To cook something a la meunière is to first dredge it in flour. A meunière sauce is a simple sauce made with browned butter, lemon and chopped parsley. Capers, although not part of the meunière tradition, also pair well with sautéed trout, sole, or any fish with a brown butter and lemon sauce.
Trout meunière and trout amandine are foundations of Creole New Orleans cuisine at restaurants such as Galatoires and Arnauds.
At some point in time, a chef riffed on the traditional recipe for trout amandine and served the sautéed fish with toasted pecans and a brown butter sauce. Trout meuniere with roasted pecans was born. Somehow the pecans seemed more appropriate than almonds for a New Orleans fish recipe. Trout meuniere with roasted pecans possibly originated at Commander’s Palace and may be attributed to either Chef de Cuisine Paul Prudhomme or Emeril Lagasse while they were overseeing the brigade at Commander’s.
Some New Orleans chefs make a heavier and darker meunière by making a roux and adding Worcestershire sauce to the brown butter mixture. I add a touch of Worcestershire to my meuniere sauce but I do not make a roux.
Meuniere sauce and the fish preparation below can be used with any variety of fish from trout to sole to catfish. I have also had meunière sauce served with soft shell crabs, shrimp, and oysters en brochette.
The fish is soaked in milk and then dredged lightly in flour.
The fish is sautéed in a little oil in a skillet. Once the fish fillets are cooked, they are removed from the pan and set aside while the butter and lemon sauce cooks.
The butter is melted in the skillet and allowed to brown or turn a nutty brown color or “noisette.” Watch the butter carefully so that it does not burn. Once the butter is browned, the lemon juice and the Worcestershire is added. The pecans are also added to the skillet.
The warm butter sauce is divided evenly among the 4 fish fillets. Each fillet is sprinkled with parsley and served immediately.
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