Thursday, May 25, 2006

'Picy Fish: Pan-fried Snapper with Chipotle Butter

We try to eat fish at least once a week and I often find myself cycling through the same few recipes, which is rather silly of me, given that fish is a perfect canvas for so many flavors. Subtle or bold, fish is accomodating that way. I was delighted to find this recipe because it really mixes things up and it is easy to adjust for those who don't like things too 'picy. Make a compound butter with herbs as well and offer your diners a choice.

Pan-fried Snapper with Chipotle Butter

½ stick unsalted butter, softened
½ to 1 T. finely chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo plus 2 t. adobo sauce
1/2 t. honey
½ teaspoon salt
4 red snapper fillets (or any firm white fish)
1/3 c. flour
2 T. veggie oil

Mash together butter, chipotles, adobo sauce, honey and salt to taste until blended.

Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Spread flour on a plate and dredge fish, knocking off excess.

Heat 1 ½ T. oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then pan fry the fish, turning over once, until browned and just cooked through, 4-6 minutes. Transfer as cooked with a slotted spatula to plates and add more oil to skillet as need. Top fish with dollops of chipotle butter.

Extra chipotle butter (and you will have it) can be plopped onto some plastic wrap and then rolled up as you would for sugar cookies. Wrap that up with foil (don't forget to mark it) and you can keep it in the freezer, pretty near indefinately, for subsequent fish dinners.

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