Righto, here we go! Change into your oldest, dirtiest pair of clothes and get the gear out – tackle, boots, worms… no, I’m only baiting you and you fell for it, didn’t you, hook, line & sinker?!
This is another rather simple preparation – fish in lemon butter sauce with capers and parsley. Made using frozen supermarket fish – I’ve made this using basa, pomfret (butterfish), and Indian saltwater salmon (‘rawas’). I’d suggest boneless fillets of any fish type that has a mild taste.
Get a couple of packets out and put them to thaw, while you squeeze the juice out of some lemons. We in India, get lemons which are way smaller than the ones you see in the West, so use your discretion for how much. Add some pepper and/or red chilli flakes and/or a few drops of Tabasco to taste. Bring out the butter – I use salted – about a nice, one inch cube per portion of the fish. (Add some more, you can work it off later!). Melt and stir in well with the lemon juice. Set aside.
Now pull out some fresh parsley and chop it very fine – that’s for the garnish. Set that aside, too.
Since this piece is more suggestion than recipe, here are some tried and tested variations to the sauce – a little garlic, a dash of hot English mustard, Worcestershire sauce or all-purpose seasoning – to twist the taste a little more.
The fish ought to have defrosted by now. So heat a flat-bottomed pan and place palm-sized fillets in it, making small incisions with a knife and then pour the sauce over the pieces. (You don’t want to drain the water from the melted ice out, use it to cook the fish in). Cover with a lid. Couple of minutes per side is all it takes. Add some pickled Spanish capers a bit before you turn down the flame. Check for the consistency of the sauce – get the fish out and burn off the excess liquid if it’s too runny.
Done! Set the fish on a plate, top it off with the sauce and the parsley, add some grilled, herbed veggies as sides and you’re good to go!
The sourness of the lemon and the rich, salty butter set each off, while the sharp, tart bite of the capers is a welcome complement to the moist, tender flesh.
Sit back, enjoy and reel in the compliments! You’ll have a smile from gill to gill, guaranteed!