Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Recipes by Denise Alexander: Fillet of Sole with Sorrel Sauce; Fish Florentine with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce

Denise Alexander's Fillet of Sole with Sorrel Sauce

For sorrel sauce:

2 lbs. sorrel
6 tablespoons sweet butter
Salt, white pepper to taste

Rinse sorrel several times. Shake off excess water using salad basket. With sharp knife, cut along midrib of each leaf; rip away and discard stem and midrib.

Stack half leaves of sorrel and cut crosswise with sharp knife into very thin shreds. Melt butter in large saucepan; add sorrel. Stir well to coat with butter.

Cover, cook over medium heat until tender, stirring once or twice. Do not overcook to mushiness. Cooking takes only a few minutes.

For the fillets:

2 lbs. fillets of sole
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Fold fillets envelope-fashion by lapping each end over toward center. Arrange 1 layer deep in buttered 2-quart casserole or au gratin dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and white pepper.

Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes. Remove liquid from fish, using a bulb baster, then cover fillets with sorrel sauce.

Bake uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily when touched with a fork. Serve at once. Delicious with dry white wine, sourdough bread and green salad. Makes meal complete. Low in calories, too. Serves 6.

Thoughts: A more elaborate sauce can be made by using equal quantities of fish stock or bottled clam broth, sorrel puree (made by putting washed sorrel through food mill or blender) and heavy cream.

Heat, taste and add more cream to taste. Beat 1 egg yolk to each 1 1/2 cups of liquid and thicken sauce by cooking over indirect heat, stirring once or twice. Season to taste.

Sorrel is best when picked fresh from the garden. However, it can be easily frozen as follows: chop, wash as directed above.

Place sorrel in large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, without adding water, until leaves are barely wilted and tender, turning often with fork. This takes only a few minutes.

Puree sorrel in food mill, blender or food processor. Cool quickly, pack with 1/2-inch headspace, seal and freeze at once.

Dried sorrel is available at many health food stores and may be substituted for fresh sorrel. Rehydrate according to package instructions. Fresh or frozen spinach can be substituted for sorrel.

Denise Alexander's Fish Florentine with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce

1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, undrained
1/2 cup sherry
1 pound fillets of fish (sole or flounder)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen spinach
2 recipes White Sauce Base (recipe below)

In an 8 x 12 x 2-inch baking dish, combine liquid from mushrooms with wine. Fold each fillet in thirds, place in baking dish. Dot with butter. Cover with piece of wax paper.

Bake in 350 degrees F. oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spinach according to package directions. Drain in a sieve, pressing out excess liquid with the back of a spoon. Remove fish from baking dish; measure and reserve 3/4 cup liquid from dish.

Make White Sauce Base***, substituting 3/4 cup fish liquid for 3/4 cup of the milk. Combine 1/2 cup white sauce with drained spinach; spread in bottom of baking dish.

Place fish over spinach. Add mushrooms to remaining white sauce; pour sauce over fish. Bake in 350 degrees F. oven 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly. If desired, serve with additional Tabasco sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

White Sauce Base

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup milk

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt and Tabasco. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Yield: About 1 cup.

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