Filet of Sole Meuniere was Julia’s first-ever meal in France. She described the sole as “a morsel of perfection” and “the most exciting meal” of her life. It was this simple preparation of sole that inspired Julia’s 40-year love affair with food and the start of a cooking revolution in America. The dish takes less than ten minutes to prepare and since the filets go for a swim in clarified butter, there is no shortage of rich “French” flavor. Pour yourself a nice glass of chablis and take a petit voyage to France for dinner.
“There is no substitute for the taste of butter in good cooking…” — Julia Child
Fillet of Sole Meunière
6 skinless, boneless sole or other thin fillets
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of flour or so for a plate
4 tablespoons clarified butter
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon cut into wedges
- Dry the fish, remove and bones, score, trim and lay flat on wax paper.
- Dust the fillets with salt and pepper. Just before sauteing drop each fillet into the flour to coat each side, shaking off any excess.
- Set the frying pan over high heat and film with 1/16 inch of clarified butter. When the butter is very hot, but not browning, rapidly lay each fillet side by side leaving a little space between each (don’t overcrowd).
- Saute 1-2 minutes on both sides, turning carefully so as to not break the fillet. The fish is done when just springy. Immediately remove from the pan to a platter or plates.
- Sprinkle each fillet generously with parsley.
- Wipe the pan completely clean, set over high heat and melt with new butter until bubbling.
- Pour over fillets — the parsley will bubble up nicely. Season with salt, serve with lemon wedges immediately.
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Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.