you want to put on a helmet doesn't it?
All this talk about being flattened got me to thinking about other flat things, flat heads, flat as a pancake, flat broke, flat feet, flat fish. Aha! Flat fish! Admit it, you were wondering how I was going to get this around to food. Today I'm going to work with the flattest of fish, sole.
Sole is thin, lean and cheap. It's perfect for the times we live in and is ridiculously easy to prepare. In fact, this may be the easiest way to prepare fish short of sushi. A hot pan, some butter, a bit of lemon juice and some capers and you're in business. This meal is frugal, sole is a very inexpensive fish; it's quick, less than 20 minutes beginning to end, but it's very tasty. So fear not, open up the wallet a crack and enjoy...
Sole with Lemon & Capers
from Rowley Leigh, Chef at Le Cafe Anglais via The Financial Times
1 1/2 pounds sole fillets
Juice of 2 lemons
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 TBSP cooking oil
4 TBSP (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 TBSP capers, drained
Salt and White Pepper, to taste
Place 1/2 cup of flour on a dinner plate.
Season the fish fillets with salt and white pepper.
Dredge the fillets in the flour, gently shaking to remove any excess.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cooking oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is lightly foaming, place the fillets in the pan and allow them to brown, approximately 3 minutes.
Carefully turn the fillets and cook for an additional minute.
Remove the fish from the pan and pour off any excess cooking fat.
Add the remaining butter and allow it to foam and turn a golden brown color. Add the lemon juice, capers and chopped parsley.
Cook for 1 minute.
Transfer fillets to serving plates and spoon on the butter, lemon juice and caper sauce.
What did I tell ya; simple right? Fast right? Cheap right, (probably less than $15 for 4 diners)? Add a few steamed vegetables, maybe some boiled potatoes and you're set. It doesn't get much better.
OK crablings, we've lived to dine another day. Who knows what's lurking out there, but just remember, you can do it, you can cook.