Here’s a decent little dish—one that combines ease-of-execution with a sophisticated presentation.
Because of its firmness, orange roughy is an ideal fish for pan-searing; and cooked properly, the product yields a flaky and silky texture. Searing in a sauté pan (particularly in a non-stick variety) takes some finesse. But the secret comes down to these three things: hot pan, hot fat, then add your product. Set your pan over medium-high heat for several minutes. The trick here is to ensure even heat distribution.
Add an even installment of olive oil, enough so that it thinly coats the bottom of the pan. I like to add just a small knob of unsalted butter at this point. While the olive will cook the product, the butter will provide golden color and a bit of richness to the exterior. Then it’s on to your fish. Gently settle the orange roughy into the pan. And here’s one last pointer: resists temptation and leave it alone. Allow the heat of the pan and fat sear the fish, and you won’t have to worry about it sticking.
Enjoy—the trio of fish, cucumber and tomato makes for a light lunch or sophisticated dinner.
Pan-seared orange roughy with marinated cucumber and tomato-butter sauce
2, 8-ounce orange roughy fillets
As needed, kosher salt and cracked
As needed, all-purpose flour
As needed, olive oil (for cooking and
Small amount of unsalted butter
1 cucumber, sliced wafer-thin lengthwise
A few splashes white wine vinegar
6 plum tomatoes, cored and seeded
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Using a peeler or mandolin, slice cucumber wafer thin lengthwise; place in a bowl and drizzle on a small amount of olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt pepper. Set aside.
2. Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat; allow pan to accumulate and even distribution of heat. Add oil, coating the bottom of the pan, and add butter. Season fish with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Dredge fish filets in all-purpose flour by placing in flour and shaking off excess. Gently place fish filets in sauté pan, searing both sides to golden brown.
3. For sauce: In a separate sauté pan, sweat onion with small amount of oil; add tomato and heat briefly. Add mixture to food processor and puree until smooth. Return to sauté pan and reduce over moderate heat. Remove from heat and swirl in butter. Strain through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Serve immediately with marinated cucumber and fish.
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