While Sole Meunière is not the prettiest dish on earth, it’s my all time favorite. If it’s on the menu (which it usually is not), I’m ordering it.
In my old days of traveling to New York City, I would seek out little French cafes that never failed to serve liver and onions and Sole Meunière . These dishes were a special comfort food for me, especially the fish. It almost always came with green beans (haricot vert, a little longer and thinner than the American green bean) and even though I was consuming a ton of butter, I felt healthy, happy, and satisfied.
This is such an easy dish to make at home, and as I write to you, I wonder why I don’t make this all the time. I think I have a thing about making fish inside the house, because I don’t have a good exhaust fan, which I’m thinking of putting in during our kitchen remodel. (By the way, stay tuned for our kitchen remodel saga, coming soon and a good reason to subscribe).
Julia Child described her first experience with Sole Meunière as one of the most exciting dishes of her life. I completely understand such a blown up statement because I felt the very same way. The first thing you need to do is not be afraid of butter. Love it and clarify it.
How to Clarify Butter
Clarified butter is butter than has been heated and the foam removed, reducing it by about 25%. It is used when a dish calls for butter to be cooked over a high heat and the first thing to prepare when getting ready to make this dish.
Use Dover Sole or Try an Alternative
If you can’t find nice filet of sole, you can use an alternative such as flounder or another favorite, rainbow trout. If you can find spotted trout, all the better; it reminds me of lobster. It’s not quite the same texture as Dover Sole, but it will still be wonderful.
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 sole fillets, (4 ounces each)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted, clarified butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed (optional)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge each fish fillet in the flour mixture until well coated.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Brown each filet about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.
- Transfer the fish to a platter and tent with foil. Add the remaining butter to pan and turn up the heat to medium-high.
- Brown butter until it turns golden and add lemon juice. Pour the butter over the fish and serve immediately. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Heat butter over very low heat until all the foam rises to top. Skim off foam, strain through mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You will probably end up with about 4 tablespoons.