Meuniere refers to both a sauce and a method of preparation. The word itself means miller's wife and that etymology provides insight into both culinary uses. The miller's wife of course had easy access to flour, and so to cook something a la meuniere was to cook it by first dredging it in flour. But the mill was also located on a stream and thus often had very fresh fish available. Many of the elaborate sauces and preparations that were developed in the 18th and 19th centuries had an underlying purpose of masking food that had begun to spoil during the several days needed for transport from fishing ports. By contrast the fish prepared by the miller's wife did not need to be masked under a heavy sauce. A meuniere sauce is very simple--browned butter, chopped parsley, and lemon.
For 4 Serving(s)