Here, star chef Ludo Lefebvre's easy version of the classic French dish sole menunière. For a step-by-step guide to making this dish, see this video. Slideshow: More Whole Fish Recipes
Peel and dice the onion. Melt the butter until it starts to sizzle (no coloration). Cook the onion on medium high in the butter for about 5 minutes in a saucepan. Then add the rice and the bay leaf (make an incision). Stir the rice with the onions and let the rice become transparent, “nacre” in French for 2 minutes. Cover with 800 grams of water. Bring to boil. Stir again.
Cover the saucepan, and cook the rice in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 °. Check from time to time. The rice should be cooked when the water has completely evaporated. If the rice isn’t cooked then add more boiling water. Salt and pepper to your taste.
Flour the soles and shake off any excess flour. In a large non-stick pan heat the 1/4 of the clarified butter to a gentle sizzling. Take by the head side the sole and place in the butter. Cook the sole in the clarified butter and lower the flame if it gets to high. When the coloration starts getting golden, place a spatula under the fish tail and cook for 2 more minutes. Baste the fish with the butter frequently.
Turn the sole gently by the head. Baste it again with butter and let it cook with the spatula underneath the tail. Repeat the operation for each sole.
Heat the remaining 100 grams of butter. It has to start caramelizing. Once it has reached that point (brown butter but not burned butter) deglaze with the lemon juice. Sprinkle the parsley and the brown butter on the sole. Be generous. Salt and pepper to your taste. Serve with the pilaf rice.
The authentic. No wine. Only butter and lemon. :)