RECIPE – Pan Seared Lemon Butter & Caper Sole with Lemon Risotto

Last night I made a dish which I will definitely repeat, so I have to share it with you here because I haven’t shared any recipes in a while …

I’ve always stayed away from sole in the past because I’m not a fan of fish bones, but I am a new convert after this recipe.

This is not a dish to be rushed, and needs to be done in tandem, as risotto once cooked should be plated and eaten immediately so although I will list the recipes separately here, you should pan fry your fish while making your risotto and timing should be perfect.  I fed 7 people with the following recipes, so halve quantities if necessary…

PAN SEARED LEMON BUTTER & CAPER SOLE

10-12 Sole Fillets
2 Large Lemons
Maldon Salt Flakes (to taste)
3/4 tablespoons Capers (to taste)
1/2 cup flour (to coat)
250g Butter
Splash of Olive Oil

Okay, so this recipe is actually super simple, wash and dry your fillets, season with Maldon Salt Flakes (my favourite – but the normal stuff will suffice I spose) and then put in flour on a plate to coat it, dust off and set aside ready to pan sear.
Slice your 2 lemons and set aside – don’t slice thinly as you’re going to fry them and they will fall apart if too thin, so nice and chunky – maybe 6-8 slices per lemon depending on the size of the lemon.
Wash the salt off your capers, drain and set aside.
Put about 50g of the butter and a splash of olive oil in your pan to heat up, and then add your lemon slices and fry them for a good couple of minutes until they colour.  Remove from pan but don’t discard.  You now have a gorgeous lemon butter to sear your sole in.
Pan sear your sole, repeating the process above (adding more butter and a slice of lemon back in for a few moments) as you need to.
I did this on a hot hob, and let the fillets get a good colour on them before putting them in an ovenproof server in a warmer drawer or cool oven while searing off the next batch.
When all the sole is done, add the remainder of the butter, put all the lemon slices back in the pan and your capers and give them a moment to melt and swirl around, pour over your sole.
Serve.

LEMON RISOTTO

500g Risotto Rice
3 Onions
1 Clove Garlic
Handfull of Spring Onions
Cup and a bit of Dry White Wine
Just over a litre of Chicken Stock (I use the Ina Parmen Liquid Stock which comes in sachets that you mis in with a cup of hot water)
100g Butter
2 handfuls freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesan)
Olive Oil
Maldon Salt Flakes (to taste)
Zest of 3/4 Lemons
1/2 cup of lemon juice

Okay, so I’m not going to go into the detail of making risotto, but as mentioned above, it’s not something to be rushed, and it’s a bit of a labour of love because you need to stir it constantly and add stock 1 ladle at a time… Keep stock on a low flame to keep it hot during the cooking process.

Dice onion and slice spring onions, add a knob of butter and a little olive oil in a saucepan or casserole pot on medium heat (I like something heavy based personally) and sweat your onions and spring onions down until soft (add the Maldon Salt to prevent the onions colouring), add crushed garlic, and simmer for a minute, then add the uncooked risotto rice and stir, you should put your hob on hot now, don’t allow the rice to colour or toast, but let it suck up all the oil and butter and start going a little translucent (about 2 – 3 mins).  Add wine, the pot should sizzle furiously, stir until all absorbed.  Then add stock 1 ladle full at a time, stirring the risotto until it’s absorbed all the liquid, and add another ladle full, etc.
The texture of Risotto is hard to explain, it shouldn’t be cooked through like normal rice, it should be al dente, it should have a little bite in the middle still, so keep stirring and adding stock, about a litre of stock is about right for this quantity.  Check seasoning as you go and add Maldon Salt if necessary.  When it’s almost done, add your lemon zest and stir in.  Then add lemon juice … add about 1/4 cup to start and taste, I like mine very lemony so use about 1/2 cup.  To finish your risotto and create the creaminess, add a good knob of butter and a couple of handfulls of freshly grated parmigiana reggiana.  Stir in and serve.

Bon appetit