Sole With Fennel and Blood Oranges
I like to serve this with baby potatoes or fingerlings, which I cook in salted boiling water before I begin the fish, then drain and keep warm in the covered pot.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1blood orange, or a Cara Cara navel orange or a half-grapefruit
- ¾pound fillet of sole
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3tablespoons corn flour (very fine cornmeal) or all-purpose flour
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2small fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼cup fresh lemon juice
- Chopped fennel fronds for garnish
Step 1Cut away the ends of the orange, stand it on end and cut away the skin and pith by slicing down the sides, following the curvature of the fruit. Hold orange above a bowl to catch juice and cut the sections out from between membranes. Cut sections in half crosswise and set aside with the juice.
Step 2Season fish with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge in flour and tap to remove excess.
Step 3Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in wide, heavy skillet, preferably nonstick, that can accommodate fish fillets in a single layer. Add fennel and cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and return the pan to the heat.
Step 4Add the remaining olive oil and the butter to the pan. When butter has begun to foam, add fish fillets, rounded side down. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the fillets release easily from the surface of the pan and are lightly colored. If the fillets are thin, check after 1 minute. Cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, until fish is opaque all the way through. Do not overcook, or fish will fall apart.
Step 5Carefully transfer to individual plates or to a platter. Add lemon juice and orange sections and juice to the pan and stir constantly with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Juice should quickly reduce by half or more. Spoon juice and orange sections over the fish. Sprinkle chopped fennel fronds over top and serve with sautéed fennel on the side.