OK, I know these aren’t the best photos. This dish felt really fancy and I wish I’d taken more care to plate it in an attractive way but I was really hungry and just wanted to eat.
I love the Joy of Cooking. I used to read it like a novel and imagine I lived the kind of life in which I needed to know how to pull off a clam bake for 60 people, how to poach a whole salmon, or skin and dress a freshly caught beaver.
Until recently I still had the copy my mom bought when she was 21. It had no cover and was taped and stained and losing pages so I broke down and bought a new one. Delving back into it was like revisiting a long-lost family member. The Joy of Cooking helped teach me to cook. Still, after perusing it for a while, I set it aside and went back to looking for recipes online.
Last week I decided I wanted a new fish recipe. I looked online for inspiration and found nothing new so I cracked opened the old Joy and read the whole “About Fish” section. This recipe caught my eye:
The name was a little off-putting. Who wants molded fish? Sounds like it might be moldy. But I decided to give it a try anyway and I’m glad I did.
The recipe made way too much stuffing for the amount of fish I had. I only bought 1 pound of sole. To make 4 servings you’ll need 2 pounds. I used the leftover stuffing and sauce with some rockfish filets a few nights later and it was delicious.
As usual, I made a few adjustments to the recipe.
I replaced the celery with chopped sautéed mushrooms, added the grated zest of about 5 key limes (I didn’t have any lemons but for some reason I had a ton of key limes) and I replaced the dried basil with a few shakes of Old Bay.
I served it with a key-lime, white wine, butter, and caper sauce.
So, this is what you’ll need:
- 4 buttered 8oz ramekins
- 1 baking dish to use as water bath
- 2 lbs Dover Sole filets
- 1 ¼ cups bread crumbs ( I used half regular and half Panko)
- Zest of 4-5 key Limes (or one lemon)
- ¾ stick of room temperature butter
- ¼ cup diced, sautéed mushrooms
- 2 tbsp finely diced onions
- 2 tbsp finely diced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Fresh ground pepper
- A few shakes of Old Bay Seasoning
- Pinch of salt
The first thing I did was butter the ramekins and pre-heat the oven to 350. Then I zested and squeezed all those tiny key limes. I used the juice for the sauce and the zest for the stuffing.
Next I chopped up and sautéed the mushrooms. It’s a giant pile but they cook down so much.
Then I chopped up the onions and parsley and creamed in the butter and mixed in the bread crumbs and seasonings.
Then I lined the ramekins with the filets. They I barely had enough to cover the bottom and sides. Then I packed in the stuffing and folded the fish over it the best I could. It wasn’t perfect and I did not have high hopes for these molds.
I placed a baking dish half full of hot water in the 350 degree oven and carefully set the ramekins into it.
I baked them in their water batch for 30 minutes while I made the sauce, rice and veggies.
After 30 minutes I carefully lifted the ramekins out of the water bath and set them on the cutting board. I was pretty nervous and not feeling confident at all about this.
I set a plate on top of the first ramekin and holding with a hot pad, I flipped the ramekin-topped-with-plate over quickly until the ramekin was inverted on top of the plate.
With much trepidation I used both my little oven mitt-clad paws to lift the ramekin and voilà!
Quite a lot of juice poured out onto the plate which I guess I should have cleaned up before I took this photo but I was really happy with the result. It was also delicious!
You could just as easily roll the stuffing up in the filets and bake them but this was really nice. The fish was soft and buttery and the stuffing was flavorful and satisfying.
And it looked super fancy before I hid it under the sauce and side dishes.
Thank you Joy if Cooking!