“It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection. In all the years since that succulent meal, I have yet to lose the feelings of wonder and excitement that it inspired in me.
I can still almost taste it. And thinking back on it now reminds me that the pleasures of table, and of life, are infinite–toujours bon appétit!”
~ Julia Child
For my friend, Duane…
2 8-oz skinless fish fillets (sole, cod, halibut, tilapia)
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
1 ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, in 8 wedges
1/2 cup fresh peas, steamed, shocked in cold water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Black rice, cooked with a little salt
Add the butter to a heavy saucepan and cook on medium heat until the butter melts, the foam starts to subside, brown flecks appear and the butter just starts to brown. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. It will continue to darken once you remove from heat. It should smelly nutty.
If it smells burned, you will have to start over (sorry!)
Set butter aside, and keep warm.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. In another small bowl, add the milk. Heat a heavy skillet on high heat (no oil) for four minutes.
Meanwhile, dip the fish fillets into the milk and then into the flour, tapping off any excess. Add the oil to the skillet, tilting the skillet to coat the bottom. Place the fish in the skillet — carefully, as the oil may splatter. Cook for six minutes undisturbed on high heat.
With a spatula, turn the fish over and, if the pan looks dry, add another tablespoon of oil.
Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, give or take a minute depending on the thickness of your fillet. Plate over hot black rice
Drizzle the lemon juice on top of the fish followed by a scattering of peas, parsley, and a generous drizzling of brown butter.
Enjoy immediately, serving with more lemon wedges at the table if desired.
We served this dish at on of our “My Kitchen Outreach” Pop-Up Dinners, and it was a huge hit, especially with my friend Duane, who is, frankly, a little obsessed with it. 😉
The cookbook for that dinner, “Paris”, is available in the bookstore.