Thursday, February 5, 2009

Barefoot Contessa's Sole Meuniere

I must confess: I'm not the world's biggest fan of sole. At least, I didn't think I was. I had one too many bland, stuffed sole fillets and didn't touch the stuff for years.

When I was flipping through my new copy of Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, though, I saw this gorgeous photo of two fried sole fillets resting in a lemony, buttery sauce.

I decided to make the recipe during a weekend visit with my boyfriend, who is also a seafood fiend, and we both loved it. It was rich, to be sure, and definitely not diet food, but it was amazing! The lemon and butter form a velvety smooth sauce that, because of the lemon, doesn't taste heavy. If you follow the directions, the fish cooks perfectly - it's so tender it feels like it melts in your mouth.

It's also extremely easy to make, even though it's elegant enough to be perfect for entertaining.

Easy Sole Meuniere
Serves 4
Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Note: Ina Garten says this serves 2 - but that's definitely only if you're not planning on eating anything else. 2 fillets each is a huge portion and you won't have room for side dishes.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 fresh sole fillets, 3-4 oz. each
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice - 2 or 3 lemons
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have 1 heat proof dinner plate ready. Combine the flour, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a large plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and season on one side with salt.

Heat 3 tbsp butter in a large frying over medium heat until it starts to brown. Coat 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 mnutes on other side. While the second side cooks, add 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 3 tbsp. of the lemon juice to the pan. carefully put fish fillets on an oven proof plate and pour the sauce over them.

Quickly clean the pan- otherwise any sauce left in the pan will turn black a when you cook the next batch of fish - not very appetizing. Keep cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets. When they're done, distribute the cooked fish among 4 dinner plates (or 2 if you're serving 2 people). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley if using, and serve immediately


Parker February 5, 2009 at 10:24:00 AM EST  

I haven't had sole in a long time. Pan fried is always nice.

matty February 5, 2009 at 1:11:00 PM EST  

I was skeptical of this recipe at first, but it turned out to be one of the better fish dishes I've had.

Maris February 5, 2009 at 11:35:00 PM EST  

This looks really nice! I like the title of your blog too, very cute!

Kaitlin February 5, 2009 at 11:45:00 PM EST  

Thanks Maris!

Liz February 6, 2009 at 12:29:00 AM EST  

I think "rich and definitely not diet food" basically describes every Barefoot Contessa recipe! ("Delicious" is a good descriptor as well.) This sounds great!

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