Simple Gourmet: Rockfish Lemon Reduction

If you’re lucky, your friend went to Alaska and brought home too much rockfish and salmon and shared it with you. If you’re luckier still, you are the friend.

This lemony sauce has a sweet side and the pears add a pleasant chunk to bite. A little cardamom makes it more sophisticated. It’ll bring some variety to that freezer-full of fish you’ve been whittling away at all winter. Cayenne pepper would be a zesty addition, too.

What You Need

  • 2 to 4 filets of Rock Fish, or other white fish — depends on size, a skillet-full
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 cans of pears
  • Salt & pepper
  • Skillet, wooden spoon, spatula
  • Cooked rice or spuds to accompany

What You Do

If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, which I recommend, pre-heat it on medium heat while you mince the garlic. Cooking fish outside the house is always recommended, so if your grill or smoker has a propane burner, use that.

Mince the garlic. It’s a lot of garlic, but it’s tasty with the lemon sauce.

Melt the butter in the skillet and sauté the garlic in the butter for a couple of minutes. Add the cardamom. Make sure the skillet isn’t so hot that the butter is burning.

Add the fillets to the butter and garlic.

Add the fish fillets to the skillet. Don’t move them to make sure they get a nice brown on them. Salt and pepper the filets. shuffle the garlic and butter around and spoon some butter on the filets. After a few minutes, when the fillets can be lifted away from the pan at the corners, flip them over and salt and pepper them again. Fry these until they almost come apart with a gentle tug. Remove the fillets from the pan.

Add the vinegar to the pan and scrape with the pan with the wooden spoon. add the lemon juice and mix together with the butter and the garlic. let it start simmering, then add the pears with the juice. This will simmer down into a sauce for the fish. Cut the pears into bite-sized chunks.

Let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken.

If you need more sauce for more fish or more people, add another can of pears and a little more lemon juice — it takes longer to thicken, of course. You can make it very lemony or milder with the pear juice.

Add the fish back to the pan, which warms it, and serve from the skillet.

When the sauce thickens, place the fish back on top in the pan and serve from the skillet. It’s nice over rice.

About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

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