Flounder Meunière

Flounder are members of the flatfish family (which also includes halibut, sole, and turbot) are popular food fish and all work wonderfully with this recipe. They are saltwater, carnivorous, bottom-dwelling fish in which both eyes are located the same side of the head.  Interestingly, most species have both eyes located on the right-side of their heads. The underside of a flatfish is white while the upper side with the two eyes may be brightly colored. Many of these fish can change color to match their surroundings, making them hard to notice. Your friends and family, on the other hand, will have no problem noticing this delicious dish! “A la Meunière” refers to the preparation as well as the sauce. The fish is cooked by dredging it in flour, cooking in brown butter and making a simple sauce of the pan butter, chopped parsley, and lemon.

1 cup butter, melted and clarified (2-3 sticks)
4  flounder fillets, (approximately 8 oz. each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour (to coat fish)
1 stick unsalted butter
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Clarify the butter by placing in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat. Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Do not stir or allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat and allow milk solids to sink to bottom. Skim any foam from surface, then carefully pour off clarified butter, leaving solids behind. Discard the milky sediment on the bottom of the pan.

Rinse the sole fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Pour 1/2 cup of clarified butter in each of 2 large skillets set over medium-high heat. When butter is just smoking, about 3 minutes, place 2 fish, bottom down, into each pan. Brown fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side, pressing down on fish with a spatula and basting continually with butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the regular (unclarified) butter to each pan and baste for 1 more minute. Transfer the fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.

Melt the remaining regular butter in a small skillet over high heat. Swirl pan over heat until butter foams and turns light golden. Whisk in lemon juice and then pour over flounder, coating them completely. Serve fish on a platter garnished with lemon slices and chopped parsley.