Sole Meuniere

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Sole meuniere is a classic French dish, likely made popular in the US by Julia Child.  It's fairly simple and straightforward in its preparation, but like so many simple dishes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  It's just good.  I had a recipe bookmarked in the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit and when I found sole on a trip to Trader Joes, I grabbed it, knowing exactly what I'd be doing with it, and was glad that I'd be crossing off another recipe on my ever-growing list of recipes to try.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that- saves recipes seen in magazines, cookbooks, on tv, or the internet for years.  We should have a contest for how long we've saved a recipe before making it!  Winner makes the recipe?

Anyway, the recipe comes from Molly Wizenberg, who writes the blog Orangette and was a columnist at one point for Bon Appetit.  It's a definite winner, and it's another one of those "kitchen cred" recipes, where when you make it, you'll feel for a minute like a kitchen whiz and that you're really eating something that came from a restaurant that has white tablecloths and linen napkins, with prices that don't end in decimals and usually are reserved for special occasions.  Molly Wizenberg writes about how her father would often exclaim that they ate better at home than most people do in a restaurant.  Make sole meuniere and serve it with a simply dressed salad and maybe some roasted potatoes, and you might feel that way too.

Sole Meuniere
from Molly Wizenberg via Bon Appetit
serves 2


1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 sole fillets (each about 3 to 4 ounces)
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Lemon wedges

For fish:

Place flour in pie dish. Rinse fish; pat with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of fish with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge fish on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Place on platter.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until oil is hot and shimmers. Add butter; quickly swirl skillet to coat. When foam subsides, add fish and cook until golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over and cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide fish between 2 warmed plates; tent with foil. Pour off drippings from skillet; wipe with paper towels.

For sauce:

Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice (sauce may sputter). Spoon sauce over fish. Serve with lemon wedges.


  • While it is a white fleshed fish that is inherently lean, this is not the absolute healthiest preparation, but don't let that deter you.  
  • I didn't use parsley.  I don't actually like the taste.  Mine is not garnished.  There goes the kitchen cred.
  • Molly Wizenberg cautions you to have everything ready, because in less than a minute, your fish can become too browned or your butter can become burned rather than browned.  I followed her advice and it seemed to go well.  
  • While I did reheat this with some success and good taste, this is a dish that is best right after it's made.

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