I have always wanted to be a good cook but it wasn’t until I moved in with my hubby that I truly decided to make that want a reality. When I lived by myself no one (except for me) really cared if I only ate veggie burgers, pre-cooked chicken sausages, or frozen ravioli for dinner. Frankly I do not think that my hubby would really care if we ate cereal every night for dinner but there is something so nice about seeing someone enjoy something that you made.
So, yes, I became a better cook for my husband. Very 1950’s of me, but that probably is the only 1950’s thing about me.
Much to my own surprise, last week, when the hubby had a work dinner, I found myself in the kitchen whipping up a gourmet dinner for me and only me! That was when I knew I had been bitten by this cooking bug and it was bad. Oh Ina would be so proud.
In fact, I used her sole meuniere recipe – delish. The recipe is only meant for two so it easily pares down for one. I mean how could you go wrong with butter and lemon?
I could have paired the fish with my usual sautéed spinach but it’s officially fall in SF and for the first time in 4 years of living here it actually looks and feels like fall. So I had to embrace my favorite season and picked up some swiss chard. Alice Waters convinced me (in her book that is) that it would be delicious with butter and parmesan cheese. She was right.
What an amazing mid-week treat.
Easy Sole Meuniere (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 fresh sole fillets, 3 to 4 ounces each
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2 to 1 lemon depending on size)
Combine the flour, 2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a large shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown. Dredge the sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 minutes o the other side. While the second side cooks, add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the pan. Serve immediately when finished preferably on a plate warmed in the oven.
Chard with Parmesan (adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food)
1 bunch of chard
2 tbsp of butter
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Pull the leaves from the ribs of a bunch of chard. Discard the ribs, wash the leaves, and cook until tender in abundant salted boiling water, 4 minutes or so. Drain the leaves, cool, squeeze out most of their excess water and chop coarse.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the chopped chard and salt to taste. Heat through and stir in a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and serve.