Then recently, I got brave and decided "Let's do this! I'm going to make us some fresh fish, and actually enjoy it!"
So, after all is said and done, now I want to make all kinds of fish.
Face your fears! Or, if you have always loved cooking fish, well, I'm glad I crossed over to your side of the fence, because YES it's good when done right.
A good fish dish (poet and don't know it) has a great accompanying sauce. This week, Joey gave me his expertise on a sauce that he made for me the first time he cooked for me. It was sea bass with angel hair and lemon caper sauce. Hey-Oh husband! I was hooked, we got married, so I of course agreed I wanted to learn to make this special sauce. Your save-the-dates for our vow renewals are in the mail, because I nailed this sauce. NOT REALLY
Behold!!! Beurre Blanc! And, surprise! We have our fancy word for Friday.
Beurre blanc —literally translated from French as "white butter"— is a hot emulsified butter sauce made with a reduction of vinegar and/or white wine (normally Muscadet) and grey shallots into which cold, whole butter is blended off the heat to prevent separation.
|My photography skills are impressive…..(I see you giving me the side-eye) I also can't help but see the purple sandwich bag elephant in the room.|
For this particular beurre blanc, I made a lemon caper variation. It's adapted from the culinary school book "On Cooking". I found it on amazon for cheap and it tells you everything you need to know about cooking. This sauce is acidic, salty and delightful. Perfect for pairing with my choice catch of the day, cod. Why did I choose cod? It was a weekend and everything was picked over. I was not disappointed though. I asked for a pound at the butcher because I honestly had no idea how much it would be for the both of us once cooked. It was plenty for both of us, and we actually used some of the thinner end pieces and coated them in panko and had some delicious "fish sticks" for a appi-teaser (I should try to avoid two eye rolls in one post, bad joke). I wasn't expecting their deliciousness so next time I will have a dipping sauce ready for those little fish babies! This lemon caper sauce will go great with any flaky white fish, if I had to guess. If you try it with one and it's terrible, please let me know, but I doubt it will be bad because this sauce makes the dish. I would start this sauce about 30 minutes before you want to cook your fish because it takes a bit of time and attention.
Full recipe rundown:
1/2 medium minced white onion or whole shallot (shallots are usually used in this sauce but we didn't have any, so minced onion works great too)
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
Just shy of 1/2 cup of white cooking wine
2 tbsp capers, drained
1/4 to 1/2 stick of COLD butter
3/4 lb or 2 thick cod filets
Sweat onions on medium to high heat for about 1-2 minutes in a small saucepan. Pour in white wine, lemon juice, and capers. Reduce almost to nothing. You may see just a slight liquid when it is ready. I set the sauce off the burner and then put it back on once I flipped my fish.
VERY IMPORTANT, add cubes of cold butter one at a time, letting each melt into the sauce and gently whisk constantly, with the saucepan lifted off the burner (still above burner, but not directly on). I told you this needed plenty of attention. Keep adding cubes of butter until you get to the consistency of a light vinaigrette or oil, or really, whatever your choice of consistency is. For a thicker sauce, less butter, for a creamier, thinner sauce, more butter. You get my drift.
As for this scary thing called fish…it's easier to cook than boiling water. S&P your cod, tilapia, flounder, whatever and put a pan on medium heat. A 2 second drizzle of oil in the pan and then sear your fish on each side around 5 minutes tops. I think I am high balling the time on each side because we had a thicker cut of fish this particular time. For tilapia it will probably take 1-2 minutes on each side, if that.
You won't think it starting out, but you really will know when your fish is done. I like to flip one more time to see how solid and held together it is, then immediately plate my dish. Pour some of your lovely lemon caper sauce on top and voila! You are your new best friend and will make this whenever possible.