Sogliola alla Mugnaia


Bob's Sogliola alla Mugnaia Recipe

Today, by popular demand (actually, one request, from Kathryn), we are having fish: Sogliola alla Mugnaia (“The Miller’s Wife”). This recipe – sole filets floured and then sauted in clarified butter – is essentially the same as the famous French dish Sole Meuniére. Dover sole is very hard to find and is expensive. You can substitute any white-flesh fish with relatively thin filets, for example, flounder. Sogliola alla Mugnaia is easy, and if you like fish you’ll love this delicate recipe.

Here’s what you need (for 2 people).

1 lb of thin fish filets
flour for dredging
3-4 T clarified butter, unsalted
Salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice
2 T butter, salted
1 T fresh parsley, chopped

We’ll use clarified butter for frying because regular butter would tend to burn. Clarifying butter is easy to do, and I suggest you clarify an entire stick, because what you don’t use will last for months in your fridge. Place the butter in a small non-stick skillet and melt it over medium-low heat. Then, adjust the temperature so the butter simmers. Two things will happen during simmering: foam will accumulate on top, which you should remove with a slotted spoon, and the solids in the butter will fall to the bottom of the skillet. Once you’ve removed all the foam (you’ll see the solids on the bottom by this point), turn off the heat. With a large spoon, ladle the now-clarified layer of butter into a container, being careful to not disturb the layer of solids.

Pat the filets dry and dredge lightly in flour, shaking to remove excess. Over medium-high heat, melt 3-4 T of the clarified butter in a non-stick skillet that will accommodate the filets in one layer; if necessary, you can cook them in two batches. The butter is hot enough when the tail of a filet dipped into it sizzles. Put the filets in and cook two minutes on one side and season them with salt and pepper. Carefully turn the filets over and season again, cooking for three minutes. (Your cooking time may vary, depending upon the thickness of your filets.)

Transfer the filets to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep them warm. Now, you’ll make some brown butter. Put the 2 T of regular butter in the same skillet and melt over medium-low heat. As soon as the butter starts to take on a brownish color, remove it from the heat and let it continue to a medium brown. Squeeze fresh lemon juice generously over the filets, drizzle on the brown butter and top with the parsley. You’re ready to eat.

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