To Celebrate Julian Alcorso’s vineyard – Moorilla’s

If you are ever in Tasmania you must visit Julian Alcorso’s vineyard and try some of his excellent wine. I spent a happy day there during the vintage, and I include this recipe to celebrate the fine fish, fruit, wine and cream of Tasmania.

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Ingredients

  • 100 g (4 oz) seedless white grapes, halved if large
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or Calvados
  • 8 × 100–125 g (4–5 oz) lemon sole fillets, skinned
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 6 shallots or 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) fish stock, or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 4 tablespoons Australian dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • salt
  • ground white pepper

Method

Put the grapes into a bowl with the brandy or Calvados, stir through and leave to soak for 20 minutes or so.

Rinse the sole fillets and pat dry with kitchen paper, then roll them up from the tail end and secure with cocktail sticks. Pop them into a buttered ovenproof dish.

Melt the butter in a small, heavy-based pan and fry the shallots or onion for about 3–4 minutes, until transparent. Reserve 2 tablespoons onion and set to one side, then add the fish stock or water, bay leaf and bouquet garni to the pan. Bring to the boil, then carefully pour over the rolled fish fillets. Cover and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C/350°F (gas mark 4), until tender.

When the fish is cooked, strain off the liquid and pour 150 ml (5 fl oz) into the small pan, adding the reserved onion. Discard any remaining liquid. Add the wine to the pan and heat gently until simmering. Thicken the liquid with the blended cornflour and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat, then stir in the grapes and cream. Reheat very gently, but do not allow to boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pour the sauce over the fish. Delicious served with creamed potatoes and lightly cooked broccoli.

PS Avoid the possibility of death by cocktail stick – remove before serving!

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