Adam Liaw’s simple snapper meuniere.
Adam Liaw’s easy snapper meuniere.William Meppem

straightforwardTime:< 30 minutesServes:2

Lately, recipes for any dish you may consider – in addition to many you may have by no means even imagined – are only a few faucets on a keyboard away. However what are the dishes that each trendy cook dinner ought to have of their repertoire?

I’m taking you thru the ten important dishes everybody ought to know methods to cook dinner, overlaying a variety of strategies and substances. If you happen to can competently make all of those you’ll not solely eat effectively, you’ll be a well-rounded cook dinner on the finish of it.

Fish meuniere is a traditional of French cooking. Its reputation in the remainder of the world is commonly attributed to Julia Baby, who described consuming it after lately arriving in France as, “absolute perfection … probably the most thrilling meal of my life”.

Historically fish (both complete or in fillets) is dredged in flour and fried in clarified butter, then served with a brown butter sauce. This model is slightly completely different, and it’s extra suited to the trendy Australian kitchen.

When you grow to be snug making this dish, you may adapt a easy fillet of pan-fried fish into dishes from Japanese teriyaki to a easy Aussie barbecue.

Ideas & methods


“Meuniere” in French is the female type of “miller”, and on this dish it refers back to the coating of flour that surrounds the fish, defending it because it cooks and crisping across the edges. Controversially, I feel flour must be optionally available.

It’s an additional step, makes the method of frying slightly tougher and makes use of extra oil. Cooking a easy fillet of pan-fried, non-floured fish is a much more helpful ability that may be utilized to extra sorts of fish and plenty of different dishes.

Pan-fried fish

Whereas the standard dish is often made with sole or flounder, you should use any fish you want. This works effectively with snapper, whiting, flathead, salmon or barramundi, simply to call a couple of.

The method for pan-frying fish is easy. Place a carbon-steel pan over medium warmth and wait till the pan is sizzling. With apply you may choose this by eye, however in any other case you may check your pan’s warmth by observing the Leidenfrost impact: drip a tiny quantity of water into the pan and if it “squeaks” and types a bubble that skims throughout the floor, it’s sizzling sufficient. If the water wets the pan, wait slightly longer.

Julia Child described eating fish meuniere after arriving in France as “absolute perfection … the most exciting meal of my life”.
Julia Baby described consuming fish meuniere after arriving in France as “absolute perfection … probably the most thrilling meal of my life”.Paul Baby/WGBH

When the pan is sizzling, add the oil. Don’t add oil to the pan earlier than heating, as it is going to burn and smoke earlier than the pan will get sizzling sufficient. Lay the fish into the pan, pores and skin down. The pores and skin of the fish will wish to contract and buckle the fillet, so press the fish firmly down with the again of a spatula, base of a pot or cooking weight for about 30 seconds till the fillet relaxes.

You don’t must cook dinner issues in a pan for an equal period of time on either side. In actual fact, this usually causes overcooking. When cooking fish, I’ll usually cook dinner one facet for about 80 per cent of the cooking time, and the second facet for simply 20 per cent. Squeeze or press the fillet together with your fingers to see if it’s cooked. I prefer to think about that I’m biting into the fish as I press it. If it feels uncooked, simply hold cooking.

Alternatively, stick a skinny metallic skewer into the thickest a part of the fish and go away it there for a couple of seconds. Maintain the top of the skewer to your lip and if it feels heat, the fish is finished. Fish will likely be cooked round 45-50C, so if the skewer feels heat towards your lip the within of the fish will likely be simply larger than your physique temperature (round 38C).

Beurre noisette

The important thing to this dish is the beurre noisette, or brown butter. The French translation is “hazelnut butter” – hold that in thoughts if you’re making it. The butter ought to flip the mid-brown color of hazelnut husks. If the butter is just too pale it is going to style oily; too darkish it is going to style burnt and bitter; however just-right and will probably be wealthy and nutty. The warmth from the pan will proceed to color the butter even after you take away it from the warmth, so I like so as to add slightly lemon juice to chill down the butter because it’s eliminated.