Fish Piccata Recipe

Why it works

  • Cooking most of the fillets on one side allows for good browning and flavor development without overcooking delicate fish.
  • Grind a small amount of flour into butter to make a more emulsified creamy sauce.

There are two types of lazy dishes. There is a “who cares” school that the cook has completely given up. Whatever the slope that hits the plate, whether you like it or not, it’s dinner. Next is the lazy approach. There, cooks seek efficiency and easy inventions. Cooks still care about this latter approach, but they also know that not all meals need to be Baroque masterpieces. I’m a cook of both types in my personal life and it’s not embarrassing, but I’m happiest when I’m the second type because I’m smarter, not harder and the results speak for themselves.

This recipe for fish piccata is a perfect example of frying fillets in lemon butter sauce with capers and parsley. It’s easy. It’s very easy. However, it also has some important details that set it apart from most other recipes for fish piccata. Subtle attention was paid to good techniques here and there to make this recipe stunning with little additional effort, rather than overly complex details.

When developing the chicken piccata recipe, I chose a more robust breadcrumbs coating. This is different from standard flour dredging, but it produces an excellent texture that makes cooking more interesting. I took a different approach to this fish version and focused on using the more common flour dredging to nail two important qualities: well brown fish fillets and full emulsification. Lemon butter sauce.

The secret of a well-organized fish fillet

Piccata is a dish in a frying pan, and the protein, be it chicken or fish, is almost always a thin cullet or fillet that is cooked quickly. The lean, flaky white meat fish commonly used in these types of recipes poses potential problems, especially because they are not overcooked. How do you bake such fish fillets deeply without overcooking?

One answer is flour dredging. It provides a dry starchy appearance that turns brown more rapidly than the fish itself. But that’s not enough. Even with the use of flour, there is a risk that the fish will not brown sufficiently or will be overcooked. The real answer is a technique called one-sided cooking, where proteins are cooked completely or almost on one side. Kenji has previously written about baking salmon fillets and is also a popular method for cooking duck breast.

Here, first fry the floured fish fillets from the presentation side (usually the unskinned side) and leave it until it is fully browned. By the time you’re ready to turn it over, you’ll need to cook it almost completely, with a slight rawness up. Turn it over carefully. Here, two large spatulas are convenient and can be gently flipped over without breaking. Then give enough time to complete the cooking. This will take less than a minute at the most.

For this recipe, I got a big non-stick frying pan. This is not required, but it is a small insurance policy to prevent the fillets from sticking together or falling apart. This can easily occur with lean, flaky fish fillets. One drawback of using a non-stick frying pan is that you don’t like it very much (this is a French fancy word with a brown one pasting the frying pan sauce to add flavor). The brown one in this case is almost plain white flour, which isn’t exactly the source of great flavor, so I don’t think it’s a big loss here.

If you’re wondering what kind of fish to use, you have a lot of options. The main thing is to choose fish of a size and shape similar to veal or chicken katsuretsu (that is, you can choose thicker fish such as bass, cod, snapper, etc., but the idea here Is actually a protein that needs to be done quickly, quickly and quickly). From soles to flounders, catfish, tilapia, hake, scrods, haddock, skates, all kinds of fish work (although I personally often use muddy bottom bait boxes, catfish and tilapia, etc.) Tends to avoid tilapia).

Make a good emulsion

The second key to the wonderful fish Piccata is the fully emulsified sauce. This is achieved by processing a small amount of flour into a tablespoon of butter (technically French Beurre Manié, but this Italian recipe may have too much French). Whisk the flour butter paste into a pan sauce with a tablespoon of plain butter to make a creamy, homogeneous sauce. Additional flour helps ensure that the sauce emulsifies and stays that way.

Some may argue that fish flour dredging is intended to provide all the starch needed to emulsify the sauce, but in reality it is not. All browning that occurs in the dredging of the flour significantly reduces its thickening and emulsifying power, not so much in the first place. Add the use of a non-stick pan here to ensure that the fish fillets are completely preserved. Any flour that may remain in the pan will come out with the fish.

that’s all. Between the beautiful brown fish fillet and the creamy butter sauce, this fish piccata is higher than any other fish. If you are here, I think you are the second kind of cook I mentioned first. I’m lazy enough to try this recipe and see if I’m right.

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