Sometimes you feel the need to get a little fancy. To host a dinner party. Or a romantic dinner for two. To light some candles and drink a really good glass of wine. To play some jazz and turn off the TV. This is a menu idea for an occasion just such as that. This is not necessarily your crazy-midweek-pre-volleyball-practice meal. In fact, please DON’T try to make it then! You’ll feel rushed and the experience will suffer. This dish needs the experience. It’s not all that time consuming, but it feels special and I like to imagine you savoring this dish. Humor me.
The sauce is a breeze to prepare and the fish just gets a quick coating before you pan sauté it. Steam some haricots verts (those very skinny green beans – super fancy) and plate the fish on top of a bed of the beans. Lovely. And don’t forget the wine…as if!
Pecan-Crusted Snapper with Lemon Wine Sauce
Lemon Wine Sauce:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Chardonnay
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper
1 3/4 cups pecan pieces, finely chopped
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 (6 oz.) fresh snapper fillets, skin removed (can substitute cod, sole, trout, or orange roughy)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. For the sauce: Combine 1 cup of the Chardonnay and all but 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon juice in a small saucepan. Boil on high heat until the liquid is reduced in half. Blend the cornstarch and remaining Chardonnay in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the boiling mixture, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off heat. Add butter one tablespoon at a time. Whisk in reserved lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Set aside.
2. For the fish: Combine the pecans, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat fish by turning twice in pecan mixture and pressing lightly into fish. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Place fillets in pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat.
3. Drizzle lemon wine sauce over each fillet and serve.