Grilled Sole with Meunière Sauce

By By Resident Chef: Harvey Pincis

After the seemingly endless blow-outs that is many a folk’s Christmas experience. After many days of recycling turkey especially, many people will want a complete change. Not that I, for one, mind the annual week-long turkey session. However, blessed are us in Kuwait that have easy access to wet fish at good prices, plus performing the chore of skinning the fish as here, we do not merely want to remove the scales.


Sole is frequently available and a fish I find quite tempting especially with a Meunière sauce. Strictly speaking, cooking à la meunière(meaning ‘Miller’s wife), refers to first dredging the fish in flour, before frying. Also, in a classic Meunière sauce, the herb of choice is parsley, which is a classic for fish. However, we had a good quantity of dill and in any case, it works equally well with fish, so the dill supply was pressed into service instead. While I like fried, battered fish á la Fish n Chips variety, or breaded fish, mostly I find grilling works best for me. Certainly, a flatfish like sole is very quick to cook in any case and I find it works well, retaining the juices. Fish is relatively delicate anyway. It keeps the number of operations to a minimum and is a ‘clean’ way of cooking. Of course, gentle reader, do what works best for you.  As always, we are here to provide ideas, choices and where possible alternatives that have been test cooked, than to lay down laws as such.


Season your sole fillets with some garlic, lemon, salt, pepper and a little cumin and allow to rest for a while, if possible at least for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and in a warm baking dish with somebarely melted butter transfer the prepared fillets. After ten minutes, lower the heat to 250 and grill for 25 to 30 minutes. i.e. remove when the flesh is flaky. The reason for the buttered/greased dish is that you do not want the fish to stick to the pan, rather than as a frying activity!


For the Meunière sauce, which takes less than a couple of minutes, prepare a good handful of finely chopped dill and the juice of two lemons, so they are ready to add to the butter. Take a decent knob of butter commensurate with the amount of fillets you are preparing and cook until golden brown, then add the lemon and dill, stirring so it becomes one sauce. Be careful as adding the lemon to the hot butter may cause some splatter, so once the butter is changing colour (and not burning!) take off the heat. Once stirred you may want to return to the heat for 30 seconds or so, but the heat of the pan and the butter should be sufficient for it to still be cooking. 


Plate the sole and pour the sauce over the fillets. Serve with lemon slices or wedges. For sides, chips (fries) works well as do new potatoes, just suggest to keep it simple as the sole is the star of the dish.


A Very Happy New Year Everyone! Peace and Goodwill! Happy Cooking in 2019!



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