Fish Roasted In Butter With Brown Butter Sauce

Fish As Comfort Food?

True “comfort food” is usually high in calories and carbohydrates. It tastes great, but later it can leave you with a not-so-great feeling (to say nothing of the associated guilt). But I also think of fish as comfort food, but not in the traditional sense. When I eat fish, it not only tastes great at the time I’m eating it, but my body seems to sense that this was a good choice. It’s nutritious (a good source of protein) and offers other good vitamins and minerals along with omega-3-fatty acids. And I don’t have to convince myself this was a good selection.

The Controversies

The types of fish, where they were caught or raised, and the method of preparation are controversial. There seems to be consensus in that fish taken from contaminated waters should probably not be eaten. Both the fat and the skin can collect toxins. The flesh not so much, but there ARE toxins present.

Another controversial subject has to do with eating the skin. Is it good for you? Probably not says Andrew Weil, M.D.; however, there are fish that have wonderful flavor in the skin, such as red snapper or striped bass. They are prepared with the skin on and sautéed with the skin side down, giving it a crispy taste. They also can make a beautiful presentation on the plate.

How To Get Butter To Work For You

My favorite fish to eat are salmon, halibut, and haddock. I like to leave the skin intact and then remove halfway through the cooking process. It helps keep the nutrients and oils inside the salmon, and it also keeps it moist and adds flavor. I do this by a roast/poach process I will describe in the recipe. It is easy and absolutely delicious.

Our favorite sides to serve with this dish are spaghetti squash and peas. Because of all of the butter, I think a Chardonnay pairs well with this meal.

But I don’t have to be sold on butter. I have had two previous posts: Creamy Homemade Butter Versus the Commercial Products and My Name Is Bob. And I’m a Butteroholic.

Special Culinary Equipment: 12” Skillet All Clad

And It Was Delicious …


Fish Roasted In Butter

yields: 2 Servings prep time: 15 Minutes cook time: 15 Minutes
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4 Tablespoons 4 Tablespoons 1.5 to 2 pounds To taste Several
Butter Parsley minced Fresh fish fillets such as salmon, haddock, or halibut (skin intact) Salt and pepper Lemon Wedges
  • 4 Tablespoons
  • 4 Tablespoons
    Parsley minced
  • 1.5 to 2 pounds
    Fresh fish fillets such as salmon, haddock, or halibut (skin intact)
  • To taste
    Salt and pepper
  • Several
    Lemon Wedges


While the fish is cooking, make a Brown Butter Sauce:

  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot, and add in your butter.  About 4 tablespoons for 10 – 15 minutes should work
  • The butter should immediately start sizzling and foaming up a bit
  • As the water evaporates, the butter will start to turn brown; this takes 2 – 3 minutes stirring occasionally, and then turn the heat to low
  • If you’re adding additional flavors not is the time to do it.
  • The butter will slowly get a deeper brown over the next several minutes.  Keep the heat low continually stirring or rolling the pan, and if it looks like it’s turning dark brown, take off the heat, as the butter can burn, which doesn’t taste good.  When it smells “nutty”, it is done. If it starts to smell, anything like “bad”, the butter’s likely burned and you should probably start over.

Time: 30 Minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the butter and half the herb in a roasting pan just large enough to fit the salmon and place it in the oven. Heat about 5 minutes, until the butter melts and the herb begins to sizzle.

  2. Add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. Roast 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin off. (If the skin does not lift right off, cook 2 minutes longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn the fillet over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again.

  3. Roast 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fillet and the degree of doneness you prefer. Cut into serving portions, spoon a little of the butter over each and garnish with the remaining herb. Serve with lemon wedges.

Our favorite sides to serve with this dish are spaghetti squash and peas. Because of all of the butter, I think a chardonnay pairs well with this meal.

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