I’m not going to say that this is the best way to cook fish, because I’ll probably never find out everything there is to know about fish even if I tried. However, in my experience, simply just pan frying in butter is such a good way to go. when/if you go ahead and make this pan-fried snapper dish, just try to remember that if you haven’t cooked fish all that much and you do not you want to fail miserably, do not cook the hell out of it. You only need 2 minutes on each side on a medium to high heat.
The grenobloise sauce is a butter sauce that involves a lot of flavours (such as lemon and capers) that just compliments the fish very well.
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Pan fried snapper with grenobloise sauce
Mash potato and pan seared snapper make for a beautiful combo. Top that off with an amazing butter sauce.
- 800 g snapper
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 25 g butter for the mash potato
- Butter for frying the fish
- Olive oil
- 70-80 g flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 200 g cherry tomatoes halved
- 75 g capers
- 1 kg potatoes
- 200 mls milk
- Handful of tarragon chopped
- handful of parsley chopped
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 lemon segmented
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and then get a pot of salted boiling water.
- Peel and dice the potatoes into about thumb size dices. Add to the salted water and then bring to the boil, they will take about 10-20 minutes. To test if the potatoes are cooked, scoop out 1 piece and stick a small knife into it, if it goes through without any resistance and the potato slides off without having to pull it off, the potatoes are cooked.
- Drain the potatoes, put them back into the pot and add your 25g of butter. Get a potato masher and get mashing (I personally prefer when mashed potato has a few chunky bits). Add your milk and tarragon, then season with a good generous pinch of salt and pepper then set aside.
- Put the tomatoes on a baking tray nicely spread out, add a touch of salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then roast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Once they are soft and slightly coloured take them out and set aside. (pro tip: keep the oven on 50-60 degrees just in case the tomatoes need to be heated up for when you are about to serve).
Pan fried snapper
- Coat the fish fillets with seasoned flour and make sure you shake off the excess. Get a frying pan on medium-high heat and add a knob of butter. Once the butter has melted and starts to bubble start pan frying the fish, it should only need about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish onto a surface with kitchen paper to drain the fish fillets.
- Use a pot or pan to sautee (quickly frying) the lemon segments and capers in the unsalted butter then set aside. Quickly heat up the mash potato on the stove and/or the tomatoes in the oven if need be.
- Make sure you dust off the excess flour when you coat the fish, you only need a light coating of flour.
- Cook the fish for no longer than 2 minutes on each side. It should need any longer. Try to cut the potatoes in the same size dices so that they all cook in roughly the same time.