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Almond and Chive Dusted Dover Sole

Continuing with our Fish for Fall recipe series this month, here is another great holiday seafood dish courtesy of our corporate Chef Davis Denick!

Dover Sole is a fantastic and delicious fish that many people never get to experience. OK, maybe once when your crazy Aunt took you out to that fancy French place where the fish was presented tableside and finished by the waiter.  That experience is part of the deal when you’re spending $50 on a single serving of fish.  Wild Dover Sole is so in demand, especially in Europe, that it has almost been priced out of most markets.  Prodemar is looking to change this and revive this amazing product by offering a farmed alternative. 

The flavor and texture of a Dover Sole is hard to beat, fully cooked it is firm yet moist with an easy flake to it. The flavor is mild but more robust than any other flat fish and it’s so easy to work with.  For this month’s recipe I am preparing Dover Sole dredged with almonds and chives in a grilled lemon and basil beurre blanc.  This is a play on the classic dish Dover Sole a la Meuniere and uses those same flavors to compliment the fish.

To start, buy your fish already filleted or break it down yourself and weigh out portions.  You will probably need about three quarters of a fish for a full serving.  Clean, dry and keep in refrigeration until dredge is made.  Toast some almonds and let them rest to cool.  Chop fine some chives and reserve as well.  In a spice grinder place the cooled almonds and a few pinches of AP flour to dry this out a bit more.  Pulse until powdered and then run for a bit longer to really turn those nuts into dust, adding more flour as needed to dry.  In a large mixing bowl combine almond flour, chives, salt, pepper and a touch more AP flour to get the dredge to a proper consistency.  Place in a large flat container and let rest above the line to dry out some more.

Grill some lemon slices and put them in a small sauteuse with some fresh thyme, fresh basil, onions, whole black peppercorns, a touch of Dijon mustard, cohesive sauce and pass through a chinois twice.  Reserve for service, covered, between 140-160F throughout service, adding in a few drops of water every few hours to adjust consistency and make up for evaporation as the sauce sits hot. rice wine vinegar and white wine.  Reduce to demi sec and add a bit of heavy cream for your binder.  Let that reduce a bit and mount in about a pound of slightly softened butter under constant agitation until there is one smooth

 Amaranth, quinoa or any other ancient grain will compliment this dish nicely and offer a chewy counterbalance to the rich fish and buttery sauce.  Make a pilaf with some onions, garlic and fresh thyme in a chicken stock.  Finish with a lump of butter while fluffing to give it a nice shine and add a bit more fresh chopped thyme.  Blanch some asparagus spears for each plate and reserve for pickup.

 At pickup, lightly season the Dover Sole fillets and dredge in the almond flour.  Cook over medium high heat in butter and olive oil only a few minutes on each side.  This fish will cook quickly so get a little color on the fillets and let them rest on a wire rack for a minute.  To build the plate, start with a base of your grain and drop asparagus around the plate. Finish beurre blanc with basil chiffonade, top with cooked fish and sauce generously.  I like to finish this plate with a little red veined sorrel for a slightly more pungent lemon flavor. A nice lemon or grilled lemon and roasted garlic infused olive oil will also finish nicely.   Enjoy!