Lent Recipe Rescue! Fish in a Flash

Mar 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm by Easywaygourmet


It’s hard to come up with interesting recipes for these last two weeks of Lent.

If you are from an old school family that gives up meat, you have probably had your fill of macaroni and cheese, fried fish and veggie pasta. Never fear. There is always an alternative that might invigorate your cooking and dining. I still believe in the power of pisces—fish that is!

Recently I realized why so many people don’t enjoy cooking fish at home.

It’s because most people think of it as a challenge to do anything but batter and fry it in hot oil—or worse, buy fish sticks!

Perhaps they have forgotten how great fish tastes when simply baked, grilled or pan sautéed. Or perhaps they just hate having a plain protein sitting on a plate with nothing but tartar sauce to garnish it.

I am here to help you with all that.

First, let’s talk about a 10-minute method to put dinner on the table. That’s the pan-fried advantage of fish.

Take a fresh or completely thawed fish fillet (or two or three) and pat it dry. Season it with salt and pepper on one side. Heat a non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of oil swirled in it over medium heat until the pan is hot (put a drop of water in it and if it sizzles, the pan is hot.)

Gently lay the fish fillet, seasoning side down in the pan. Let it cook for four minutes without moving it around at all. Sprinkle the unseasoned side with salt and pepper.

Flip it over and cook for another three to four minutes, until it flakes when you stick a knife in it.

Voila! The fish is done and ready to be eaten! If you want to up it, you might season your fish with Cajun spices or Old Bay. But, trust me, if that fish is fresh, a little salt and pepper fine.

You can garnish it with lemon, tartar sauce or a pan sauce, but it will be yummy just as is.

If you have a few more minutes and don’t want to deal with the frying pan, heat your oven up to 400ºF. Put a baking sheet in the oven as it preheats.

Season your fish on both sides. Pull the hot pan out of the oven, spray it with a bit of cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.

Lay the seasoned fish on the pan and return it to the hot oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, just until the fish flakes a bit when you check it. If you want to make dinner more of an event, try my recipe below.

Cod with Mushroom and Caper Sauce

4 Cod patted dry
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
½ cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons of capers
salt and pepper to taste
parsley and lemon to garnish (optional)

Warm a platter in a low oven. Take a large nonstick skillet and heat the olive oil in it over medium heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Lay it gently in the hot pan and cook it for three to four minutes. Flip the fish over and cook it another three to four minutes, until it is cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan and put it on the warmed platter in the oven to stay hot. Add the butter and let it melt a minute. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook them for four to five minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are golden. Add the garlic. Add the lemon juice and wine, and stir everything together, making sure you get any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the heavy cream and capers. Taste the sauce and add a bit of salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the fish on the platter, garnish with lemon slices. Enjoy immediately!

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