Ludo Lefebvre’s Ultimate Sole Meunière

In his new cooking series, shared exclusively with Food & Wine, French chef and L.A. restaurateur Ludo Lefebvre demos one of his favorite easy recipes. To see the Sole Meunière recipe, click here.

Read the transcript of this video
[MUSIC] We are going to do sole meuniere with rice pilaf. Sole meuniere is a very classic french dish. In France, we are doing a lot, a lot of rice pilaf. I mean I grew up with rice pilaf. My mom was doing rice pilaf. I learned how to do rice pilaf in the French cooking school. And actually rice pilaf is from Middle East. I guess French people like it and keep it. So we're going to put a little touch of butter in the saucepan. We're going to put a little bit of onions. So rice pilaf is almost like [SOUND]. Of course [FOREIGN]. That's what we call sabotage. So you're going to melt slowly your butter. And I'm going to add my onions. You don't want the neat too hight cuz you don't want any coloration. They make me cry, the onions. Now we're going to put some basmati rice. You want the rice also to become a little bit like, we say in French we say nacre. Like I would say in English. [BLANK_AUDIO] [INAUDIBLE] like a pearl? Okay. Color like a pearl. Like a pearl color, with a little bit of bay leaf, smell so good. And then after just the gram water. So we're gonna bring to boil now, cover and we're gonna go in the oven. Our oven need to be at 375 fahrenheit, voila. For 15 minutes I'm going to leave the rice alone. Don't bother the rice, the rice is cooking. So now we're going to cook our sole. Sole meuniere, it just fish and butter. Buy good quality of butter, good quality of fish and then [UNKNOWN] technique. We're going to season it now with kosher salt, little white pepper. Always white pepper with fish. White pepper is more delicate than black pepper and after we're going to flour, okay both sides. I'm not a good fisherman, you know why? I'm not patient. We're going to start the soul with clarified butter. Why clarified butter? Cause clarified butter don't burn. Why? It is a butter with no milk. I prefer to go fishing in the border of the river. Sometimes I get sick on the boat, sea sick. The boat stops. And then I go down to the sea. Take your sole, put your fish right like this. You need to hear a little bit, a little gentle sizzling I learn how to cook a whole fish, when I was working with one of my mentor, Alain Passard. See, it's not strong. It's like a, psh. [SOUND] No. It's very gentle. So Mr. Passard teach me to cook with my ear. What're you talking about, cook with my ear? So you can hear the sizzling is going faster, and noisy so we're going to low a little bit the heat. [FOREIGN] The School of Fire. A little trick I learned was cooking the fish with a spatula. Because as you can see, here. The fish is thicker here and less thick here. So, how you make sure it's cook even everywhere? You use a little spatula. And you can put your spatula here to block the fish. It's technical, but is very easy. Don't be scared to call fish at home. Then now I'm going to put a little bit of butter. Why butter now? Because it can give you a nice little bit of coloration. So you really want the fish to swim in the butter. That's good, I love to see my fish swimming in butter, I think it's so sexy. Now flip your sole. Now a little touch of butter, I love butter. There's always a touch of butter, always. I love butter. Love the smell of the butter. Touch of butter, boom, more butter, boom, baste, baste, butter. We want the fish to absorb the butter. I eat butter all my life, a lot, and I'm okay. At least it's not sugar. I love the sound of the butter sizzling. In France we say le beurre [UNKNOWN]. The butter is singing. In the meantime I'm going to check the rice. Look at this guys, we still have a little bit of water, see here. So I want that to evaporate. So five more minutes and we're good. It's going to be amazing. Also this cooking, what we do, what we do? With the sole? What do you think we do guys? A little touch of butter. [SOUND] All right, [FOREIGN]. So filet starts to separate from the bone, so the fish is ready. I'm going to take up first the filet on the top. Go slowly like this. Just slowly take off the bone. Put our fish on the plate, [UNKNOWN], my favorite part, beurre noisette. Guess what? More butter. So no we're going to melt the butter. So, you're going to wait the butter to become a little bit brown, look the butter. That's what we want, the milk starts to caramelize, a lot of flavor. We put a little touch of salt, and now we deglaze with lemon juice. And then, there we go. And now, put my rice. Boom. So moist. [MUSIC] [FOREIGN] I need more butter. I dont have enough butter in my plate. [MUSIC] [SOUND]
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Ludo Lefebvre’s Ultimate Sole Meunière