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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Sauteed Sole with Herb Lemon Butter

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As fans of the internationally acclaimed television series Downton Abbey are very aware of, the American release of season four is underway and there is really no better way to celebrate than enjoying the food of the era when the show takes place. So as you get ready to venture back into the abbey for another season, settle down with some wonderful authentic Downton cuisine.

Fillet of sole is a fish you've see it in the seafood section of your market all the time and it is pretty inexpensive. It is a very thin fillet and about a pound of sole will usually get you around eight fillets. Not really to bad of a food bargain in this day and age.

Though sole is a great bargain, it is also one of the few fish you can easily screw-up and the reason for the screw-ups is quite simple. It is very delicate and if not cooked properly, it will simply fall apart while you're preparing it. Such a miscue would get an abbey cooked fired, so during the Edwardian era in England, the cooks knew how to prepare this wondrous seafood delicacy.

If you have watched Downton Abbey, you have seen this dish presented on a few occasions. It is a very simple dish to prepare and incredibly flavorful.

For more on the food of Downton Abbey, visit the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!

Ingredients needed to make Sauteed Sole with Herb Lemon Butter (serves 2):

  • 4 sole fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbs. cornmeal
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 scallions (green onions), minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and finely grated zest


  1. Wipe the sole fillets of any excess moisture.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg and cream (this is called an eggwash).
  3. On a plate, combine the flour and cornmeal.
  4. Dip the sole into the egg wash.
  5. Dredge (coat) the sole in the flour mixture.
  6. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sole and saute 5 minutes per side.
  7. Remove the sole to a serving platter.
  8. Put the butter into the pan to melt.
  9. Add the scallions, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook 3 minutes.
  10. Spoon the sauce over the sole and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.



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