And just like that, there goes another episode of “Jewish guilt on the holidays!” Every year I try not to get sucked in, but as I’ve said before (in this blog and probably to everyone I know), religion just does that to you. Packages just the right amount of festivity and liturgy into a holiday, couples it with the perfect food and family chaos and then BAM! – hits you over the head with guilt. All the things you’ve done wrong, thought wrong, said wrong, felt wrong or wronged to another followed by all the ways in which you’ll be punished or worse– die (BTW, can someone please tell the sages to change that “Who by stoning and who by fire” prayer to something a little more current?). Which is why I love, love, love Thanksgiving. Because it’s all of the food, none of the guilt! Can’t we just cut to November already?
This year I had a little extra time on my hands during the (Jewish) holidays and so I decided to actually read some of the prayers in the prayer book instead of think of the 10,000 other things I’d rather be doing other than standing, sitting, standing again, sitting again and reading responsively.
So I took the time to do some soul searching. It’s not fun. It’s humbling. And it can sometimes make you feel like a jerk. But seeing that it’s the fall, a time of harvest, renewal, rebirth and redirection, I took heed. Who knows if it actually did anything but at least I tried. Do you get points for trying in heaven? I’ll have to ask the sages after I ask them to change that “How’re you going to die” prayer.
Anyway, as usual, my ADD brain transitioned right to food at some point during services…perhaps during some psalm where there was a festive meal. And soon enough my soul-searching turned into sole searching, as in “where the heck can a person get a good piece of fish around here?”
I rarely cook fish at home because a)my kids don’t like it and b)I have a hard time finding some that doesn’t taste fishy or isn’t ridiculously overpriced. But there I was, sitting in synagogue, dreaming of a white flaky fish with lemon butter sauce when I realized that I must make Sole for dinner. It was like God was trying to tell me something! “Quick, go and run to the nearest Fresh Market or Whole Foods and spend every stinking penny in your wallet to make fresh fish for your family and you will be healed and forgiven!”
And so I did. Let’s hope it works.
Filet of Sole With Lemon Butter Sauce
- 2-3 filets of fresh fish (sole, cod or another white flaky fish)
- appx 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- few pats of butter
- splash of white wine
- 3 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)
- appx. 1/2 milk or cream
- 2-3 spoonfuls of flour
- appx. 1/2 tsp oregano, parsley, paprika and thyme
- juice of one lemon
- olive oil
- Mix the dry spices together and rub over fish.
- In a saute pan, saute garlic, butter and lemon on medium heat.
- Add white wine and gradually stir in milk or cream.
- Reduce heat to low and add in flour until sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat and set aside until fish is done.
- Wipe out pan and return to medium heat, adding olive oil.
- Sprinkle fish with bread crumbs and saute in pan until no longer clear in the middle (you can also bake the fish in a little butter or olive oil for 20-25 minutes on 350).
- Drizzle lemon sauce over fish and serve with wild rice.