You have to be careful with the tropical sensibility of curry leaves (which have nothing to do with curry powder) because they can impart too much of a good thing. I often use them as an accent to add flavor without calories when I do spa cooking. Dover sole isn't always readily available, but if you can find it, I think that you will appreciate its wonderfully delicate flavor. The curry leaf emulsion lends just the right touch of acid to bring out the "soul" of this superb fish!
1/4 cup fresh curry leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
12 Japanese eggplants
Six 6-ounce Dover sole fillets
1. Place the curry leaves, wine, and vinegar in a blender and process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Process until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Wash and dry the eggplants. Trim off the stem end and two of the long sides from each eggplant, so that you can cut 4 equal lengthwise slices from each eggplant, having skin only around the edges.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant, a few slices at a time, and cook, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. You may need additional oil to brown all of the slices. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet and when all the slices are brown, roast in the oven for 7 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked though. Remove from the oven and tent lightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sole and cook, turning once, for about 2 minutes per side, or just until the fish is set but still moist in the center.
6. Place 4 slices of eggplant across the center of each of 6 dinner plates. Place a piece of sole on top of the eggplant. Whisk the curry leaf emulsion and drizzle a generous amount over the fish and around the plate. Serve immediately.
Chalone Pinot Noir
Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir
The sweet seductiveness of the Pinot will complement the delicate flavor of the sole and will stand up to the strength of the emulsion.
Indian Flavors, French Passion
By Raji Jallepalli with Judith Choate
HarperCollins Publishers, March 2000
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created April 2000
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