June 29, 2004
Fishy Fish

Some time ago I came up with a simple accompaniment to fish that was a big hit with the Critic and has resulted in his wanting me to do the same thing every time we have fish for dinner. (Did I mention that he's somewhat conservative when it comes to food??) It's very simple and extremely flavourful. I love the fact that all the ingredients are usually to be found in my kitchen and so there is no special shopping involved. All you need is the following: fish, white wine, butter, anchovies, capers, shallots, a lemon.

For the fish, I usually buy a white fish such as halibut or cod. However, last night we tried this with salmon (on the Critic's insistence - "you know, that onion sauce you make??") and it worked pretty well too. I think it would be nice if you tossed some roasted cherry tomatoes into the mix too, but I'm not sure if that would result in divorce proceedings...

Filet of Fish with Onion and Anchovy Sauce
2 filets of fish
25 g butter
2-3 shallots, julienned (sliced in thin strips, to you)
1/2 a tin (about eight) anchovies (what a shame, have to eat the rest myself...)
1-2 Tbs capers
a glass or two of wine
a little lemon juice

Melt the butter in a shallow frying pan and add the fish. You can flour the fish first if you want, but I personally never manage to get a nice brown crust so I don't bother. When the fish is just done and has released some juices, remove to a warm plate. Add the shallots, chopped anchovies and capers to the pan. If it's a little dry, add a little more butter. It depends on what kind of fish you are using. Quickly cook on a medium heat until the shallots are soft and then add the wine. Turn up the heat and let it bubble away until you've reduced the volume to about half. Taste and add a grind of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

Serve the fish over a bed of wild rice with the onion mix and sauce dribbled over it. Last night, I served it with a salad of very ripe tomatoes mixed with a little olive oil and sherry vinegar. A nice, light dinner! (If you go easy on the butter, even Weight Watchers wouldn't complain.)

I would have photographed it but we got home late from a showing of Shrek 2 (yay!) and were tired and hungry and impatient. The good news is that it doesn't take any longer to make the fish than it does to cook rice - about fifteen minutes from start to finish!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at June 29, 2004 6:32 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Onions and anchovies go together like peanut butter and jelly or pretzels and beer. This sounds quite tasty to me.

Posted by Barrett on June 29, 2004 at 11:14 AM

I forgot to mention that the anchovies kind of melt into the sauce, which gives the whole thing a lovely flavour and no little salt-bombs. I think that is why anchovy-haters don't like them, so it probably would even go down well with them.

Me, on the other hand, I love salt-bombs. And anchovies...

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 29, 2004 at 11:25 AM

One would also have to hide the sauce-making process from the individual in question since she doesn't even like the idea of anchovies.

I suppose with luck I've got forty or fifty years to work on her disdain of anchovies and pickled foods.

Posted by Barrett on June 29, 2004 at 12:05 PM

Anchovies divide people like Marmite: you either adore them or loath them. I'm in the former category. In fact, forget the filet of fish and onions and just serve me the anchovies. Bliss!

P.S. Was Shrek 2 any good?

Posted by Jules on June 29, 2004 at 1:18 PM

Barrett, have you considered making the sauce without the anchovies, removing half for your beloved and adding the little fishies to the remaining sauce? I'll bet if she does a taste test she'll prefer yours!

Julian, Shrek 2 was GREAT. We loved it. Almost as much as we love anchovies...!

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 30, 2004 at 3:22 AM
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