[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Last week, when celebrating Julia Child's100th birthday, I started craving that famous dish that she described as an early culinary epiphany while in France: sole meuniere. It is one of the best and simplest fish preparations in the world, with its nutty brown butter and burst of lemon juice. Amandine is a variation that uses sliced almonds, and this recipe from Bobby Flay takes it a step further with preserved lemons in place of lemon juice.

Why I Picked This Recipe: Though Julia mentions this style of preparation as one of her favorites, I couldn't find her actual recipe for it, which led me to this version by Bobby Flay. Rather than using lemon juice for acidity, Flay calls for preserved lemon, more of a north African ingredient than a traditional French one.

What Worked: The preserved lemon was actually an interesting twist, giving the sauce the aroma and flavor of lemon without as much accompanying acidity.

What Didn't: Flay calls for olive oil to cook the fish, which I felt gave it an unwelcome flavor distracting from the pure nutty flavor of the browned butter. In the recipe below, I changed it to neutral oil. Ideally, choose a high-smoke-point oil such as grapeseed.

Suggested Tweaks: Skate wings can be difficult to find, and actually, Julia's first experience with the dish was with sole. I've also made it with whole butterflied local trout, which works beautifully.

Adapted from Food Network.

About the author: Blake Royer has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. He is the Creative Director at Jamco Creative in Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter: @blakeroyer.


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