Named an essential kitchen gadget by the New York Times, the sheet pan is a powerful kitchen tool that combines intense flavors with easy prep, easy cooking, and easy cleanup. The result: Meats are juicy and tender, potatoes are crispy, vegetables are caramelized and slightly sweet, fruit is syrupy, and desserts are decadent.
Imagine: enjoying a date’s company, rather than stirring a pot on the stove. Or a dinner party with friends without splattered oil on your blouse, a weeknight with your kids while the oven does all the work, or hosting a big holiday family gathering without a mountain of pots and pans to clean.
From her new book, Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven, French Culinary Institute graduate and chef, Molly Gilbert, delivers 120 recipes that are sure to please, including easy weeknight meals, sumptuous appetizers and dinner ideas for special occasions, vegetarian entrees, quick brunch dishes, and irresistible desserts. And all you have to do is toss the ingredients on a pan and pop it in the oven!
Molly graciously shared one of her favorite recipes with us, a moist and flaky fish dish, featuring lemon dover sole, and crispy potatoes.
An excerpt from the book:
“When I saw the idea for this recipe in an old, dog-eared copy of Cook’s Illustrated (a personal bible of sorts), I knew I had to make my own version. Discovering garlicky potato “rafts” was, to me, the best thing since the acceptance of wearing yoga pants in public. They’re hot and crisp and supremely garlicky, a noble base for the delicately light, flaky, herb-, lemon-, and butter-flavored fish fillets. A smattering of oven-frizzled capers tops it all off perfectly.
I use fillets of sole, when I can find them, though haddock, halibut, or cod are also good choices. Serve these with a simple green salad or a few slices of baguette and some salted butter, if you like.”
Lemon-Herb Sole on Crispy Potato Rafts
by Molly Gilbert
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), unpeeled and scrubbed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (roughly 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 skinless fillets sole or other firm white fish (each 5 ounces and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated.
3. Assemble four potato rafts by overlapping potato slices on the prepared pan in rectangular mounds. Each raft should consist of 3 or 4 shingled rows and be roughly 4 by 6 inches; use 3 or 4 slices of potato per row.
4. Roast the potatoes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
5. Blot the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Place one, skinned side down, centered on top of each potato raft. Top each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon butter, 2 lemon slices, and 2 sprigs thyme. Scatter the capers atop the fish and around the pan.
6. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the fish is flaky and opaque, about 15 minutes.
7. Transfer the potato rafts and accompanying fillets to individual plates, ideally with a big spatula. Serve hot.