Sole Meunière is a traditional meal that you’ll find home cooked and served on the table of an ordinary French family. Also in a typical French bistro it’s often part of the menu. Sole Meunière is definitely one of my favorite fish meals to order when I am visiting France. I am not the only one. It’s the first meal Julia Child ate when she arrived in France and fell in love with the French cuisine.
This homey dish is crusty, soft en juicy at the same time. The fish is first dredged in flour and then baked in a bath of butter. Sprinkled with a sour but creamy butter caper sauce and lightened with a squeeze of lemon. It just melts on your tongue. And the best part is, the fish is easy to prepare. You can serve it on the table in just 20 minutes.
If you want to do it right, I suggest you go all the way French. I love to eat sole meunière with smashed potatoes with skin and haricot vert a l’ail et au persil. This side dish reminds me of my grandparents. It’s the typical French way of preparing beans. And from mamie it was passed on to maman and now I will pass it on to all of you. I hope you are able to multitask, cause if you want to prepare this total package it will ask for some time-management skills. But if I can do it, you can do it and I promise this diner is served within 1 hour so perfect for a weeknight meal! Bon appétit!
Classic Sole Meunière
- 700 grams sole fish (petrale sole or Dover sole) ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for cooking.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 100 grams butter for baking the sole
- 150 grams butter for the sauce
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp fresh flat parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- white pepper
- 800 grams potatoes with skin
- herbs to your taste
Haricot vert a l'ail et au persil
- 800 grams haricots verts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pepper and salt
Oven baked smashed potatoes
- First add about 800 grams to 1 kilo of washed potatoes with the skin to a pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Let it cook until the potatoes are soft and fully cooked. Test it with a fork. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Meanwhile start with cooking the haricots verts (see below).
- After the potatoes are cooked soft you add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Squish the potatoes gently, just so the skin will break out a bit (don't mash them). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until crusty. Sprinkle with herbs to your flavor. I love to use dill with my potatoes.
Haricot vert a l'ail et au persil
- Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water uncovered, until crisp-tender (about 10-12 minutes) then drain. Meanwhile chop the garlic and parsley finely.
- Transfer the beans into a plate and set aside for a bit.
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet and bring to a heat. Add the finely chopped garlic and parsley and let it heat up while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the beans to the garlic and parsley sauce and mix it up well to spread all the good flavors.
- Flour the soles and shake off any excess flour.
- In a large non-stick skillet heat ¼ of the butter and bring to a gentle sizzling. Place the sole in the butter. If you have 4 entire sole fish bake them one at the time and take it by the head side. If you have already cut sole filets, just add them all to the pan. Cook the sole in the butter and lower the heat if it gets too high. When the the fish starts to colorize golden, place a spatula under the fish tail and cook for 2 more minutes. Baste the fish with the butter frequently.
- Turn the sole gently (by the head if you have entire fish). Baste it again with butter and let it cook with the spatula underneath the tail. Repeat this with every sole.
Butter caper sauce
- Heat the remaining 100 grams of butter until it starts to caramelize. Once it has reached that point (before you have burned butter) deglaze with the lemon juice and add the capers. Sprinkle the parsley and the caper butter sauce on the sole and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste. Be generously. Serve with the potato's and haricots verts and enjoy you French meal! Bon appétit!