A delicious pan sauce, such as this one made with cream, lemon, and herbs, can elevate a simple sautéd fillet in just a few minutes. After the fish is cooked, transfer it to a plate and use the same skillet to make the pan sauce. Dust the pieces of fish with a tiny bit of flour before sautéing to create a light crust. Try this with halibut, rockfish, lingcod, or Pacific cod.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dill
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium skillet used to pan-sear fish, melt the butter over medium heat then add the shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened and just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and lemon zest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve right away.
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Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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