This dish is Valentine’s heaven. Retro, cheesy, easy and delicious. It takes minutes to prepare, in fact you could get everything done on the morning or night before and just pop into the oven 20 minutes before serving leaving ample time for canoodling.
The thing is, Valentine’s cooking is for two, and there is nothing easier than grabbing two soles at the fish counter at any large retail shop along with a packet of smoked salmon.
My last Valentines dinner at home, ended a few years ago when my husband asked me to arrive home later than usual as he had a surprise in store.
At the time I was so excited that my imagination went into overdrive.
Would it be a bunch of red roses and a romantic table set with a three-course dinner? Jewellery? A bubble bath and candles?
As I pulled my car into the garage I quickly I applied lipstick ( I had already brushed my teeth) and knocked on the front door in great anticipation.
“I am over here, come around” I heard my husband holler from the side of the house.
Puzzled, I walked around to the patio and there he was in shorts and slops next to the braai with tongs in his hand. “Surprise” he shouted “Look I am braaing”.
And the table was indeed set: Woolies salads in their original tubs, and two plates piled on top of each other with the cutlery and a bottle of Tabsaco sauce perched on top of a 1 ply paper serviette.
He immediately mistook my disbelief for adoration. “I know!” he boasted. “Cool hey?”
Ok so my husband can’t braai. Or make a fire. We ended up eating two hours later.
Needless to say we now dine out each year.
If you can’t, here is an easy alternative.
- 2 large soles
- Salt and pepper
- Melted garlic butter or plain butter
- Chopped chives or dill to garnish
- ½ cup sour cream
- 100g pack of smoked salmon or trout, diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives or parsley to garnish
- Mix sauce ingredients, cover and refrigerate to allow salmon to soften
- Season soles with salt and pepper, brush with melted butter and place on an ovenproof serving platter.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate till serving time.
- Bake soles at 200 ˚C for 15 minutes.
- Dollop sauce on top and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs
If you really have to, substitute soles for fresh crumbed hake or salmon from Woolworths , or the crumbed soles from the frozen section. Just lightly heat the sauce ingredients in the microwave
You could easily use any other cut of fresh fish, though it may need to cook longer, depending on the thickness.