While walking through the grocery store the other day I saw the most beautiful Dover sole fillets at the seafood counter. I have never prepared Dover sole myself but have had it in restaurants many times and always loved it. Since I was feeling ambitious I decided to buy some and take it home. The fillets were perfectly small. I got 2 fillets and they didn’t even measure out to 4 ounces. Since Nick was going to be out of town I figured I would make myself something fancy one night… something he definitely wouldn’t care for but I knew I would love. So I pulled out my cookbooks and looked for something French!
After a few minutes of scanning I found a recipe for Sole Meunière and decided that would be what I would try. I love cooking and anytime I make just about anything, even if it’s boxed mac ‘n cheese I’m pretty happy with myself. There is, however, a particular sense of pride that comes from preparing a dish that is classical and fancy. When you are able to throw together a recipe that can usually only be found at the finest of dining establishments it really makes me feel accomplished.
So even though I do not own a fine white linen tablecloth (though I do have a plastic one!), even I didn’t have any candlesticks to put on the table (does a jar candle from Yankee Candle count? No? Damn.), and even though I was eating this dinner and my workout clothes because I’d just gotten home from a run I still felt particularly fancy that night as a I sat down to my perfectly sauteed Sole Meunière.
For those of you that have never had Sole Meunière it’s actually a terribly uncomplicated and unassuming dish. It takes just a few minutes and tastes awesome. It is my understanding that this a French dish. (at least that is what Wikipedia tells me: Sole Meunière). Sole is a light fish without much flavor so really it just ends up tasting like whatever else you cook it with, in this case that would be browned butter and lemon. Yum!
Sole Meunière Recipe
yields 4 servings
4 sole fillets (3-5 ounces)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt + Pepper
2 T. canola oil (olive oil will also work)
2 T. butter + 4 T. butter
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 T. parsley, minced
1) Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel and season the fish, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the flour and shake to remove any excess flour.
2) In a pan over medium-high heat the oil until shiny. Add the the 2 T. butter and allow to foam. Add the fillets and cook, without touching them, for 2-3 minutes or until the the edges are opaque.
3) Flip the fillets and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until done. Transfer the fish to a paper towel.
4) In a separate pan over medium-high heat melt the remaining 4 T. of butter swirling it until it is golden brown. This will take 2-3 minutes. When it is brown and has a nutty smell remove from the heat and add in the lemon juice. Spoon the butter/lemon juice over the fillets and sprinkle with parsley.
5) Serve immediately, white tablecloths optional