I had been planning a fishing trip to Alaska with my dad and brother when a small cut on my dad’s hand turned into a infection, sending him to the hospital. Thankfully, he was fine. But the trip was called off.
This was sad because the three of us had prepared for weeks. Both my dad and brother are great cooks and they had planned every dinner except one. For that dinner, Dad challenged me to make a delicious meal from our fresh catch of char or trout (char is in the trout family but tastes more like salmon). He gave me a list of ingredients he would have on hand and said I would need to cook on a propane burner or on the campfire.
I turned to the French for inspiration and found the classic recipe, fish meuniere (muh-NYAIR), which can be prepared in about 10 minutes. The bright flavors of lemon and capers accent the fish flavor beautifully and the brown butter adds a savory, satisfying element.
I didn’t get to go to Alaska, but found this great recipe, which Dad, who is better now, can make at home while planning for our next trip next year.
Fish Meuniere with Capers for Dad
2 8-ounce pieces of char (skin on is fine)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
Brown butter sauce
2 tablespoons butter
Juice from 1/2 lemon
As many capers as you want
Season the filets with salt and pepper and leave them sit for five minutes until the filets glisten with moisture (the salt will draw out the moisture). Julia Child recommends this technique so that the flour will coat the fish more evenly.
Dredge the filets in flour so they are thinly coated.
Melt the butter in a non-stick pan until it foams. Lay the fish, skin side up on the pan and cook on medium for 4 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for an additional two minutes.
To make the brown butter sauce, heat the butter in a separate pan and cook until it turns to a nutty color. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and capers.
Plate the fish and pour the sauce over the fish. Voila, fish meuniere!
This recipe is also great with trout.