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Categories: Fish and shellfish, Main courses

Petrale sole with lemon verbena beurre blanc

Rose, jasmine, honeysuckle, lavender -- are pure romance. And lemon verbena, that wonderfully aromatic herb with slender green leaves, may be the most romantic of them all. Its captivating perfume is delicate yet almost spellbinding; its flavor, mingling floral and ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
Note: The beurre blanc recipe is adapted from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Chop the lemon verbena leaves after removing the sauce from the heat (chopped leaves darken if left out too long).
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon verbena leaves plus 1 tablespoon for garnishing
  • 4 petrale sole fillets (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
  • 4 sprigs lemon verbena
  • Fleur de sel

Step 1Fill the bottom of a steamer with 1 to 2 inches of water. Set aside.

Step 2Combine the vinegar, wine and shallots in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat the mixture to simmering and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon.

Step 3Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in 1 piece of the butter.

Step 4Return the pan to low heat and continue beating in one piece of butter at a time. When you have added about half of it, heat the steamer.

Step 5Continue to add the butter and beat the sauce in the pan over low heat until all the butter has been incorporated and the sauce is creamy and light.

Step 6Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the chopped lemon verbena leaves. Cover and set the sauce aside while steaming the fish.

Step 7Put 2 fillets in the steamer. Top each with a sprig of verbena. Cover and steam until the fish is opaque, moist and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Step 8Carefully remove the fish to a serving plate. Sprinkle with fleur de sel to taste and spoon the verbena beurre blanc over. Sprinkle with chopped verbena.

Each serving:
440 calories; 26 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 36 grams fat; 22 grams saturated fat; 165 mg. cholesterol; 410 mg. Sodium
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