Fish Meuniere for Two

(from jerseyjenny’s recipe box)

Try to purchase fillets that are of similar size, and avoid those that weigh less than 5 ounces because they will cook too quickly. A nonstick skillet ensures that the fillets will release from the pan, but for the sauce a traditional skillet is preferable because its light-colored surface will allow you to monitor the color of the butter as it browns.

Source: Cook's Illustrated April 2007

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Serves 2 people

Categories: Cook's Illustrated, dinner, fish


  • Fish
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 sole fillets or flounder fillets, each 5 to 6 ounces and 3/8 inch thick, patted dry with paper towels
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Browned Butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon , cut in wedges for serving


  1. FOR THE FISH: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set 4 heatproof dinner plates on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place flour in large baking dish. Season both sides of each fillet generously with salt and pepper; let stand until fillets are glistening with moisture, about 5 minutes. Coat both sides of fillets with flour, shake off excess, and place in single layer on baking sheet.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering, then add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl to coat pan bottom; when foaming subsides, carefully place fillets in skillet, bone-side down. Immediately reduce heat to medium-high and cook, without moving fish, until edges of fillets are opaque and bottom is golden brown, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, gently flip fillets (see illustration below) and cook on second side until thickest part of fillet easily separates into flakes when toothpick is inserted, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer fillets, one to each heated dinner plate, keeping bone- side up, and return plates to oven.

  3. FOR THE BROWNED BUTTER: Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter is golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes; remove skillet from heat. Remove plates from oven and sprinkle fillets with parsley. Add lemon juice to browned butter and season to taste with salt; spoon sauce over fish and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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