Sole Meuniere Recipe – Turn Your Kitchen Into A Parisian Bistro

One of the most classic of French dishes, sole meuniere is a fish dish made with just a few ingredients. Lots of butter is one of them. In fact, sole meuniere is all about the butter. Burn the butter and it's ruined, you will have to start over. Undercook the butter and you won't get the crunchy exterior that's so important to this dish. The secret is to cook the butter until it's golden brown, with the fragrance of hazelnuts.

Also essential to this French recipe is having the right cooking equipment. In this case, you'll need a heavy-bottomed skillet that can take the entire filet. If the skillet isn't big enough, you'll end up with fish chunks. Once you've mastered the butter the rest is a breeze. Done correctly, this classic French recipe is a showstopper. Sole meuniere is best served simply, on a plate with a light dash of freshly chopped parsley, a garnish of the nut brown butter sauce and a scoop of yellow, mashed potatoes.

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Sole Meuniere Recipe

Sole Meuniere

Have the oven on low to heat the serving plates so the fish will stay warmer longer.

  • 2 large sole filets
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper

Put the flour on a large plate and mix in some sea salt and some ground black pepper. Dredge the sole in the flour mixture to coat both sides and lightly shake off any excess flour. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium (start this heating before you dredge the fish). Melt the butter, making sure that the pan is not too hot. The butter should be nicely bubbling, but not burning. This may take a bit of trial and error. We've found that our stove on medium-high gets the butter just right — close to the edge of burning, but not quite! When the butter is bubbling, becoming a golden brown, and gives off the scent of hazelnuts (a matter of a few seconds), place the sole into the skillet.

Cook the sole until you can see the edges browning nicely, being careful to control the temperature so the butter doesn't burn. Gently lift a corner of the filet with a spatula to check that the first side is golden brown. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

Flip the sole by carefully lifting up a corner of the filet so you can slip a large spatula under it without scraping off the coating. Be careful that the filet doesn't break while you're turning it — hold it in place with your other hand Cook the other side the same way, for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the sole to the heated plates. The butter should be a nutty, golden brown color. If it's not, continue to cook it in the pan for a few moments after the fish has been removed. Spoon the butter over the filet and serve immediately with a slice of lemon. It's excellent with garlic mashed potatoes or sautéed mushrooms.

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