Monday, November 17, 2008

Test Recipe: Sole Francese

This month's recipes to test included this sole francese from a new cookbook by a New York City Southern Italian restaurant. I've been trying to eat more fish, and more sustainable/not laced with heavy metals fish specifically, and Monterey Fish Market had a sole that fit the bill, so last night I made it.

An hour and many, many dirty pots, pans, and plates later, Joel and I sat down to dinner. I was a little worried because the sauce required a ton of butter, but didn't look thick or rich. Instead, it looked pale and watery. And the fingerling potatoes, which had been boiled in advance and left to sit (to be rewarmed in the oven at the last minute along with the roasted mushrooms and the sole), hadn't gotten properly warm in the amount of time the recipe alloted for them. And since this is a recipe test, I dutifully didn't stray from the instructions (a feat which has taken a lot of willpower. As it turns out, my natural relationship to recipes is to use them as a general roadmap and then alter according to my mood, gut instinct, and opinions).

The other thing that worried me was the amount of lemon I was supposed to put in the sauce. It called for the juice of two lemons, but I was halving the recipe, so I used the juice of one lemon. I think my lemon was larger or juicier than the writer had accounted for, because it masked with its intense citrusity any subtle flavors the sauce may have had.

All in all, I was underwhelmed. For the number of dishes this meal created, the amount of oil and butter it required, and the length of time it took to put it all together, I thought it was pretty disappointing.
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