Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Licked the Plate Clean

In my desire to learn more about how to cook fish I've been experimenting. I have tried baking and grilling and frying it so far. I wanted to replicate the delicious lemon butter sauce Red Lobster used to make and without a recipe I turned to the internet.

There are many recipes out there and I opted, this should be no surprise, for the simplest one. The directions had me cook the fish in butter and olive oil and the butter browned so when I went to make the lemon butter sauce after removing the fish, while still tasting delicious, it was a brownish tinted sauce. Not nearly as appetizing.

The last time I tried this I followed the cooking directions exactly on cooking time, and only used olive oil instead of butter to cook the fish, and I ended up overcooking the fish and when the olive oil was used up it left a blackish surface that added black burned specks to the sauce. Perhaps I should make my lemon butter sauce in a separate kettle? Does it matter if the sauce is made in the container that cooked the fish, especially if I'm adding my butter at the end rather than before the fish is cooked? (Seriously, I'm wondering this here? Feel free to offer suggestions!)

By no means have I figured it out. One of my more successful attempts was Lemon Butter Sauce attempt number two. In that recipe I cooked the tilapia (the first time I used northern pike) in olive oil and I did it for about 4 minutes to a side. I must have estimated properly with the olive oil because it was lightly browned in spots but happily not blackened at all. Once I removed the fish, I added two tablespoons of butter and turned the heat down to medium low or low so it wouldn't brown on me. I then added a new addition, a heaping tsp of minced garlic from the jar (I'm just too lazy to mince my own fresh garlic... does it really matter? Probably.) and I let that mix in to the butter and just cook in that for about 30 seconds and then I added a tbsp of lemon juice (again, from the bottle not the lemon.. you can see a trend, right?). I whisked these together a bit and then added two more tbsp of butter and one more tbsp of lemon juice and whisked it until it started to thicken.

I ate my fish with a baked potato and certainly this was more lemon butter sauce than I needed for one serving of fish so I drizzled some of it on my potato and it was heavenly. The garlic was a nice addition. I didn't take any pictures. Silly me. And then the third attempt when I intended to photograph wasn't as pretty or as tasty. I need to try again and see if I can get this down to a tried and true method. I'll keep you posted.

Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe
(in order of use)

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp of minced garlic (fresh or from a jar)
1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice.

whisk until slightly thickened and drizzle over fish.

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