On Wednesday I can buy fish. Getting fresh fish in Umbria can be challenging, you need to know the schedule, some days its fish in Citta di Castello, some days in Umbertide, but nowhere on a Saturday or Sunday. I’m not complaining I’m thrilled because the fish tastes so good. It still has bones, and scales, and skin and guts.
I had a real problem with fish in New York, where all the fish were already filleted. No bones, no flavor. But, the real problem is that there is no way that filleted fish is fresh, unless you caught the fish yourself. Fish are caught in the Atlantic, put into a near frozen state, shipped to China for processing, then shipped back to the U.S. No, I’m not making this up. Your fish traveled more miles dead than it did alive.
Which is my long-winded way of saying that I totally enjoyed the little whole soles that we had for lunch today. Not that Italy or Europe is without fish drama. There had been a fisherman strike that spread throughout France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The fishermen are blocking ports as part of a protest against high fuel prices.
I like to use a classic meuniere preparation:
Dredge the sole is a bit of flour and salt.
Fry in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil and a bit of butter.
Remove from pan and place on a warm plate. Cover in finely chopped parsley.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the pan (be careful, it’s going to steam up and hiss); pour the sauce over the parslied fish. Serve with more lemon and a crisp white wine, like a Grechetto.