Pan Fried Fish with Hazelnut Butter


Pan Fried Fish with Hazelnut Butter

Pan Fried Fish with Hazelnut Butter

I was talking to an Irish politician at a dinner a few weeks ago.

We had both ordered the fish.

So I observed that it was great to see an Irishman volunteering to eat fish, given how challenging it is for my husband to enjoy food from the sea.

The politician’s theory was that the whole Catholic-fish-on-Fridays = penance equation was to blame.

He might have a point.

With fish is as delicious as this…

Pan fried and crispy on the outside.

Light and flaky in the middle.

With a crunchy, nutty hazelnut butter sauce.

Bring on the penance I say!

And I should mention the hazelnut butter…

It’s actually hazelnuts plus butter, not hazelnuts ground into a paste like peanut butter.

And it’s one of those ideas that I thought would be good. But was actually blown away by how amazing it tastes.

Definitely more than the sum of the parts.

Love how the melting creamy, salty butter and soft fish is contrasted by the crunchy roasted nuts.

Enough for: 2
Takes: 15 minutes
Net carbs: 5g/serve

80g (2.75oz) salted butter, at room temperature
2 handfuls roasted hazelnuts, chopped (50g / 2oz)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 fish fillets
1 bag washed salad leaves

1. Mash butter, hazelnuts and lemon together in a small bowl. Taste and season with more salt and / or lemon if needed (you probably won’t).

2. Heat a medium frying pan large enough to just hold the fish in a single layer on a medium high heat. Season fish with salt. Add a splash of oil to the pan and cook fish for 2-4 minutes on each side. You want the fish to be golden brown on the surface and the flesh to look opaque and no longer translucent when you cut into it.

3. Divide fish between two plates. Top with hazelnut butter and allow it to melt onto the fish to create a delicious sauce. Serve salad leaves on the plates and use the melted butter to dress the salad as you eat.

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WINE MATCH: A crisp dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio.

Variations & Substitutions

pantry-friendly – lemon = vinegar. Steamed or pan fried frozen greens to serve.

vegetarian – serve the hazelnut butter with pan fried mushrooms, eggplant or roast veggies. I also image the hazelnut butter would be amazing atop a big bowl of lovely lentils.

dairy-free – make a hazelnut vinaigrette instead. Replace butter with 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and use 2-3 tablespoons of sherry or white wine vinegar instead of the lemon juice. Or just replace butter with mayo.

nut-free – try this lime & miso butter instead or this Quick Chive Butter OR use toasted bread crumbs if you don’t mind the carbs.

more substantial (carb lovers) – steamed or roast potatoes. Or chips (fries). OR some steamed rice to soak up the butter!

more substantial (low carb) – extra hazelnuts, extra fish, avocado, extra butter. Or with some beautiful broccoli.

Low FODMAP – use less hazelnuts (15g / person is OK) or replace with macadamias.

different vegetables – while a simple green salad is lovely, feel free to use a more elaborate salad or any cooked vegetables. I love it with a roast beet salad. Beautiful broccoli is a winner for soaking up the butter.

different protein – chicken breast or thigh fillets work equally well. Or a pork chop or some good quality Italian style sausages. If you’re happy cooking whole fish like this trout that would make it even more special.

carnivore – replace the fish with chicken breast / thigh fillets or steaks.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.

roasted hazelnuts – keep them in the pantry.

lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

fish fillets – freeze them.

salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens.

Prepare Ahead

No best when freshly made! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a weeks or can be frozen but the hazelnuts will soften in the butter.

Pan Fried Fish with Hazelnut Butter-2

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