Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Orange Roughy with Lemon Butter and Toasted Pistachios

I have been working diligently on perfecting a pan sauce after sauteing a piece of fish.  I really sort of copied a bit of my brown butter technique for this sauce and it's tasty. But what I am really after is the light lemon butter sauce we see in local restaurants.  After many tries I am convinced they may make up a lemon butter sauce and that it isn't made with the pan juices every time they fire up a fish dish.  That will be a whole 'nother set of experiments.  For now, I am just trying to get a quickly cooked piece of fish that has some color on the outside, that can be turned without breaking apart, that can be removed from the pan without breaking apart, is tasty and has a quick 2 minutes sauce.  None of these are that simple though it sounds as if it should be.
I have many spatulas but I need to get to Simplee Gourmet on Hwy 21 (for the local gang) to get a tool for turning fish.  Any good gourmet shop will have what you need and that is our local store.  The other variable is the pan.  I am concluding that the newer pans I have (and the pans sold) are coated.  I don't feel they render themselves to the browning I am after.  I may have to invest in a larger stainless skillet for that.  In any event, when making this dish you will need to have a thick bottomed skillet.....Ok, a lot of talk, here's what I did:
First, rinse fish fillet(s) and pat dry or place on paper towels to dry.  While it is drying, heat a small skillet and toast chopped Pistachio Nuts in 1 Tbl Butter.  Set aside.  Zest and Juice 1 Lemon.  Heat a skillet, large enough to fit the fillets, over medium high heat.  After a few minutes add 2 Tbl Olive Oil and add 1 Tbl Butter. Swirl to coat the add 1 Orange Roughy Fillet per Person but don't overlap the fish.
When the fish begins to turn opaque around the edges, carefully turn it over.  Cook the second side until fish feels firm to the touch at it's thickest point.  Place on warm plates.  To the pan, add the lemon zest and stir for 20 seconds.  Add lemon juice and swirl to combine.  Add 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth.  Let this reduce for a few minutes until it thicken slightly.  Turn off heat and add 1 Tbl Butter, swirling the pan the entire time.  Pour over fish fillets and add toasted pistachios.  Serve at once.

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