Poached Sole Filet with Orange-Chive Sauce

We love exploring new foods and cultures, and today we’re looking at Kwanzaa. The seven-day African cultural celebration is centered on family and community. In addition, the word Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits”, signaling rebirth and renewing one’s life. What better way to do this than with healthy eating!  Kwanzaa may be celebrated by some with rich, tasty dishes like macaroni and cheese, and chicken and waffles, but seafood is also  a low-fat and nutritious option to try.

This recipe for poached sole is light but still tasty with its sweet orange sauce. Pair with collard greens, okra, or spinach, and you are on your way to renewing you and your family’s healthy habits any day of the year but especially appropriate during Kwanzaa!

Ingredients (Serves 4-5)

1 lb white fish filets (sole, tilapia or red snapper)
2 cups orange juice
2 cups white wine, or substitute the same amount of liquid 

such as vegetable broth and/or water for 
the wine if you do not wish to use wine
1 bunch chives or scallions, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, or 1/2 teaspoon ground  

1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1. In a large saucepan with sides, combine orange juice, wine, half of the chives, celery, peppercorns, salt, and orange and lemon slices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and keep at a low simmer. Meanwhile, rinse the fish filets under cold water and place on a plate. 

2. Submerge 2-3 filets in the poaching liquid, while on a low simmer. Cover them with the orange and lemon slices so they are fully submerged.

3. Cook for 2-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the filets. The fish is done when it is white and flakes when tested. Remember the fish continues cooking after taken out of the poaching liquid, so be careful not to overcook. Place the fish on a dish and keep warm by covering with foil.

4. After all the fish is cooked, immediately strain the poaching liquid carefully through cheesecloth or a strainer into a large bowl. Clean out the saucepan and place 1 cup of the strained poaching liquid into the saucepan to reduce.

5. Reduce the liquid on a high boil for about 5 minutes or until sauce becomes slightly thick and syrupy. Spoon over fish and serve immediately. Garnish fish with chopped chives and any remaining orange or lemon slices. This fish dish goes great with wild rice and steamed broccoli or cauliflower.

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