Thursday, May 12, 2005

yes, i am a sole man...

dover sole... simply dover sole

a number of years ago, in her cordon bleu days, blanca worked at the much missed blagdens fishmongers off Marylebone lane. it was here that she introduced me to the joy of dover sole. well... we went for a birthday dinner one evening to the river cafe. she had made a delivery just that day. in honour of the delivery (and being a lot easier than having to make one myself) i selflessly ordered the sole. it was the tastiest fish that i thought i had ever eaten.

the cost of the fish has kept me away for a number of years, but when asked i will always say it's my favourite. it's been a torrid romance of denial. much like the girl that you fleetingly see at a disco or on a train and never see again... as if a restraining order had been put on you, or you couldn't afford the train.

indeed, if she was a girl, you would find her swimming in the seas of the mediterranean to the north of scotland. she is not the prettiest of romances; her pectoral fins are well developed and her eyes are ... well spaced.

dover sole
malden sea salt
olive oil

julienne the leek and fry briefly in olive oil. alan davidson mentions that dover sole is one of the few fish that actually improves about a day or two after its death. in no small part attributed to a distracting tarte tatin last night, we cooked fish that was a day old. heat a frying pan with some olive oil. lay the fish down a briefly cook (1/2 minute). flip onto the skin side and cook for no more than a minute. squeeze lemon over and some salt. eat as soon as plated. this recipe is deliberately simple. sole, being one of the best tasting fishes, is best served with lemon alone. we find that olive oil is a great addition and add a nice edge of complexity to the taste.

this was so good that we cooked 3 fillets and then went back for the last. we ate this like it was chocolate dessert ~ off one plate and trying be honourable, but wanting it all to ourselves.

incidentally... i've been absent, but i haven't forgotten... leek, from the allium family (shared with onions and garlic) contains most of the healthy attributes of these vegetables. a high intake of allium is actually shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL. it raises HDL at the same time. it is associated with reduced risk of prostate and colon cancer. note: onions and garlic both contain more of the healthy compounds, but it is somewhat more sociable to eat in large amounts.