Just a quick pop in to say hello and share a plate of fish that I made this morning on the Eyeopener – to celebrate the fact that fishing season is open in Alberta, and pink and green things are finally budding and blooming on the trees in the back yard. Spring may arrive yet.
I love talking about how easy it is to cook fish – so many people think of it as a complex culinary challenge, when really it’s about fast as food gets. Particularly when you start with thin filets of whitefish, which take approximately two minutes per side to cook in a hot pan. You need do nothing to them but season with salt and pepper, or drag them through a shallow dish of flour seasoned with same (or with seasoning salt, if you shake that way) before cooking them in a hot pan. Butter or ghee (clarified butter) is best for flavour, I think – but the really fun part, the part that makes you feel like you’re cooking, comes at the end when you add a splash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon to the pan, perhaps with a spoonful of capers, or a roughly chopped juicy tomato, perhaps with a few chopped olives. The idea is to loosen all the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, which you could even do with an extra dab of butter. And by doing it you make a quick pan sauce, which takes approximately a minute and provides a disproportionate amount of satisfaction, especially as you drape it over your perfectly cooked filets.
Fresh fish is real fast food – this method will work with any kind of whitefish filets. If you like, quickly cook some fresh asparagus in the pan until tender-crisp before you cook the fish. Only one pan to wash!