Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Last night I decided to make the fish meuniere from the newest Cook's Illustrated. Jeffrey Steingarten wrote an article in Vogue this year, I think, about trout meuniere that made it sound like the most impossible out of control difficult thing to do well, but Jeffrey Steingarten could figure out a way to make buttering bread seem like rocket science. I love him and all, but he's a bit intense.

This sole meuniere seemed simpler. They had adapted it from a Julia Child recipe. Part of me wanted to go directly to Julia's recipe and skip the CI version, but you know, I'm not married to Julia. I think she's one of the greatest public personalities and educators of our times, but I don't always have to do everything her way always. Just usually.

And I'm glad I went with the dorky Yankee version of this dish. They have you season the fillets with salt and pepper first and let them sit for five minutes before dredging in flour- this draws out enough moisture to get the flour to stick. My fillets were a little thinner than 3/8 of a inch, so I cooked them for three minutes on one side and just under one on the other. With parsley and a brown butter lemon sauce, they were possibly the best fish I've ever made. Ever.

If you were ever going to start reading Cook's Illustrated, the February 2004 issue is a great place to start.