Shrimp Stuffed Sole with Caper Butter Sauce

I felt like making a special dinner tonight …. will be away for 9 days without Grant, in Phoenix.  Nope, not for shopping, or golf, or even the spring training going on at the ball diamonds.  No, Hayley is having surgery again, and we are putting our trust and all our hope in the physicians that we have grown to know and love at the Mayo Clinic.  

I often make a rolled, stufed sole dinner but this one was so delicious it had to get on the blog before I forget what I did … something I am known for….

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Serves 2, but of course, feel free to adjust for however many people you are serving.

Preheat oven to 350

2 good sized sole fillets (of the same size)

4 large fresh shrimp (or prawn)

1 shallot (minced)

2 tbsp capers

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (or whatever herb you have on hand that you feel like using)

1 tbsp olive oil

butter

In a small saucepan soften minced shallot in 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp butter.  When softened, remove half the shallots to a small bowl.  To the rest of the shallots, add 2 tbsp good, dry white wine and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar.  Allow to cook just enough to reduce a bit, and add the capers.  Add another 1 tbsp of butter and allow to keep warm.

To the reserved shallots add the bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley.

Season the sole fillet with salt and pepper, lay the shrimp/prawn down at the thick end and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on.  Roll up tightly and allow to rest.

Heat an oven proof saute pan, melt a little butter with oil and gently place the rolled fillets in.  Place in preheated oven (350) and cook for 25 minutes.  Be watchful for this – depending on the size of your fish, and your stuffing, it could take as little as 20 minutes, or as much as 30.  Do not overcook your fish – as soon as it flakes easily it is done.

Remove from heat, stir the remaining parsley into the butter caper sauce, and season with freshly squeezed lemon juice and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Drizzle over the fish.

Chinese Chow Mein

This is great served as a side dish for Kung Pao chicken or on it’s own as a full meal by adding stir fried chicken, pork, beef or shrimp.

Chow Mein

8 oz steamed chow mein noodles

1 tbsp finely minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup finely sliced celery

1/2 cup snow peas

Steam chow mein noodles until tender, or soak in cool water until tender.  Be careful not to leave them in water too long or they will get soggy.  :o(

SAUCE

1 tsp corn starch

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp water

 

cooking oil

scallions

toasted sesame seeds

In a small mixing bowl mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok, add cooking oil and lightly saute cabbage and celery – add ginger and garlic.

Remove from wok to a bowl – add sauce to bowl and bring to a boil, allowing it to thicken and become glossy.  Add noodles and stir fry quickly just allowing them to soften and absorb the flavor of the sauce.  Return sauted vegetables to wok and quickly stir through.

Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

If you want to make a meal in one – stir fry any type of protein you choose in the wok and add it to the chow mein – so versatile with any number of vegetables.  Go ahead and experiment – let me know what you try and how you like it!

SUSHI – (deconstructed and in a bowl!)

deconstructed sushi 2

On a hot night like this it is hard to think of cooking, or even standing over a grill ….. in fact standing and rolling cold items like sushi seemed a bit of a stretch …. this was just perfect – so cold and refreshing and really hit the spot.  Give it a try with any of your favorite sushi ingredients.  Great for a family too – serve it the way I did – on a large platter and let each person make their own bowl up as they go.

SUSHI SAUCE

zest 1 lemon and 1 orange, and reserve

juice of each: 1 lemon, 1 orange

1 tbsp. brown sugar

On medium heat cook on a gentle boil for 2 minutes, stir in:

3 tbsp. soy sauce

3 tbsp. rice vinegar

Heat again on a gentle boil for about 3 minutes until it thickens slightly.

Taste!!!!  I can’t say this enough …. you need to make sure the flavours are balanced, playing with each of the simple ingredients above.  If you think it can stand a bit more citrus, add in the zest.  If you like your sushi spicy, add in either wasabi paste or a minced chili pepper.

Toast nori sheets lightly, just until crispy.  Slice in thin strips, and again dice if you like small pieces or leave it in strips. 

Cook some sushi rice according to directions on rice

Finely slice whatever ingredients you like in your sushi

For us today this included:

imitation crab meat

shrimp

cucumber

carrot

avocado

cabbage

green onions

toasted sesame seeds

But really – use whatever you like!  Put a little rice in the bottom of your bowl, assemble a few of each of the ingredients and lightly drizzle with the sushi sauce – have fun – you will love it!

Sesame Chicken Salad

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Today was a beautiful hot sunny day, just the way we like in the Okanagan.  The idea of a Thai inspired chicken salad felt like the ideal dinner item – fresh, crunchy, tasty and not too heavy.  You could just as easily substitute the chicken with tofu or any seafood item – delicious either way.

 

4 chicken breasts

12 ounces chinese egg noodles, cooked and drained

3/4 cup green tea (strong is best)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 cup roasted peanut oil

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus some for sprinkling over top)

2 tbsp chili garlic sauce

2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

1 heaping TBSP Thai red chili paste

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 -2 tbsp minced ginger (depending on your ginger love!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 long english cucumber, diced

1 cup sliced snap peas

1/4 cup each finely chopped red and yellow pepper

1 cup bean sprouts

1 head red lettuce, washed and leaves torn

kosher salt

cilantro

roasted peanuts

toasted sesame seeds

1 jalapeno seeded and diced finely (optional) To make the sauce combine green tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, Thai sweet chili sauce, Thai red curry paste and peanut oil in a blender or food processor.  Add sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and 1/2 tsp kosher salt – blend well until creamy and smooth.  TASTE and adjust for seasoning – you should have lots of flavour, but also really well balanced – I find depending on the type of soy sauce, chili sauce or even the lime you will have to work with those flavours.

Using a meat mallet pound chicken breasts to an even thickness.  Pour just enough of the dressing over to coat well and marinate for at least an hour and preferably overnight.  Discard marinade used for the chicken.  Grill just until cooked through and thinly slice.

Prepare salad with lettuce, cilantro and vegetables – as well as the diced jalapeno if using.

Cook noodles just until tender, rinse well to cool and dress with a bit of the same dressing the chicken is marinating in.

Toast peanuts and sesame seeds to use as garnish.

To assemble pile noodles on a plate, salad on top – scatter chicken over and drizzle with dressing.  Garnish with more cilantro, peanuts and sesame seeds. 

Shrimp Stuffed Sole

This is a great way to have a quick, easy, scrumptious dinner ready in minutes.  In the summer do these little packets in foil on the barbecue, or grill.  If you live somewhere that grilling isn’t feasible, just do it in the oven!

4 sole fillets

FILLING

3/4 cup cooked shrimp

1/3 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped feta

2 tbsp red onion, minced and sauted lightly in olive oil – then cooled

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all filling ingredients

1 lemon

butter

Spray foil (or parchment paper) with cooking spray, then set fillet on it.

Put scoop of filling on each fillet, roll up – place slice of butter and lemon slice on top.  Seal pack and put on grill for 15-20 minutes.  You will have such a delicious sauce inside that serving it with rice to soak it up is a great idea!