Flounder Fillets in White Wine
I guess it took moving to South Carolina for me to finally muster up the nerve to start really using my Italian cookbooks without producing sweat beads on my forehead or making my hands shake. It seems ridiculous, but it isn’t just a matter of translation. Salt to taste is taken to a whole other level in these books and if you don’t have a good instinct in the kitchen, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. This implicit writing style bothered me for a long time, maybe it was due to a lack of confidence combined with laziness, but it kept me away from some phenomenal regional recipes that I am now, finally, starting to experiment with.
This recipe is from one of Italy’s oldest cookbooks, Pellegrino Artusi’s La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well). I really felt the need to own this book, it is a classic after all and was the first cookbook that gathered recipes from all over the country after unification. Beyond skimming through it a few times, it was collecting dust on shelf in my pantry. There is a reason for that, the recipe that I followed for Sole Fillets with Wine, was a paragraph, no listing of ingredients, no measurements, just a paragraph of what you sort of need to do, the rest is up to you.
I guess my kitchen confidence has risen, no beads of sweat appeared on my forehead, I just took what they gave me and ended up with a delicate and delicious meal, though I don’t think that I’ll be cracking Artusi up too often for inspiration.
Flounder Fillets in White Wine
heavily adapted and translated from Pellegrino Artusi’s La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene
- 1 pound of flounder fillets
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1-2 cups of breadcrumbs for dredging
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 a lemon, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
An hour or so before cooking, beat eggs until they become a light yellow. Leave the fillets to sit in the beaten eggs for at least an hour at room temperature, turning once.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until it sizzles when you drop a breadcrumb in the oil. This indicates that the oil is ready for frying. While the oil is heating up, dredge the fillets in the breadcrumbs, and once the oil is ready place them in the frying pan. Brown on both sides, about a minute and a half for each side. You don’t need to worry about the fish being completely cooked through, it will continue cooking in the wine.
Remove the fish to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Heat butter and a spoonful of the oil used for frying in another large frying pan, place the fried fish in the pan and add the white wine, lemons and parsley. Bring the wine to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes, spooning the sauce over the fillets to keep them from drying out.
Serve immediately with the sauce that it was cooked in and extra slices of lemon if desired.
One Year Ago: Asparagus and Ham Risotto with a Fried Egg
Two Years Ago: Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce, Spinach and Sausage Lasagna, Roasted Brussels Sprouts,Penne with Zucchini, Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios, Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Lemon, Celery and Carrots, & Red Beans and Rice