Friday, January 09, 2009

easy weeknight dinner: sole meuniere

Screw 30-minute meals, this one takes 15 minutes tops. Sole Meuniere, that utterly classic French dish, dispells all myths that French food is complicated. "Meuniere" means miller's wife and apparently refers to the dusting of flour on the fillets. All there is to this dish is a light dredging in flour, salt, and pepper, then a quick saute in brown butter and a good spritz of lemon juice. Top with chopped parsley and a slice of lemon and it looks far fancier than it is. And of course, in my house anything with lemon is universally loved. This is one of the few fish preparations I do that J-Cat will eat tons and tons of. I served it with a hunk of nice crusty baguette and some pan-sauteed brussels sprouts, chopped for quicker cooking. Recipe after the jump:


4 fillets of sole, preferably Dover sole if you can find it (approx. 1 pound)
flour for dredging
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
juice of half a lemon, plus lemon slices (from the other half) for garnish
3 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan until the butter stops foaming. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large plate or bowl and dredge each fillet in the mixture, shaking off excess flour. Place the fillets in the pan being careful not to crowd the pan. Let the fillets to cook for about 3 minutes without touching them to allow a good browning. Flip and cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through.

Lower the heat, add the wine, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tbsp of butter. Let sizzle until the butter has melted and swirl to mix the sauce. Serve topped with chopped parsley, a slice of lemon, and with a good spoonful of sauce over top.

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