Sole piccata, a light and delicate dish that consists of lightly browned sole fillets bathed in a lemon, caper, and white wine-laced pan sauce, is a classic for a reason: The fresh, bright acidity of the sauce wakes up the flavor of the fish.
To ensure our thin fillets were crisp and golden brown on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside, we started with the coating. We produced the perfect crust without heavy eggs or bread crumbs by simply drying the fillets, seasoning them with salt and pepper, letting them sit for 5 minutes, then dredging them in flour.
A nonstick skillet coated with a mixture of oil and butter prevented sticking and ensured that we had enough fat left to build our Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce.
Flounder is a good substitute for sole. Try to purchase fillets that are of similar size. If using smaller fillets (3 ounces each), serve two fillets per person and reduce the cooking time on the second side to about 1 minute. You will need to cook smaller fillets in three or four batches and wipe out the skillet with paper towels after the second and third batches to prevent any browned bits from scorching.
PAN-FRIED SOLE WITH LEMON-CAPER PAN SAUCE
Start to finish: 45 minutes
4 (6-ounce) skinless sole fillets
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 recipe Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce (see below)
LEMON-CAPER PAN SAUCE
(Makes about 3/4 cup; enough for 4 servings; pairs best with fish and shellfish)
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Nutrition information per serving: 329 calories; 178 calories from fat; 20 g fat (8 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 107 mg cholesterol; 766 mg sodium; 13 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 23 g protein.
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