This is the secret to restaurant-quality fish. The magic happens on the bottom of the pan where the fish forms an even, crisp crust. The sauce seals the deal.
4 (4- to 6-oz.) fresh grouper fillets
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°. Pat fish dry with paper towels, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place fillets, top side down, in hot oil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer skillet to oven.
Bake at 425° for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish is opaque. Remove skillet from oven, and place fish, seared side up, on a platter.
Wipe skillet clean. Cook butter in skillet over medium heat 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Pour butter into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
SEARING IS BEST FOR: Nearly any type of fish, but is easiest with firm fillets that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick, such as grouper, halibut, sea bass, and striped bass.
EXPERT ADVICE: Make sure the pan is hot before adding fish. Press very lightly with a spatula while cooking for even searing.