I’ve been on a steady campaign to get more fish dishes into my menus and onto our table. In a perfect world we’d have fish twice a week, but for now I’ll settle for once every couple of weeks until I find a collection of recipes that my family truly enjoys. This recipe is a classic French preparation for fish and while it’s very simple, it’s also very tasty. Of course, anything with lots of butter is always tasty. One of the points of adding fish dishes to the menu is to lighten our plates, but first I have to get my family over the fish hurdle, so I’ll settle for the healthy fish plus the decadence of butter as a starting point.
Recipe: Trout Meuniere
- Difficulty: Easy
- Serves: 4
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 large trout fillets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. all purpose flour
- 4 oz. clarified butter, canola, or safflower oil
- 2 lemons, sliced in half
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- In a small pot over low heat, melt the stick of butter until melted. Stir occasionally and keep warm over low heat.
- Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
- Put the flour in a shallow dish or plate and dredge the fillets on both sides until lightly coated.
- Heat the clarified butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Place the fillets skin side down (if your fillets still have the skin) into the oil. Sauté for about three minutes, ladling the oil over the fillets continuously to help cook the fish through.
- When the fish no longer sticks to the pan, flip the fish. Increase the temperature on the pot of butter to medium-high and heat until it begins to brown and smell nutty, about 5 minutes.
- When the fish is golden brown on both sides, remove it from the pan and drain quickly on paper towels.
- To serve, put the fish on the plate (a bed of rice is a perfect accompaniment) and squeeze the juice one of the lemon halves down the length of the fillet. Sprinkle a generous amount of parsley on the fish, followed immediately by the boiling hot browned butter.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks
- Clarified butter is butter that has been melted and had the milk solids and water removed so only the butter fat remains. The main benefit of clarified butter in this recipe is that it has a higher smoke point which is necessary to sauté the fish. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own clarified butter, check the ethnic food section of your grocery store dairy case for ghee. It’s the same thing and you don’t have to do anything other than scoop it out of the jar.
- Depending on the size of your fish and the size of your skillet, you may have to sauté the fish in two batches. Be careful not to over-crowd the pan or you won’t get a good crust on the fish.
- Be ready to serve this fish as soon as it’s cooked, so choose a no-fuss side dish like steamed broccoli so you can focus on finishing the fish.
- For the adults on a special evening, a nice white wine without too much oak is a nice pairing with this fish.
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