Norwalk Reflector: Pair pan-fried fish with lemon and caper sauce

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Pair pan-fried fish with lemon and caper sauce

By Susan Selasky • Mar 30, 2018 at 7:00 AM

During the Lenten season many Christians forgo meat completely and turn to seafood for their main source of protein. But coming up with a variety of fish dishes is sometimes hard.

Sure, fried fish is fine. But not everyone likes frying fish at home. During Lent, it’s a good idea to leave that up to the numerous Friday fish fries around town that attract hundreds not only for the fish, but the camaraderie.

I remember a story from years ago during Lent when we asked readers to send us their favorite home cooked fish dishes. And that’s where this fish dish came from.

The recipe below is one fish dish that makes perfect sense. It’s simple. And as fish goes, simple is best because most fish is delicate and doesn’t need much fuss. And any chef will tell you to treat it simply and not muck it up.

And so this fish gets a light dusting of flour season with salt and pepper that gives it a coating. You can also season the flour as you like. When you pan fry the fish, that coating will crisp a bit. The sauce is made up of lemon and wine — two natural pairings for fish. An addition of some salty and briny capers makes for a nicely seasoned sauce. The recipe came from Phil Bustos of Garden City. Bustos said at the time he was an avid fisherman and also credited the recipe to St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, Mich.

But Lent shouldn’t be the only time for fish. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 recommends eating 8 ounces of seafood (which includes fish and shellfish) every week. These once-every-five-years guidelines are aimed at preventing chronic disease and promoting healthy lifestyles. The guidelines site that “eating patterns that include seafood are associated with reduced risk of cardio vascular disease.”

This recipe is so versatile. You can really use most any fish fillets: cod, tilapia and even salmon. The pan sauce can be used separately with other shellfish like shrimp and lobster.



Serves: 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 pounds firm whitefish fillets

2 tablespoons olive oil


1/2 cup St. Julian Simply White wine

1/3 cup capers, drained

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

In a shallow pie plate, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Coat the fish on both sides with the flour mixture. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the fish fillets and cook on both sides until lightly browned. Transfer the fish to a platter and cover with foil.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, put the wine, capers, butter, lemon juice, parsley and thyme. Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Spoon the sauce over fish and serve with rice pilaf or potatoes.

Submitted by Phil Bustos, Garden City, and from St. Julian Wine Co.

Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

401 calories (51 percent from fat), 23 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrates, 35 g protein, 765 mg sodium, 120 mg cholesterol, 63 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.


Contact Susan Selasky: 313-222-6432 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SusanMariecooks.


©2018 Susan Selasky

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