Fish is one of my favorite foods to eat and cook. That being said, people are intimidated by it because it can be a delicate ingredient to prepare and season. But one of my favorite ways to make fish only involves three extra ingredients (not including fish, salt, and pepper). This version will make you feel like you’re dining in a French restaurant on any night of the week.
Pan-fry, steam, or bake your fish as usual, and while that’s going, start by making brown butter. (Fortunately for you, we’ve got a handy guide on how to make brown butter here.) The process only takes minutes; just make sure you don’t let the milk solids burn, because that happens fast. Once the butter’s off the heat (our recipe is for a stick’s worth), add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to it, along with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and toss in two tablespoons of drained capers.
That’s it. You’re done. If you want to bump it up a little further, feel free to add some chopped fresh parsley as you see fit, which will give your brown butter and caper sauce a little bit of grassy green herbaceousness. This is completely optional.
This sauce is perfect for any flaky white fish like cod, sole, halibut, or any freshwater lake catch. It’s also extremely delicious with shrimp or scallops, and you can even use it with roasted chicken breast (an additional splash of white wine in the sauce is ideal in this case). It can also be a sauce for cheese-stuffed pasta like ravioli or tortellini.
The end result for any of these uses will be a main dish that’s coated in a silky nutty butter sauce with a clean citrus flavor. The capers punch through with an extra burst of salty acidity, which is key when your sauce is mostly oil-based. Plus the sauce only takes about five minutes to make, which means dinner will be ready in about as long as it takes to cook the fish (if you toss some veggies in the microwave while you’re at it, you will have dinner in truly record time).
Don’t believe me? Give it a try. You barely have to cook anything, which means you’ll be relaxing over dinner in no time at all. You can worry about the rest of your life, just don’t fret over the fish.