Butter, with a Little Fish
I have always loved to eat fish. My mother cooked it often when I was growing up and it was usually whole. She cooked it all kinds of ways, but my favorite was when she pan fried the fish. It had a nice clean flavor and the skin got crispy.
Now that I have to cook my own meals, I usually shy away from cooking my own fish. Partly, it’s because I am afraid of ruining it and fish is not cheap. The other part is that I have difficulty finding fish that I trust. Those fishy fillets sitting in the grocery store case on their bed of ice, how do you know they are fresh? You can’t see their eyes and they are hard to smell.
But I love fish and I love that it is one of the healthiest foods out there. So, I was really excited to make this week’s FFWD recipe: Almond Flounder Meuniere . I did not want to drive all over town looking for the baby flounder fillets that Dorie calls for, so I went to the closest place where I trust the fish: Trader Joe’s.
I know, almost all the fish at Trader Joe’s is frozen, but so is a lot of the fish sold in the grocery store. They just thaw it for you. I’d rather buy the fish frozen and thaw it when I want it and skip the upcharge. I could go all the way downtown to the fish market or drive 40 minutes to the asian grocery store where they have tanks of fish, but I don’t have that kind of time. Plus, I like that TJ’s labels the fish wild or not. I like to eat wild, not farmed fish. At TJ’s I found what I thought would be a great substitution for the flounder: wild caught Dover Sole.
The hardest part about this recipe was waiting to cook it. I had everything prepped and ready, but I had to wait for the husband to get home from work before I started cooking, because it takes less that 10 minutes to cook each batch. I doubled the recipe since I was feeding the four of us and we all like fish. And, since butter was to be a big part of the flavor, I used salted Kerrygold butter.
I had to cook my fish in two batches and I think the second batch came out better. I followed the instructions to lower the heat on the first pan and they came out really pale. I like a little more color on my food, so for the second pan, I kept the heat on medium the whole time. We all really liked this dish. The oldest said it was the best fish ever.
The lemon juice really helps to cut through the richness of the butter, but the husband and I both thought that the fish had a little too much butter and my youngest does not really like the flavor of butter (I know, weird, but he will eat buttercream icing). Next time, I will not use as much butter. We really liked the Dover Sole, though. It was a nice tender fish that took very well to the cooking technique here. I think snappper might also work well or maybe a thicker fish fillet, such as sea bass would be better and would develop a better crust with its longer cooking time. Hmm…maybe I’ll see what they have in the tanks when I go to the asian market today and try this again. I think I see more fish on our dinner tables in the future.