During my father’s recent visit to Dallas, I made him pan seared rockfish in citrus butter caper sauce with whole wheat herb couscous and asparagus. What made this meal special was the Rockfish was freshly caught off the coast of Alaska just two weeks prior to his visit, during our family vacation. My husband and I went on a charter, Alaska Northern Outfitters out of Seward, and we caught 14 fish between us both. Needless to say, we don’t need to go to the Fishmonger any time soon, as our freezer is full of rockfish, halibut, and salmon.
PAN SEARED ROCKFISH IN CITRUS BUTTER SAUCE WITH COUSCOUS AND ASPARAGUS
6 fillets Rockfish – cut into thirds
1 cup AP Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
4 tablespoons organic Butter
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons organic Butter
1 lb Asparagus – blanched
1 large Shallot – finely chopped
1 large Lemon – juiced & zested
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Couscous
3 cups Water
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley – finely chopped
1 tablespoon Cilantro – finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon Mint – finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
CITRUS BUTTER SAUCE
6 oz organic Butter
10 – 12 cloves Garlic – finely minced
2 large Lemons juiced
2 tablespoons Capers
Italian Parsley – finely chopped for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Begin by cleaning the asparagus and cutting off the woody part, which is where the stem breaks off from the top part of the asparagus, when you snap it in half. Or, it is about 1 to 2 inches from the bottom, depending on your asparagus. Now, cut them into two inch pieces.
Blanch the asparagus is boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process and retain their beautiful deep green color. In 5 minutes, remove them from the ice water, and place them on a towel to dry.
To make the seasoned flour, add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried thyme to the flour. Stir to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed into the flour. Lightly dredge each piece of rockfish in the seasoned flour, and place it on a platter.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a pan on medium high heat, add the butter and olive oil, until the butter is melted and lightly bubbling. Place a few fish filets in the hot pan. Do not move or touch the fish for about 3 to 4 minutes. Also, do not crowd the pan, as the fish will steam instead of sear. Now that the fish is seared on one side, gently turn each filet over to the other side for about 2 minutes. Place the seared fish on a rack over a large sheet pan and into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove the boiling water from the heat, and add the couscous, salt, pepper, and lemon zest, then cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a sauté pan, sweat the shallot in butter, then add the asparagus for 1 minute to slightly reheat it.
Using a fork, transfer the couscous from the saucepan to a large bowl. Using a fork will keep the couscous from clumping. Add the sautéed shallots with the butter from the pan, asparagus, parsley, cilantro, mint, and lemon juice. Stir well with a fork.
In the same sauté pan used for the shallots, melt the butter over medium low heat to make the citrus butter sauce. Add the finely minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Swirl the pan around over the heat for the garlic to get evenly coated with the hot butter. Cook over the stove for about 1 minute, then add the lemon juice and capers to the pan, and sauté for another minute or two. DO NOT overcook the garlic, as it will become bitter. Take the pan off the heat before the garlic changes color, then add the parsley.
To plate, take a couple of large spoonfuls of the couscous and asparagus, and place them on a serving plate. Place a couple of pieces of fish on the side, up against the couscous. Gently, spoon a few spoonfuls of the citrus butter sauce over both the fish and the couscous, if so desired. Serve and ENJOY!