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.


Posted on May 4, 2012, in Cooking, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. susanelester

    Very nice! Too much butter? We made asparagus, too.

  2. vintagekitchennotes

    I used a very small amount of butter. Loved your title!

  3. thekitchenlioness

    Your Almond Sole Meunière looks delicious – and the asparagus looks like a wonderful side dish to the fish. It is nice to read that you enjoyed your dinner and I am sure that if you will use less butter or a different fish such as snapper next time, it will be just as wonderful because it is a great recipe. Nice post!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Terrific looking meal – and the butter adds such a great color to the fish. How funny that your little one doesn’t like butter, but likes the buttercream frosting..go figure! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  5. You’re the first one I’ve seen to use premium butter. Brilliant! I wish I’d thought of it, but I will file away that idea for next time. This was so delicious, so I know I’ll make this again.

  6. Doesn’t like the flavor of butter! Oh my! we can only hope he’ll grow out of that! 🙂 I’m jealous of your crusty bread with dinner – I haven’t had time to bake any recently. Glad your family enjoyed this quick, tasty meal!

  7. Ooooh! My hubby and friends fish for Pickerel here in Southern Ontario…I did some almost exactly the same way a couple of weeks ago and wow! Loved it and it’s so quick and simple and fresh tasting.

  8. Usually if you have fish in case on ice, it is pretty fresh – but you can always ask if it had ever been frozen (which it shouldnt be) and when they got it in … Usually they have staff that cuts the fillets and steaks off of whole fish that they get in to sell… Frozen fish means you can’t taste the true flavor of the fish and it is prone to breakage because there is extra water frozen into the fish. just some tips ! I think my pan was a bit too hot, some bits got really, dark but it was pretty tasty! 🙂

    • Thanks for the tips! I did notice that my fish weeped a lot of liquid and some of the pieces broke apart. I just have to make an extra special trip to get really fresh fish that I often opt for frozen. I will have to try this again with fresh fish.

  9. We have fresh flounders here so I am lucky 🙂 This dish is really delicious and easy to whip up. Yours looks good with sole.

  10. Dover sole was a lovely substitute. I think this recipe would go really well with many types of white fish.
    Lovely job

  11. Great idea to check Trader Joe’s!!! Your dinner plate looks so tempting 🙂

  12. It’s odd. I usually fry fish in oil, so the butter flavor was rather strong to me. Great post!

  13. I also love fish and try to cook it at least once a week. I loved this recipe because it was easy and so tasty! I think yours looks wonderful…I didn’t read to turn down the heat until I was ready to turn the fish…lucky for me, it actually came out great!

  14. Sometimes premium butter is too buttery for me…I know it’s weird..maybe just what we get used to. Anyway, I enjoyed your post and glad you are into cooking more fish. Your meal looks great. I also like TJ’s fish, etc and think you made a good choice.

  15. frolickingnightowl

    Mmmm. I love asparagus with fish!!! Looks wonderful and thanks for reminding me about TJ’s fish.

  16. frolickingnightowl

    Don’t know if my comment worked!! Thanks for reminding me about TJ’s fish. And I LOVE asparagus with fish. YUM!

  17. Too much butter… never :o) I like your post about the yarn festival. I crochet and that would have been right up my ally!

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