Halibut With Brown Butter, Lemon and Sage
This is a simple method for cooking firm, white-fleshed fish on the stovetop from start to finish. If halibut is not available, use thick flounder fillets, snapper, grouper or large sea scallops. The flavor of sage permeates the quick, easy pan sauce and the buttery bread crumbs provide crunchy texture.
- Serves: 4 persons
- About 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets (or other firm white-fleshed fish), cut into 4 pieces
- Salt and black pepper
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12to 15 fresh sage leaves
- 2tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼cup coarse homemade bread crumbs, toasted
- 2tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Step 1Season fish on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper.
Step 2Pour oil into a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron or nonstick) and set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot (but not smoking), swirl to evenly coat the pan, then add fish in a single layer. Let cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, until first side is nicely browned. Adjust the heat as needed to produce a steady sizzle and prevent scorching.
Step 3Flip and cook fish for about another 3 minutes, until just done. (To test for doneness, use a fork to gently probe the flesh: it should flake easily.) Transfer cooked fish to a warm platter or serving plates.
Step 4Make the sauce: Place skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add butter and sage leaves. Cook butter, swirling the pan, until foamy and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.
Step 5Spoon butter sauce and sage leaves over fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.