In general, I’m not a big fan of fish. There’s no particular reason why other than perhaps a few bad experiences with improperly cooked fish. Sure I’ll throw together some tilapia tacos or some beer battered perch now and then, but for the most part, I shy away from experimenting with fish.
That said, the Saturday nights when Mr W and I are home and our kids are with their other parents, I like to make dinners that are a bit more “grown-up” than our standard weeknight fare. It’s my chance to experiment and to be quite honest, play around with some more expensive cuts of meat that I don’t necessarily want to “waste” on the still under developed taste buds of our kids.
Don’t judge me…like you don’t have a few special treats you don’t share with your kids? Uh huh. Thought so.
A week or so back when I was planning out our menu I was hoping to make Bang Bang Shrimp for our kid free Saturday. The problem was, I had no shrimp in the freezer. Not a big deal as I was planning a Trader Joe’s run that week.
Wouldn’t you know, Trader Joe’s was completely out of frozen shrimp? (Unless I wanted the baby ones, which I did not.)
So I found myself browsing through the frozen fish in the bin next to the shrimp. They had the standards, salmon (yuck), tuna steaks (ew), Tilapia (BTDT) and…Dover Sole. I’d heard of sole, but I wasn’t familiar with it. A quick Google search turned up the promise that it would be a mild fish, much like Tilapia or Mahi Mahi. The price wasn’t bad either, $6 for two very nice size filets, more than enough for four servings.
I brought it home and spent some time looking for recipes. I found quite a few pan fried ones, but I was looking for something I could put together and toss in the oven. That’s when I found a few options for stuffed and baked sole. Most were rice or stuffing based and none of them looked all that appealing. That’s the nice thing about recipes though, they give you something to work with. Once I knew a rice based stuffing was a possibility and roughly how long to bake it, it was a simple matter of rummaging through the fridge.
Here’s what I ran across that sounded like it might be tasty with fish: leftover jasmine rice, a small container of steamed broccoli, a red onion, some bacon, various types of cheese, fresh parsley, butter and a lemon. Mixing it all together and rolling the fish around it seemed like a plan. I ended up with tons of stuffing leftover though, so I tossed it in the pan and spread it around the fish.
As it turns out, this was smart, because to be honest, the stuffing alone was worth making this recipe for. I have no doubt I’ll throw it together again and bake it as a rice casserole…it was that good.
But in the fish, it was just lovely. I made four servings along with about a pound and a half of sauteed asparagus and a pound of pan fried brussels sprouts. After devouring his fish and veggies, Mr W actually went back for not one, but two more pieces. There wasn’t so much as a scrap left in the pan to save.
Quick and Easy Stuffed Dover Sole
- 2 6-8oz Dover Sole Filets, cut in half to form two hand size filets
- 1.5-2 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice
- 1/4 c chopped cooked broccoli
- 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 T finely chopped red onion
- 2 T bacon pieces
- 1 T grated romano or parmesean cheese
- 1 T melted butter
- 1 t chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13″ baking dish. In a large bowl combine rice, broccoli, onion, cheeses, bacon and parsley. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze as much juice as you can with your hands over rice mixture. (Do not use a juicer.) Stir rice mixture until well mixed. Lay a sole filet into the baking dish then spoon as much rice mixture as you can onto one end before lifting the other end up and over, causing the sole to wrap around the filling. Repeat with other filets. Spoon any remaining rice mixture into the middle of the pan and spread out evenly. Slice up the lemon halves and place a lemon slice on top of each filet, then drizzle melted butter on top. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.
This is a company worthy dish, though if you’re dealing with men, you might want to plan on two servings for each of them rather than one. It will most definitely make it into our “at home Saturday date night” rotation as soon as I can get back to Trader Joe’s for more dover sole.