With Julia Child’s 100th birthday fast approaching, the food blog world has been celebrating in the best way we know how: honoring Julia Child through her recipes. I am currently reading a book about her life called Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. (I will have a review of this book when I’m finished reading). I just got to the chapter which describes Julia’s first encounter with French food. Her first meal in France was Sole Meuniere, a simple but absolutely delicious dish. I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I made a slightly altered version of Julia’s version over spaghetti. I wanted to make it with sole, but my market was all out. Hake is a similar fish, so I substituted it for the sole.
- 1 pound fresh spaghetti
- 3 skinless and boneless hake or sole fillets, 4 to 6 ounces
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Bring to a boil. When boiling, add pasta and cook according to directions. Drain and set aside.
To prepare the fish, score the skin side of the fish with diagonal cuts one inch apart and less than 1 1/6 inch deep. This helps prevent the fillets from curling when cooked. Lay the flat of your big knife on the fillet and give one firm punch with your fist to flatten the fish.
Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper on each side.
Add the clarified butter to a large saute pan over high heat.
While it heats, add the flour to a plate. Drop each of the fillets into the flour and coat both sides, shaking off the excess. When the butter is hot but not browning, add the fillets to the pan. Be sure to use a pan large enough that they aren’t crowded.
Saute for 2 minutes and flip carefully. Saute for another 2 minutes.
Immediately remove from the pan and add to a plate. Pour the clarified butter over the pasta and toss to coat. Add the pasta to bowls and top with a fillet. Sprinkle each fillet with chopped parsley.
Wipe the pan clean and set over high heat. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter and heat until bubbling.
Pour over the fillets and pasta. Serve with lemon wedges.
Who doesn’t love recipes as simple as this? It’s easy to see how this could have been such an eye opener for Julia. The recipe isn’t fussy but delivers fantastic flavor.
This is also a wonderful weekday meal, it is so quick to prepare! I’ve actually made a very similar recipe prior using flounder, so if you don’t want it with pasta, be sure to check that one out here.