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Sautéed Mediterranean Whitefish Recipe

What are some of your favorite January dishes? I’d love to know in the comments below!

As promised for the next few posts I’ll be sharing how we “clean up our act” in January. In theory, this is an easy task because, if you’re like me, you’ve been indulging non-stop for weeks on end and it feels like time for the madness to end. And then the hunger and cravings begin… I’ve learned that the best way to combat this phenomenon is to cook dishes that are filled with color, and natural flavor and have at least one element that is a bit more indulgent like my Walnut Crusted Chicken.

I was standing in the checkout lane at HEB, with a cart full of goodies when I noticed the charming gentleman behind me in line staring intently at my basket of food. I had several fish bundles in my basket and he finally asked “How will you cook that fish?” Of course, I eagerly described my plans for the cod fillets as I loaded my haul on the counter. In a moment he asked me pointedly, how LONG do you cook the fish and my answer was “Until it’s done.” I don’t mean to be coy with my reply but the length of time to cook delicate whitefish depends on a lot of things. I promised the gentleman that I’d share my recipe for Sauteed Mediterranean Whitefish this week along with pictures. So a shout out to the guy from HEB if you are reading!

People ask all the time how to cook fish so I thought a few tricks of the trade would help. For starters, let the fish come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Grab a chef’s pan and heat the pan to medium-high heat with a little bit of fat. You can choose butter olive oil or a combination of both.

For my Sauteed Mediterranean Whitefish Recipe, I choose a small pat of butter. Olive oil would be more indicative of a Mediterranean dish, but codfish, which let’s be real, is not loaded with flavor so I wanted the nuttiness that butter would bring. I like to give fish great flavor too by using Tony Chachere’s Cajun Season Salt, a small sprinkle will do the trick! Once the butter was melted and the pan was hot, I turned it down to medium heat and added the fish facedown.

Sauté in French means to jump so often when a chef sautés they toss food in the pan to make sure the heat is evenly distributed. For delicate whitefish like cod, I just leave it alone. After about 4 minutes, check the pan, if the fish easily releases (jumps) then it’s time to turn it over to cook the other side. This is how you get that lovely browned caramelized crust. Cook the fish fillets on the other side for another 4 minutes or so, depending on the thickness. To check for the desired doneness, use the touching method. If the fish feels squishy at the thickest part, it needs more time. If the fish yields gently when pressed but feels firm, it’s ready.

If you’re having trouble getting your fish to the desired doneness or if it’s thicker than 1 inch, place the chefs pan into the oven set to 350 degrees. Check it after 3 minutes or so and often to be sure you don’t overcook it. No one likes dry fish!

My favorite way to serve fish is with a fruit and vegetable topping and I usually use whatever I happen to have on the counter and in the fridge. For my Mediterranean Whitefish, I used orange bell peppers, tomatoes, piquillo peppers, green and black olives, and onion. I dressed this vegetable mix with a small amount of white balsamic vinegar and piled it high on the fish once it was plated.

For the foundation of this colorful dish, I made a very small amount of indulgent cheesy grits. I put only about 1/4 cup on each plate. Just enough to have a few bites. Honestly, this is my trick for slowly moving back to clean eating!

Sautéed Mediterranean Whitefish

2-4 5-ounce cod fillets

1-2 tablespoons butter

Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

Mediterranean Topping

½ cup finely chopped orange bell pepper

½4 cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped assorted olives

¼ cup chopped piquillo peppers

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper if desired

Prepare topping by mixing all ingredients and set aside until fish is cooked. Season fish fillets with a small amount of Tony Chachere’s.  Heat chef’s pan over medium-high heat until butter has melted.  Reduce heat to medium and place fillets face-side down in the hot pan.  Let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes.  If the fish is easily released from eh pan it is time to turn, if not give it another minute.  Turn the fish and cook on the other side for about 4 minutes.  Check for desired doneness by pressing on the thickest part of the fish.  If it yields gently but feels firm, it is done.  Serve at once with topping.

Let me know how you like this recipe and tell m what some of your favorite January dishes are!

Looking for a fun way to spend the evening with your friends or make new ones? I still have a few seats in my Girl’s Night Out Cooking Class Thursday, February 8th, 6:30-9:00 and I am most excited about the gorgeous Chocolate Grazing Board we will create!

Ready for a night out with the girls?  Grab a friend or come solo to this night of food and merriment! Join me in the kitchen to concoct crave-able appetizers that reflect the flavors of the season.  Sip festive Cranberry Mojitos as stunning as they are delicious and join the fun in the kitchen or sit back and watch as each dish unfolds.  With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we will keep chocolate and romance in our minds as we concoct Heart Shaped Raspberry Brie En Croute, sure to wow all that partake. Pear B&B Crostini is a taste sensation, pears are the base for bacon and blue cheese and the results are amazing. Your tastebuds will delight with each bite of our scratch-made Buttermilk Biscuits stuffed READ MORE

See you soon!!



Reader interactions

4 Replies to “Sautéed Mediterranean Whitefish Recipe”

  1. Lorie – What a treat to read about your Sautéed Mediterranean Whitefish Recipe. I’m the HEB guy that asked you about cooking whitefish. I told my wife about meeting this nice Lady that was a Chef. I viewed your Taste of Paris website and she said, “I photographed her daughter”…you should have introduced yourself.
    Thank you for sharing. I’m sure we will enjoy your Whitefish Recipe even more now. Regards, Dennis Koop


  2. Dennis!!
    Oh my goodness!!! Yes!!! We remember Nancy of course!!
    I am so glad to hear from you!!! I hope you guys will love this dish!!!
    Let me know!


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Lorie Fangio | A Taste of Paris

Meet Lorie Fangio

Lorie Fangio is a teaching chef and the founder of A Taste of Paris culinary excursions. She shares her extensive knowledge of French food & culture through cooking classes, regular TV appearances, local publications, and speaking engagements. She is an award-winning food & lifestyle blogger with a zest for gathering people around a table.

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