Our Book Club wrapped up last week, and it was such a treat to read through Julia Child's memoir. My Life in France is full of life, color, and the intense pleasure that can be found in cooking good food. We loved hearing Julia's voice - it practically jumps off the page!
We're not quite done with this book, though - who's up for cooking the dish at the beginning, the classic sole meunière?
Sole meunière is actually quite an easy dish, but it gives a sublime payoff for relatively little work. Here is how Julia describes this very significant first taste of France:
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. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us, stepped back, and said: "Bon appètit!
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.
We are going to make sole meunière (or something like it) this week. We will of course make just fillets, as we are not quite up to cooking a whole fish! If you do, though, please take a photo and send it to us!
Dover sole is not the most common fish in the States, but you do find it occasionally. The good news is that it's a healthy, ocean-friendly fish. (See our post on wallet card guides for fish and other sustainable shopping.) You can substitute other thin white filets for Dover sole; we have seen flounder recommended, but there are environmental concerns with Atlantic and Pacific flounder.
• If you have questions about fish, remember you can text Blue Ocean's Ocean Friendly Seafood Guide at 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish you want information on. You will instantly receive a text message back with environmental info. Here's a shot of the text we just sent for Dover sole:
If you decide to cook sole meunière with us, leave a comment here and send us a photo! We'll post a roundup later this week.
Here are some helpful links:
• Recipe for sole meunière
• Beurre meunière at Epicurious
• Julia Child's First Meal in France - A Recreation!
(Image: DK Images)