When it comes to a classic dish like stuffed fillets of sole, the trick is to keep it simple. We set out to get back to basics, honoring the mild flavor and delicate silky texture of sole with a simple stuffing and sauce and proper cooking technique for an elegant weeknight meal. For our stuffing, we used homemade bread crumbs with mayonnaise, butter, chives, garlic, lemon zest, and a bit of Dijon mustard to make a flavorful, comforting mix that wouldn’t overwhelm the fish. Instead of fussing with a separate serving sauce, we found that a mixture of lemon juice and cream poured over the bundles thickened into a perfect accompaniment as they cooked, as well as protected our delicate fillets. A hearty white sandwich bread like Arnold’s Country Classic or Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse made the best bread crumbs. Store-bought bread crumbs weren’t worth buying. To check the doneness of the fish, use the tip of a paring knife to prod the fish gently—the flesh should be opaque and flaky, but still juicy.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- Total Time: 40 Minutes
- 4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 8 (3-to 4-ounce) skinless sole fillets
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Pulse bread in food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer crumbs to large bowl and microwave, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 4 to 8 minutes. Add mayonnaise, melted butter, 2 tablespoons chives, mustard, garlic, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and stir until combined.
- Pat fish dry with paper towels. Place sole, skinned-side up, on clean counter. Mound ¼ cup filling in middle of each fillet. Fold tapered end of sole tightly over filling and then fold thicker end of fish over top to make tidy bundle. Arrange sole bundles in baking dish, seam side down, leaving small space between bundles.
- Combine cream, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in bowl. Pour cream mixture over fish. Bake until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and filling is hot, 12 to 16 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.