White fish in lemon caper chili sauce

I made this dinner so long ago that I barely remember what happened.

All I remember is that I had some brussel sprouts and mushrooms ... and while I really wanted to eat this meal again... I felt like I had to try something new. While new isn't always better, it does mean that you've at least tried something new. This white fish dish is very easy to come together... and a refreshing change of palate. It has a ting of citrus and a kick of spice from the chili. 


A few notes:

  • Easy for One // Could not be easier to cook for one with this meal. 1 fillet and as many vegetables as your heart can handle. Sauce is low cost so if you toss a little out, you won't feel like you are wasting food.
  • Taste the sauce // Speaking of the sauce... taste it as you make it. I added just a touch too much lemon juice and it was obvious to me. I still liked my meal, but if I had been conscious of what I was doing I would have held back.
  • Kitchen Sink Veggies // Feels like pretty much any veggies would work with this sauce. While I used mushrooms and brussel sprouts, just use what you have in the fridge. 

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Preheat the oven to 425°.

(Step 2) Combine the brussel sprouts, mushrooms, pancetta on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until the brussel sprouts and pancetta are to your liking. Probably about 20-25 minutes. 

(Step 3) Meanwhile, pat the fillets dry with paper towels. This step is critical in order to sauté the fillets properly. Sprinkle with the pepper and salt and use the flour to coat each filet lightly with it. 

(Step 4) In a large skillet, melt about 1.5 tablespoons of the butter with the oil over medium heat.

(Step 5) When the butter foam has subsided, slip the fillets into the skillet. Sauté over medium to medium-high heat until lightly golden, about 1 minute on each side depending on the thickness of the fillets, turning them only once. Transfer to a covered platter and reduce the heat to medium-low. 

(Step 6) Add the capers, garlic, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder and wine. Stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon of butter to create a smooth sauce. Stir in the parsley and taste. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

(Step 7) Remove the pan from the heat. Plate the veggies with the fish and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

Shopping List (for two - based on this original recipe)
2 white fish fillets (approx. 5-6 oz each) 
about ¼ cup flour for dredging
freshly ground white or black pepper to taste
2-4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon small capers, drained
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
¼ cup dry white wine
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 pinch of chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
sea salt and ground pepper to taste 
handful of brussel sprouts
3-4 mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup diced pancetta (or 1-2 pieces of bacon)

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