Day 2 of solid rain: Let's Eat!
Rather than let the second consecutive day of torrential rain get us down, Kim and I decided to make the most of it. We watched DVDs and ate like royalty. We were watching old Will and Grace episodes and a Christmas themed show played. So we decided to have Christmas in September. We made another trip to the Pines where the grocery store has much better quality food and stocked up. We got mussells for appetizers and scored a beautiful piece of sole for the main course. Not exactly the Feast of Seven Fishes - but close enough!
There weren't any good looking tomatoes at the store but these sundried tomatoes did the trick - they were so good in fact that I plan to use them in this dish again in the future
I pan fried the mussells in garlic, sundried tomatoes and scotch bonnet peppers - stir fry them for a few minutes first to unleash their flavors
We had the mussells for the first course. I pre-heated the pan and added extra virgin olive oil. I tossed in the sundried tomatoes first because they take longer to cook than the peppers and garlic. After a few minutes I added those along with fresh lemon juice and then the mussells and white wine. As usual I tossed the lemon in as well.
Stir fry the mussells until they open
Here's our delicious first course - I added more of the gravy into the bowls and served with warm bread. And even on over-priced Fire Island the mussells were $3 per pound
The sole couldn't be easier. I dried off the filet with paper towels and dredged it through flour and added salt and pepper to both sides. Add extra virgin olive oil and a few pats of butter (a pat of butter is about a teaspoon). Cook for two minutes on each side and you're done!
How delicous does this look? The lemon really adds zing
I pan fried some of the sundried tomatoes to garnish and served the pan gravy on the side
The next morning we got our Christmas gift - the sun came out! We ended up with three days of sun during our vacation. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I actually lost a few pounds during the trip despite our huge meals. My belief is that you can eat as much fish, fruit and vegetables as you want. You have to start with the portion control and extra trips to spin class when you have red meat and other fatty products.
For the Mussells for Two
1/2 pound mussells per person
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil - just coat the bottom of the pan (don't over do it with the oil)
1/8 - 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1 teaspoon flour
2 tablespoons scotch bonnet or jalepano peppers (optional)
3 - 4 cloves of fresh garlic sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup white wine (that you'd drink; not cooking wine)
4 - 5 sprigs saffron (unfortunately, the stores on Fire Island didn't carry this)
Pre-heat your skillet over medium heat
Add the oil - again - just enough to cover the pan (I don't use butter with this recipe - it would get lost in all of the other ingredients)
Start cooking the sundried tomatoes first, then the garlic and peppers - stir with a wooden spoon
Next add the wine and lemon juice and toss the two lemon halves into the pan
If you have saffron, now is the time to add them to the pan
Add the mussells - stir around and cook until they open - about 2 - 3 minutes
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture; this will add thickness to the gravy - use sparingly
Discard any mussells that don't open
For the Sole
1 pound sole (my rule of thumb: 1/2 pound serving per person)
3/4 cup flour
1/8 cup sundried tomatoes chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 - 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
2 - 3 teaspoons butter
Dry the sole filets thoroughly with paper towels
Put the flour on a plate; season with salt and pepper to taste
Dredge the sole through the flour until thoroughly coated on both sides
Pre-heat non-stick frying pan over medium heat
Add the oil; let heat up for a minute or so; add butter till it melts and swirl around pan to mix
Cut the lemon in half; squeeze the juice into the mixture; toss the two halves into the pan
Add the sole; cook for two minutes each side
Optional garnish: chop sundried tomatoes, stir fry and srinkle over fish and gravy
Serve and enjoy!
The flour on the sole filet makes for a crispy crust and soft and juicy inside.