Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walnut and Parmesan Crusted Sole

It has taken me way too long to share this recipe with you all. Please forgive me. The road trip to Chicago ate all of my time. Amen.

This Walnut and Parmesan Crusted Sole was inspired by one of my friend's favorite meals at Macaroni Grill. Every time we go we order a huge jug of wine, lots of rosemary bread, and he starts salivating as he tells the server his plans to eat their Crusted Sole. When it arrives we don't hear a peep out of him until he has licked his plate clean. 
After a jug of wine it's amazing what you'll do in public.

The bliss that he achieves through this meal seemed like a great challenge. I set out to recreate that same mouthwatering-plate-licking-goodness. 

I poked around, played with a few recipes and then of course 'hot messed' things a bit and added some of my favorite ingredients: walnuts, artichoke hearts, wine, and capers. 

What we ended up with was nothing short of plate licking. There was nothing left and I made the beurre blanc sauce with such furry that I barely got a picture. Please forgive my feverishness, but let's see you try to stop and take photos when your guests are hovering like starving grizzly bears. It got pretty scary during the last moments.

But the result was nothing short of crisp buttery fish with a river of salty sweet smooth white sauce. We used crusty Italian bread to soak up any leftover sauce. 

We also served it with Pesto Pasta with Zucchini Ribbons. The pair was perfection. No one spoke during the whole meal. All I heard were the soft slirps of wine, scraping of forks, and the soft moaning of pleasure and hunger satisfied.

That's what makes me happy.

Special Note: If you are worried about the higher fat content, you can also bake this fish rather than frying it in butter and oil. This will save you about 70 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. Just heat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20-23 minutes flipping once after 10 minutes!

And believe it or not, this recipe saves 1,000 calories over the Macaroni Grill favorite and has also 20 less grams of fat than the restaurant inspiration! So dig in. Bake it and you save even more!

Now on with the crispy sweet flaky delicious recipe!

Walnut and Parmesan Crusted Sole
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
4 Sole Fillets - 4-6 Ounces Each
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Fat Free Half and Half
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Walnuts
2 Tbsp. Milled Flax Seed
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Salted Butter
1 Cup Artichoke White Wine Beurre Blanc (See recipe below)
1. Special Note: If you are planning to bake the fish, preheat the oven to 375 now. Place three medium sized deep bowls on the counter. Combine the whole wheat flour, garlic, and chili powder. Stir together with a fork. In the next bowl, crack two eggs into one bowl and add the half and half. Whisk together with a fork and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. 
 3. In a food processor blend the walnuts and place them in the last bowl with the Parmesan cheese and stir together with a fork.

4. Heat a large skillet with the butter and olive oil until the butter is melted and if you flick water into the pan the oil sizzles. Special Note: Or if baking place each fillet in a large baking dish and bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes flipping each fillet after 10 minutes.
5. Take the sole fillets and dredge the first sole in flour, then egg wash and finally in the Parmesan/walnut mix. Pat the Parmesan and walnut into the sole until the mix sticks to the fish.

6. In the large heated saute pan carefully place sole in the pan and shake the pan to make sure the fish doesn’t stick. When sole is golden brown (approx 3 minutes), flip over and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. When sole is done (120° F internally), transfer to plate and top with the Artichoke White Wine beurre blanc. Serve immediately!
Servings: 4

Nutritional Skinny (Just the sole without the sauce):

387 calories / 23 g fat / 9.5 g carbohydrates / 2.2 g fiber / 16.6 g protein

Artichoke White Wine Beurre Blanc

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Salted Butter
1 Tbsp. Minced Shallot (or white onion will work too)
3 Cloves Garlic; Minced
1 Cup Dry White Wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc work great)
1 Tbsp. Capers
4 Tbsp. Fat Free Half and Half
1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Artichoke Hearts; Diced
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper

1. In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and butter and melt the butter then add the shallot and garlic. 

2. Once the shallot has become caramel in color, approx 2-3 minutes add the wine and capers. Continue stirring until the wine has reduced almost half.  Add the half and half and continue to cook reducing by half. Turn the heat to low and add the artichoke hearts and season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled over the Parmesan and Walnut Crusted Sole.

Servings: 4
Nutritional Skinny (1/2 cup of the beurre blanc):

91.5 calories / 4.4 g fat / 5.7 g carbohydrates / 1.3 g fiber / 1.4 g protein

Nutritional Skinny (For sole with beurre blanc):

478.5 calories / 27.4 g fat / 15.2 g carbohydrates / 3.5 g fiber / 18 g protein

Mental Health Tid Bit: This recipe is a bit of a splurge with over 400 calories and 27 g of fat. Here's the tid bit... if this is your favorite meal, or maybe your favorite is mac n' cheese, or meatloaf, or lobster dipped in melted butter. Whatever it is, every once and a while we have to let ourselves really enjoy and eat exactly what we want. Life is too short. Enjoy each mouthful and chew carefully savoring each flavor and leave the dishes for tomorrow. On a splurge night I think it's important to relax and really allow yourself the fullest enjoyment possible. Soak the dishes and sit around the table and talk to your guests or family. Make the splurge a sharing moment. You deserve it!

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