Here’s a lightened-up version of a classic fish amandine recipe: Spanish Marcona almonds offer tons of flavor as they are fried in olive oil and lightly salted, but sub in slivered or sliced, if desired. Almost any fish will fare well here, including cod, halibut, halibut cheeks, salmon and even scallops. A lightly browned butter lemon sauce adds a perfect counterpart to let the freshness of the fish shine through and makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal or an impromptu dinner party. Serve as part of a salad course or as a main with your favorite sides, such as fresh pasta, horseradish mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.
Lemon cod with almonds and brown butter
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, chopped or sliced almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 (5-to-6-ounce) cod fillets
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large lemon, halved
1/4 cup dry white wine or white wine vinegar
Garnishes: Fresh dill or parsley; fried capers
1. Set a large, wide pan over medium-high heat. Add almonds and let cook, stirring occasionally, until almonds are lightly toasted; be careful not to burn. Remove almonds to a bowl. Wipe out pan and place over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter; let butter cook until it begins to froth and just starts to turn a light golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
2. Place flour on a plate or shallow dish. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fillets, coating all over with flour. Gently add fillets to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. If pan isn’t big enough, cook in two batches. Let fillets cook, 3 minutes, without disturbing. Gently turn fillets over and cook another 1 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets. While fish is cooking, tilt pan slightly and baste fillets with melted butter. Remove fish to serving plates. Add juice of half the lemon to pan — reserve other half and slice or cut in wedges for serving — and wine or vinegar. Stir in one more tablespoon butter and add toasted almonds. Pour sauce over fillets and serve with more lemons and fresh herbs. Garnish with fresh herbs and fried capers, if desired.