Marilyn Monroe was once quoted as saying, "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and well, last week I was definitely at my worst. I was feeling extremely under the weather, everything and everyone seemed to irritate me and to top it off my emotions were in hyperdrive. Chocolate couldn't even placate the trainwreck that I was. Anyhow, through (most of) it Mr. S. bit his tongue, remained patient and tried the best he could to weather the storm. To show my appreciation, I decided to cook him a nice dinner last night. Mr. S. loves fish and he loves sautéed greens; so I went with sole meunière, sauteed chard, and some garlic couscous. I also picked up a tasty shredded golden beet and kale salad at the Sac Co-Op's deli. I was interested in trying out the recipe for sole meunière as I had just finished Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France, and it was said to be the first dish she ate upon her arrival to France. I liked that she described it as being "the most exciting meal of [her] life." Well, it might not have been THE most exciting meal of our lives but I thought it was a simple yet delicious dish (the fish was buttery and seemed to melt in my mouth) and Mr. S. was pretty enamored with it. I used a recipe by Ina Garten as a basis for my sole meunière (for the original, unaltered recipe, click on the hyperlink). I'd definitely make this recipe again but next time I think I might live on the wild side and throw a few capers into the dish.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-6 fresh sole fillets, 3 to 4 ounces each
6 tablespoons clarified butter (or ghee)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (~ 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Have 2 heat-proof dinner plates ready.
- Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow plate.
- Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side lightly with salt.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of clarified butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown.
- Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. [Tip: Julia warns, “Do not overcook; if the fish flakes, it is overdone.” ]
- While the second side cooks, add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan.
- Carefully put the fish fillets on the ovenproof plates and pour the sauce over them. Keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets.
- When they're done, add the cooked fillets to the plates in the oven. Sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.