Sole Meuniere is about to have its' comeback! Until now, you haven't seen or heard much about this simple, classic fish dish. It is simply a piece of sole, browned in butter and lemon, and served with fresh chopped parsley. It is a classic French dish, and incredibly easy to make. Every beginner chef can prepare this dish. It is virtually impossible to screw it up!
So why am I predicting a comeback? Sole Meuniere was part of Julia Child's first, very significant, meal in France. Her husband, Paul, took her to the oldest restaurant in France, where they served her Sole Meuniere. It was a life, changing meal for her. It was at this moment in which she fell in love with French Cooking. Here is how she describes it:
"It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us, stepped back, and said: "Bon appètit!
I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection."
She described this elegantly simple dish as a revelation and as "an opening up of the soul and spirit for me."
In the new movie "Julie & Julia", opening next week, Sole Meuniere plays a starring role in a pivotal scene of the movie. I promise you, after watching this scene, everyone is going to be craving Sole Meuniere! All I can say is, don't go to this movie hungry.
I decided to give this recipe a try last night. It took a mere 10 minutes to make. Served with some roasted potatoes and harticot vert, you have yourself an elegant French dinner, that is simple, yet delicious, not to mention inexpensive. I purchased 4 Dover sole fillets at Whole Foods for under $6. The fillets were small (3oz. each), but still filling This served Phil and I, with one fillet left over. Follow the directions exactly, and the fish will be cooked perfectly and be "melt in your mouth" tender. The pan sauce is rich and velvety. It is perfect for a family dinner, date night or company. Everyone will love this dish.
1/3 c. all purpose flour
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 sole fillets, 4 - 5 oz. each
6 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
juice from 2 large lemons (about 4 T - 5 T. lemon juice)
1 T fresh minced parsley
Heat a large saute pan to a medium setting.
While the pan is heating, season the flour with salt and pepper. Pat the sole fillets dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle one side of each fillet with salt. Then, coat both sides of the fillets with the seasoned flour.
Add 3 T. of the butter to the saute pan. Once the butter starts to brown, place the two of the fillets in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on medium low. Turn the fish carefully with a large spatula. Add half of your lemon juice (about 2 T.) and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest to the pan. Cook fish an additional 2 minutes. Carefully remove fish from pan onto an overproof plate. Pour the sauce over the fish and keep warm while you repeat the process with the other 2 fillets.
To serve, sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.