River Cottage's Steam-Braised Sea Bass with Thyme and Lemon
Steamed fish doesn't exactly have the best reputation outside of health-centric restaurants, but in the hands of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher, gently cooked fillets are anything but dry and boring. Dubbed "steam-braising" in The River Cottage Fish Book, their method consists of using a rich (read: butter and olive oil) sauce full of herbs, wine, and garlic to gently steam (and braise, I suppose) small medallions of sea bass (or most other white, flaky fish). What emerges from the pan is tender with a subtle brininess imparted in the sauce.
Why I picked this recipe: The term "steam-braising" is a new one, but any recipe that promises tender fish and rich sauce with less effort than sauteing an onion sounds good to me.
What worked: With a careful eye on the fish medallions, I was able to turn out fragrant, moist morsels of fish in 10 minutes flat.
What didn't: Nothing--this was fabulous as written.
Suggested tweaks: This cooking method will work with all most white fish and flat fish, and the sauce is highly adaptable. Just keep in mind the basic principle of a thin layer of flavorful cooking liquid and adapt away. I'm thinking tomato broth, white wine, olive oil, and capers for my next batch.