Pan fried coley with lemon beurre blanc

In another effort to increase my sauce experience I had a quick go at a beurre blanc to go with some coley I was having for tea.

I again turned to Michelle Roux’s excellent Sauces book for the basic recipe. The original recipe was for twice as much sauce and used cream but I decided for the fish that a lemon zing was more suitable.

I hadn’t intended to buy coley but I caught the supermarket in that awkward moment between the odds and sods of todays fish or yesterdays bargain basement (dab and plaice for 30p per fillet). I’d rather have something fresh so coley fillets were the only option. They tasted great and had a lovely texture so I’ll happily buy them again.

One note about frying fish or anything else for that matter. Be very careful how you lay the fish into the pan of hot oil. I wasn’t paying attention and lay the fish down towards me which resulted in a large splash of oil and an interesting red pattern with blisters on my arm. Very painful.

The beurre blanc was a lot easier than I thought it was. As long as you add the butter gradually without using too high a heat and keep whisking then it will be fine. The butter and lemon flavours are great with the fish and new tatties. Give it a go next time you have a nice fillet to fry.

No gallery for this one I’m afraid as the light was rubbish and I was too fed up and in pain after burning my arm to spend too long taking pictures.

Serves 2

2 coley fillets, skin on
100g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 small shallot, finely chopped
35ml white wine vinegar
40ml white wine
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Zest the lemon and add the zest a small pan with the shallot, a squeeze of half a lemon juice, white wine vinegar and white wine.
Reduce the until there’s only a tablespoon or so of liquid left.
In a separate pan season and then fry fish skin side down for three or four minutes.
Add the butter one cube at a time on a low heat and whisk it into the remaining liquid.
Wait until each individual cube has melted into the sauce before adding the next one and keep whisking.
The sauce should just be on the verge of boiling while the butter is added.
Once the fish is almost cooked turn it over and finish it off skin side down for a minute.
Season the sauce to taste and whisk in another squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve the fish with the sauce on top and some new potatoes.

2 thoughts on “Pan fried coley with lemon beurre blanc”

  1. The burn’s almost healed now thankfully!

    Your post just reminded me I’ve not seen Julia and Julia yet despite a colleague giving it to me a few months ago. Will need to dig it out.


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