Turbot makes for a fine spring dinner

Entertaining

Entertaining

April 21, 2002|By Betty Rosbottom | By Betty Rosbottom,Special to the Sun

My husband and I were so enamored of a simple, light entree of roasted turbot and vegetables that I made the dish several times, fine-tuning it. On several occasions, no turbot was available, so the fishmonger suggested I try cod instead, and much to my delight the cod worked beautifully, although the flavor and texture were slightly different from the turbot.

These roasted fish fillets and vegetables would make a distinctive centerpiece for a spring menu and could be accompanied by small buttered red-skin potatoes sprinkled with chives. A watercress salad could be served before or after the fish, and creme brulees garnished with strawberries could end the meal.

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services.

Roasted Turbot or Cod Fillets With Asparagus and Shiitakes

Makes 4 servings

1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed, spears diagonally cut into 2-inch pieces

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms

canola oil, for sauteing

4 (6-ounce) pieces of turbot or cod fillets (without skin), about 3 / 4 inch thick

1 / 4 cup flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if needed

salt, freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Arrange oven rack at lower position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Have ready medium-size, oven-to-table baking dish.

Either steam asparagus in steamer or blanch in boiling water to cover until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove, rinse under cold running water to cool, pat dry and set aside.

Remove and discard stems from mushrooms. Wipe mushrooms clean with moistened paper towels and slice into 1/2 -inch-wide julienne strips.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add mushrooms and saute, stirring often, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan and set pan and mushrooms aside.

Dredge fish in flour, coating lightly on all surfaces and shaking off excess flour.

Using same skillet, add just enough oil to film bottom of pan. Heat over medium-high heat until oil is very hot. Add fillets and cook about 2 minutes per side, just until golden. With spatula, transfer fillets to baking dish. Pour wine and 2 tablespoons lemon juice over top. Scatter mushrooms and asparagus over and around fish. Generously season with salt and pepper. Dot with butter.

Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Serve each fillet with some of the vegetables and nap with juices. If desired, season with additional lemon juice.

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