Chef Stellino: Sole with Orange-Ginger Sauce

Serves 4

1½ to 1¾ pounds sole (Dover or Petrale), skinned and boned
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the batter:
½ cup flour
¼ cup cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
½ teaspoon salt

For the orange-ginger sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic (about 2 to 3 garlic cloves), chopped
¼ pound fillet of sole, chopped (optional)
½ cup sherry
1 cup orange juice
2 cups chicken stock (or, for a more complex flavor, 1 cup fish stock and 1 cup chicken stock)
1 orange, peeled and sectioned (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Make the orange-ginger sauce (see accompanying recipe) and keep warm.

To prepare the fillets:

Using a blender, mix the flour, cream and eggs—adding the optional cornstarch for a fluffier coating—and salt. Place the fish fillets in a large baking dish and pour the egg-and-flour mixture over the fish. Turn each fillet to make sure that it is well coated with the egg-and-flour batter, handling gently so as not to break the delicate fillets.

In a large sauté pan, cook the extra light olive oil over high heat until it starts to sizzle, about 2 to 3 minutes. One at a time, lift the fish fillets from the egg-and-flour batter and place in the hot oil. (You might need to do this in 2 batches.) Cook the fish, 1 to 2 minutes per side, until it starts to brown. Lift the fish from the pan with a fish spatula and place on a tray lined with a paper towel. Pat the top of each fillet with another paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

To prepare the orange-ginger sauce:

Cook the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and ginger, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the orange zest and garlic. Cook 1 more minute, stirring well; add the optional chopped sole, and cook 1 more minute. Increase the heat to high and add the sherry. Stir well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until reduced by half. Add the orange juice and stock (or stocks). Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes.

Strain the sauce into another saucepan and dispose of the strained solids. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens to a sauce-like consistency and coats the back of a spoon. The sauce can be made up to this point the day before. It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Just before serving, add the optional sections of peeled orange and the butter to the orange-ginger sauce. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes and stir gently until the butter has completely melted into the sauce and the orange sections have warmed through.

To serve:

Place a sole fillet in the middle of each dish and top with the orange-ginger sauce. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the sauce, and serve.