In her autobiography, Julia Child writes:
“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.”
Julia would later state that it was the most exciting meal of her life.
SO looking forward to making this dish at our fundraising pop-up dinner in February, “Julia Child’s Paris!“
2 6- to 8-ounce skinless fish fillets (tilapia sole, cod, flounder, etc.)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Optional: lemon slices
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.
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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.
Drizzle the lemon juice on top of the fish followed by a scattering of parsley and a generous drizzling of brown butter.
Enjoy immediately, serving with Crazy Creamy Once-A-Year Mashed Potatoes and more lemon wedges at the table if desired.