by John Ryan
What you've got here is a weeknight staple. It's a technique for steaming fish and getting a light beurre blanc (white wine butter sauce) at the same time. The onions and mushrooms add flavor and become side vegetables. We're talking meal-in-a-pan and minimal cleanup. It is a good basic recipe that can be adapted to whatever ingredients look good. You can even use a boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of fish. For the mushrooms, feel free to substitute shiitake, cremini, and/or oyster mushrooms. Likewise for onion. Use leeks or shallots if they look good and are a reasonable price.
About 30 minutes
Skillet with a tight-fitting lid
1 slice bacon
1 cup sliced onion
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 fish fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon butter
1. Cook the bacon until crisp, then set aside.
2. In the bacon fat, sauté the sliced onion until soft, then add the mushrooms. Lightly salt and pepper the mushrooms and onions.
3. When the mushrooms are cooked, pour in the wine and vinegar and simmer about half the wine away.
4. Lay the fish on top of the onion and mushrooms, and cover. Maintain a steady simmer. When the fish is done (5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is), put it on a warm platter. Quickly stir the butter into the remaining juices.* As soon as the butter is melted, pour everything on or around the fish. Crumble the bacon over the top and serve.
If your lid isn't tight, most of the wine and pan juices will steam away. If that happens, stir a little water in the pan.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created December 1999
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