Because I haven't buckled down and gotten into meal-planning, I often pull a protein out of the freezer to defrost for the next night's dinner without really knowing how I'm going to cook it. Take, for example, the whiting fish I pulled out last night. I didn't even know what whiting fish was (no, I wasn't the one who bought it).
Google told me that whiting fish is a delicate, flaky fish, similar to cod or tilapia. I wanted a delicate flavor for a delicate fish, and piccata came to mind. Piccata is an Italian word used to refer to the method of cooking meat, poultry or fish in lemon, broth, butter and parsley. Capers, shallots and garlic are common additions as well.
I decided to adapt the piccata recipe from Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy cookbook and substitute the whiting fish for the chicken that the recipe calls for. I served the fish over plain cous cous with peas. The fish stayed moist and had a buttery flavor. It didn't have a "fishy" taste at all. The plain cous cous and the peas were enhanced by the lemon-garlic pan sauce. I can't wait to try whiting fish in other dishes.
Piccata-style Whiting Fish with Cous Cous and Peas
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook
- 4 whiting fish fillets
- ½ cup AP flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth or dry white wine
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 cups prepared plain cous cous
- 1 (10-ounce pkg) frozen peas, cooked according to directions
- In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat fish fillets in mixture, shaking off excess.
- Melt butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add garlic and fish, and cook until fish is no longer opaque, about two minutes per side. Remove to plate, and cover to keep warm.
- Add broth or wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon juice, and increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes to reduce the sauce.
- Plate the fish, cous cous and peas, spoon pan sauce over, and serve.