A tasty way of serving fish that is quick to prepare and just right for a summer supper. A thick fillet of sole is grilled/broiled smothered in tiny broccoli florets and a cheesy sauce until the sauce is bubbling and golden.
170g (6 oz) broccoli florets (a medium head of broccoli)
40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
40g (1½ oz) flour (⅓ cup)
300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
115g (4 oz) cheese, grated (1 cup)
4 large sole fillets (each weighing about 170g (6 oz)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
butter for greasing
28g (1 oz) Parmesan, grated (¼ cup)
Baby new potatoes
You will also need a vegetable steamer and a large baking tray/sheet.
Preheat the grill/broiler to high.
Cut the broccoli into florets, trimming and discarding the stems. Then separate the florets into 1cm (½ inch) chunks. Steam for about 2 minutes, until just tender. Remove the steamer from the pan and set to one side.
Now melt the butter in a small pan add the flour.. Stir until smooth. Let this cook gently over a low heat for 1–2 minutes, until it starts to bubble.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in the microwave for 1 minute, which will then make it easier to blend into the roux. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring continuously until there is a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring the sauce to the boil, and then stir over a gentle heat until it thickens.
Remove from the heat and vigorously stir in the cheese until it has melted and blended into the sauce. (Just use the heat of the sauce to melt the cheese. Don’t put the pan over heat on the stove as this will make the cheese go oily.) Set to one side.
Next season the fish and then sprinkle over the lemon juice.
Grease the baking tray and place under the grill/broiler for 1 minute to heat up.
Lay the fish on the hot tray in a single layer. They will sizzle as they touch the hot baking tray/sheet.
With the grill/broiler rack 7.5cm (3 inches) from the heat, cook the fish for just 3 minutes and then remove.
Meanwhile, carefully spoon the broccoli into the cheese sauce to evenly distribute the florets. Spoon over the fish and then sprinkle the grated Parmesan.
Put the fish back under the grill/broiler and cook for a further 4 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and beginning to turn golden.
Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper over each piece of fish and serve immediately.
sole fillets (8 small fillets about 85g (3 oz) each, or 4 large about 140g (5 oz )each)*
2 tbsp oil (not olive oil)
lemon wedges to garnish
*If sole is out of season, turbot works really well with this recipe.
For the herb mayonnaise
6 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh chervil or basil, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a soft green salad
You will also need a large frying pan/skillet.
For the herb mayonnaise
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and herbs. Season. Cover and chill.
For the sole
Put a plate in the oven to warm.
Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Then spread out on a plate.
Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish.
Season the flour lightly and spread out on a second plate.
Pat dry the sole fillets and then coat in the flour, dip in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Put them on a clean plate as you go.
You will probably need to fry the fillets in two batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and then add half the fillets. Fry gently for 2–3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. When golden and crisp on the underside, turn and fry for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and lay on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any oil, then transfer to the warmed plate and return to the oven.
Now heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the second batch of fillets.
Serve garnished with lemon wedges and herb mayonnaise.
Sole fillets are a delicate fish and here they are cooked with a cream cheese, parsley and lemon stuffing, which adds to the flavour of the fish without overpowering it. Cooks in just 20 minutes for a delicious meal.