If anyone ever told you that French food relies primarily on butter this dish proves them right. Sole Meunière is a delicate fish cooked briefly in butter, lemon and toped with fresh parsley. You cook the fish so briefly, in fact, that you actually spend almost no time cooking at all. Sole is small enough that one entire filet will followed by another as soon as the first is quick devoured. The good thing is there really isn’t any reheating this dish, so you have an excuse to indulge.
Everything I learned about Sole Meunière I, naturally, learned from David. This was the first fish he learned how to cook. Fish is harder to learn, I think, because each one takes to different cooking methods and flavors. Especially for a small fish like sole I definitely needed some guidance on how to make it. After all if delicate fish, like sole, is overcooked it falls apart in the pan before it can even make it to the plate.
6-8 Sole filets, patted dry with paper towels
white pepper, optional
4-6 tbsp. of butter
Juice of 1 whole lemon
2 tbsp. parsley, roughly chopped
Heat a wide skillet or frying pan over medium heat and melt about a fourth of the butter.
Then take the sole filets and individually dry them with paper towels and transfer them to a large plate or plastic cutting board. Apply salt to both sides and sprinkle with white pepper. Then cover both sides on each filet with flour. Only apply the flour the moment before you put the fish into the pan otherwise it will turn gummy and unpleasant.
Cook the sole in batches. You will probably need two rounds to cook all of the fish. Cook each batch on the first side for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully and then cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the other side. The fish should be done now even if it is not perfectly brown. Have your serving plate ready to receive the fish as each batch is done cooking. You may need to add another fourth of the butter to the pan before starting your second batch.
If the skillet looks unpleasant you should dump out any residual liquid and quickly wipe it down with a paper towel to clean. Next take the rest of the butter and melt it over medium heat. Wait until the butter browns and then add the lemon juice. Stir to combine and pour the sauce over the fish. This rewarms the fish. Garnish with the parsley and eat immediately. Potatoes, I’m told, are not optional. Don’t forget a green like kale or chard to round out the butter orgy.
some a dozen potato posts in the future but for now I’ll just recommend a roasted potato (full of flavor) or a boiled potato (tradition!).