I had this craving for sole meuniere yesterday. I kept thinking about it during spin class, and later in boot camp. For the unitiated, sole meuniere is a fancy name for pan-fried sole in a butter and lemon sauce. But when I got to the store I was a bit shocked to see that DoverSole was $29 a pound. Flounder was next to the sole and it cost about $12 a pound. I figured they were both delicate white fish. I went with the flounder.
I dried off the flounder with paper towels and dredged the filet through flour with salt and pepper.
When I was returning the flour to the shelf I noticed some oregano. I sprinkled some on both sides of the filet and press down firmly - I didn't want the oregano to come off during the cooking process.
I used my Le Creuset non-stick frying pan. I was afraid the filet would stick to my cast iron skillet, my usual go-to pan. Instead of using 6 tablespoons of butter as you would in a classic sole meuniere, I used mostly olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. I squeezed lemon juice over the mixture and tossed the lemon in the pan while it cooked to infuse the dish with a strong lemon flavor. By adding the oregano this really wasn't a classier meuniere anyway - so what the heck? Extra virgin olive oil is much better for you (and lower in fat) than all that butter. And you still get the butter flavoring. I cooked the filet for two minutes on each side. I pre-heated the pan for a good 10 minutes over medium heat. Flounder doesn't have the strong smell of salmon, so my kitchen wasn't left smelling fishy.
I roasted asparagus, tomato and lemon for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, flipping the asparagus at 20 minutes. Don't flip the tomatoes.
The flour created a crust, sealing in the juices inside the fish and providing a bit of a crunch. I drizzled more fresh squeezed lemon juice and the pan drippings over the entire dish before serving. It was delicious. The filet of flounder cost about $5; the asparagus and tomato about $4 - so I had an elegant dinner for $9 - less than I would have paid for delivery from Chirping Chicken - and much healthier.
1/2 pound flounder filet per person
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 pats butter
salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat non-stick, flat surfaced pan over medium heat for 10 minutes
Meanwhile, put the flour, salt and pepper on a plate and dredge filet(s) through the mixture
Next, add the dried oregano by pressing firmly onto the floured filets. Cover both sides thoroughly, adding more as necessary if preparing more than one
Add the olive oil and butter to the heated pan, swirling the mixture around and allowing to heat for a minute or two
Add the flounder filet, squeeze some lemon juice into the pan and add the two halves of the lemon. Cook the filet for exactly 2 minutes on each side
Remove and serve immediately. Pour the left over juices in the pan over the fish