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As my daughter said, “this does not taste like fish it tastes like YUM!”
Preheat oven to 200 F.
Make the clarified butter by melting 7 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Skim off the top white milky liquid and then continue to boil until most of the milky liquid has evaporated. You need to watch that the butter doesn’t burn. You’ll end up with about 6 tablespoons of clarified butter. Set it aside on low heat.
Put the flour on a plate or shallow dish. Dry each fish fillet and place on a sheet of waxed paper. Score the fillets and trim them if needed. Scoring stops the fish from curling. Dust the fillets on each side with salt and pepper. Move the fillets close to your frying pan along with the plate of flour.
Place about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the clarified butter into a frying pan and heat on high. When the butter is very hot but not browning, rapidly lay half of the fish fillets in the flour and then shake off excess. Saute the fillets in the butter leaving plenty of room between each piece. Do this in two batches. Let the fish cook a minute or two on the one side and carefully with your spatula turn it over. Cook the fish another two minutes. The fish is done when it is springy rather than squashy to the touch. Immediately remove fish from pan to a baking tray and place in the oven. Repeat with the other fillets adding another tablespoon of butter to the pan when you add them. Keep the last 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter warming.
To serve, sprinkle each fillet with parsley and drizzle on the warm clarified butter. Serve with lemon wedges and rice or potatoes.
Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
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