Sole with lemon is a culinary staple that can be as simple as a sautéed fillet splashed with juice to the slightly more complicated sole meuniére. Most sole sold in the United States is actually halibut or flounder, so if you want to be sure that you are cooking actual sole fillets, ask for Dover sole. Lemon sole fillets can be cooked in any number of ways, but pan-frying is the quickest and simplest.
Rinse your sole fillet under cool water. Fill a plate with flour and season it with salt and pepper.
Place the sole fillet in the plate of seasoned flour. Turn it over and pat it gently so that both sides are lightly coated with flour.
Coat the bottom of a frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium. Let the oil heat until you can start to smell it.
Add the garlic and shallots. Cook them for a minute or two, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon so that they don’t stick or burn.
Place the floured sole fillet in the pan. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it. Let the fillet cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Turn the sole fillet carefully. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lemon over it. Let it cook for another 10 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the fish flakes easily.
Remove the sole fillet from the pan and turn the heat up to high. Deglaze the pan with a scant splash of white wine. Add a pat of unsalted butter and stir the juices, wine, flour and melting butter until they form a sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve it immediately.
Serve your lemon sole on a bed of spinach fettuccine for an elegant and simple meal.
Never let anything that has come into contact with raw fish also come into contact with cooked fish.