Jose Wilson's Fillet of Sole Rockport

4 servings

Chuck Williams was given this recipe, one of his favorites, by the late Jose Wilson, James Beard's "righthand woman." He notes that it "anticipates how confident we would become by the late 1980s with all the different culinary influences we'd absorbed in the previous decades. Its combination of flavors reflects that fact; each highly distinctive, yet all of them nicely balanced to complement the delicate sole flavor." Serve with rice and green beans.

Adapted from "Celebrating the Pleasures of Cooking," by Chuck Williams (Time-Life Books and Weldon Owen, 1997).

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup low-fat sour cream


Freshly ground black pepper

4 sole fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each

Position the top rack in the oven to 4 inches away from the broiling unit and preheat the broiler. Lightly grease a flameproof gratin dish in which the fillets will fit comfortably in a single layer.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, horseradish, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and the sour cream. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust as needed; the sauce should be thick and pungent.

Place the sole fillets in the prepared gratin dish and spread the mustard-horseradish mixture on each fillet. Sprinkle each with the remaining Parmesan. Broil the fillets until the sauce is lightly browned and glazed and the fish is opaque throughout when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 5 minutes; do not overcook. Transfer to warmed individual plates and serve immediately.

Per serving: 321 calories, 36 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 226 mg cholesterol, 10 g saturated fat, 599 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Marcia Kramer; e-mail questions to

Chuck's Oranges in Syrup

6 servings

"Whenever I traveled through Italy in the 1970s," Chuck Williams wrote, "I always admired the bowls of whole peeled oranges in an orange zest-flavored syrup that restaurants often displayed on their dessert tables. This is the same idea, only I've made the oranges easier to eat by cutting them into slices before putting them in the syrup." He recommends serving this with almond cookies and espresso.

Also adapted from "Celebrating the Pleasures of Cooking."

6 oranges

11/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier

Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully cut off the zest from 2 of the oranges into toothpick-wide pieces that are about 1 inch long.

Fill a small saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring the water to a boil. Add the strips of zest and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each of the 2 oranges, exposing the fruit beneath the peel. Working with 1 orange at a time, place upright on a work surface, and, holding the orange firmly, slice off the peel in wide strips, cutting off the pith and membrane with it to reveal the fruit sections. Cut the orange crosswise into slices 1 inch thick and place in a large, heatproof bowl. (Each orange should yield 3 to 4 slices.) Repeat with the remaining oranges, removing seeds if necessary.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the syrup has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved zest and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the orange-flavored liqueur and pour over the orange slices. Let stand, covered, for several hours in a cool place. Refrigerate to chill slightly before serving.

Per serving: 253 calories, 1 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to