Fish Piccata

I love gummi fish..but not gummy fish piccata.

If you’ve been hanging around these parts for a while, you’ve seen the name Melissa d’Arabian once or twice before.  She was the winner of The Next Food Network Star a few seasons back who now has her own TFN show.  I was pretty much in her corner from the beginning.  I loved that she was a home cook competing with professionals and that she carried herself with confidence.  It was very much a Rocky moment for me when she won.

So I’ve been watching her show, Ten Dollar Dinners.  To be honest, I don’t manage to keep my food expenditures down to $2.50 per person.  Not even by shopping sales, cutting coupons, and using my store “loyalty” cards.  It’s a lofty goal and I give her mad props for showing that it can be done without sacrificing quality and that weeknight meals don’t have to involve canned this or microwaved that.

This is not to say that all of her recipes speak to me.  Black bean brownies?  Thank you, no.  But the ones that I have gone online and printed out have won me over.  Pot Roast CarbonnadeCrispy Skinned Orange ChickenBraised Pork?  All her recipes.  And now it looks as though Fish Piccata has earned a spot on that list.  This could quite easily become a regular weeknight meal at our house.

Fish Piccata

Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

BAH Note:  This is a quick cooking dish.  Be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking.  Don’t be tempted to dredge the fish in the flour and then let it sit on a plate while the oil heats.  You’ll end up with gummy fish.  While I personally enjoy gummi or swedish fish, you want to avoid gummy fish piccata.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 small fillets of tilapia or sole
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed if you prefer
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  While the oil heats, dry the fish with paper towels and season with salt.  Once you are ready to cook, dredge a fillet in the flour, shake off the excess, and place in the pan.  Repeat with remaining fish fillets until all are in the pan

Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until the fish is browned and just cooked through.  Transfer the fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Use the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.  After about a minute, add the lemon juice and capers and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the butter.

Serve the fillets topped with the sauce.

{printable recipe}

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17 Responses to Fish Piccata

  1. JenniferA says:

    Mmm, I love a nice simple preparation with a good piece of fish! This looks like it fits the bill quite nicely.

  2. Laughing at the gummy fish. Gummy fish is, indeed, bad!

    • Wendi says:

      Kitch, the sad truth is I’ve made my share of gummy things that don’t taste good. Hoping others will learn from my mistakes. 

  3. Lan says:

    hmm. perfect weeknight meal that does not require many ingredients or time. tho i will be honest, i so rarely cook with fish. i should tho.

    • Wendi says:

      Lan this could become a ‘get out of jail free card’. Quick, easy, and it tastes good.  You know Wegmans has some great fish…you could try it this week.

  4. Jenna says:

    I also love the simple preparation–I make something similar (with tilapia or lake trout) very often (i.e. whenever tilapia or lake trout is on sale–I’m cheap!).

  5. Brooke says:

    I need to try frying fish. I just fried my first meal ever (pork chops, I know you’re not surprised) and they were hella good. I think fish should be next. I need to rock the casbah with my electric skillet.

  6. liz2024 says:

    Swedish fish piccata, no thank you!

    And I tried the black bean brownies, they are a pretty good replacement if you are trying to go healthy and might end up eating alot of a batch!

    • Wendi says:

      Elizabeth, I don’t think it’s possible to convince me to enjoy black bean brownies.  But fish piccata? Definitely enjoyable.

  7. I remember her winning…think it was right before I love the FN in my cable selections. Wait, think it was right before the cable company discovered that anyone as cheap as me wasn’t supposed to have ever received the Food Network!

    But my eye was caught by the fish. 9:05pm. No dinner yet. Tired…and right now wishing I had some of those suckers!

  8. Melissa d'Arabian says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the nice words and for sharing the recipe! As a fun side note, we actually had a production issue because the fish was SO easy and fast to prepare that we ended up not having enough “action” to fill the show. We ended up swapping out another recipe so the dinner would take a little “longer.” But that fish can be done in 5 minutes in a pinch. I need dinner like that sometimes!! 🙂 warmly, Melissa
    ps. black bean brownies….they don’t taste like black beans, but what’s nice is having the fiber and protein in a sweet item…keeps my kids from getting the sugar crazies. might be worth a try. just saying. 🙂

    • Wendi says:

      Melissa, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on the post. I can’t tell you how that made my day. And I love the behind the scenes story. Having made this a few times, I can attest that it’s done before you know it.

      I “may” decide to give the black bean brownies a try. You haven’t steered me wrong with any of your other recipes that I’ve made. Really, Pot Roast Carbonnade is a go to for me. So maybe I need to get over my bean aversion and give the brownies a go.

  9. Jen W. says:

    A $10 fish dinner that feeds 4 people?? I’m in! I was rooting for Melissa too. I haven’t tried any of her recipes yet, but I do love a good piccata. This may be a good place to start.

    • Wendi says:

      Jen, one key to the $10 Dinners is shopping the sales…which I really never do. I’ve really taken a shine to some of Melissa’s recipes, especially that Pot Roast Carbonnade.

      And how freaking cool is it that she left a comment. It made me fell all sparkly.

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