This rich but simple classic sauce turns a fish fillet into a gourmet meal in seconds.
This rich but simple classic sauce turns a fish fillet into a gourmet meal in seconds. 123rf

RECIPE: Fantastic fish dish in a flash

I'M ALWAYS on the lookout for quick, simple recipes that I can serve to guests at any busy time of year, meals that require minimal effort and deliver maximum impact.

Because I am lucky enough to live in an area where others pay to holiday (or not - I seemed to have an endless stream of visitors last summer) it's good to have a recipe such as today's to whip up at a moment's notice.

Pan-fried fish fillets with a beurre blanc sauce is prepared in minutes and produces a restaurant-quality dish you'll be happy to serve.

Panfried fish with caper beurre blanc

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 2 tbs olive oil

60g unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup plain flour

4-8 firm white fish fillets such as bream, blackfish or snapper, depending on size

1/4 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup thickened cream

zest of one lemon

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs chopped fresh tarragon

1 large free-range egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tbs pickled green capers, drained

salt and pepper, to season


METHOD: Heat the oil and 40g of the butter in a heavy based frypan over a medium heat.

Put flour on a plate and coat each fillet, shaking off excess. Place fish fillets in pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden.

Reduce heat and gently turn each piece of fish. Cook for a further minute or until fish is cooked through to your liking.

Place fish on a plate and keep warm while you cook all the pieces.

When fish is cooked, wipe pan clean and melt another 10g butter; add onion to the pan and saute for a minute.

Heat the cream and lemon zest in a small saucepan until near boiling. Stir in remaining butter, lemon juice, tarragon and cooked onion from the pan.

Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolk until sauce has slightly thickened. Add capers and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Divide fish between four plates and and pour over a little of the beurre blanc. Serve immediately with steamed or roasted potatoes and vegetables.