But today would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday, and I felt it only fitting that this week we have a meal that celebrated her in some way. I chose to make Classic Sole Meunière; a dish I had often heard of but had yet to make, or even try. B is not a huge fan of fish, so I try not to force it on him too often; this time however, he'd just have to deal, I wanted sole, damnit! ;) Julia Child states that her first taste of Sole Meunière upon her arrival in Paris was "an epiphany"... heck, if it blew Julia's culinary socks off, it was worth a try, no?
The ingredient list is extremely short - fish, flour, salt and pepper, butter and lemon with parsley to finish. For a cook, this is both good and bad news. A dish like this is both very easy to prepare, and very easy to screw up. The best advice I can give for this recipe (besides drop what you're doing right now and go make it) is have your mise en place completely 'en place' before you start! It comes together very quickly and having all ingredients (and side dishes) ready to go before you start cooking will greatly increase your chances of success.
I got myself a large sole fillet and cut it into two servings. Definitely go for fresh in this case... the dish highlights the taste and texture of the fish, make sure it's good quality. Luckily even the freshest, fanciest sole won't cost you a fortune... total ingredients for this dish (two servings) cost me less than $10.
|Fresh sole fillet|
|Liquid gold - clarified butter|
Finally, the fish was golden on both sides and starting to flake nicely, so onto the plates it went, along with the steamed veggies and a sprinkle of chives. The remaining butter and the lemon juice went into the pan to heat until sizzling, at which point it was very carefully spooned over the chives/fish. The hot butter will sort of flash fry the chives, helping them release flavor and giving them a nice bit of crispiness. And that's it! Serve with a nice white wine - we had a bottle of Mirassou Riesling. It was sweeter than I normally like white wine, but the sweetness led into a nice acidity at the end that complimented the buttery richness of the fish beautifully well.