I still remember my first encounter with “boozy” food. No I don’t mean college food designed to get you drunk, like jello shots or vodka watermelon. What I’m referring to are more elegant dishes, enhanced with alcohol for the flavor it delivers.
At the time, I was in high school, and on a slow Friday night, I went out to dinner with my parents. At their urging I started out with a cup of turtle soup—which happened to come with a shot of sherry on the side. Suspicious, I tried it plain first, then threw caution to the wind and poured in the sherry. The transformation was memorable!
And was the start of a long love affair with sherry.
So, when I saw this recipe for Whitefish with Mushrooms and Vermouth, I was all in.
The dish, from Fine Cooking (link has since been removed), is super simple but loaded with flavor from earthy mushrooms, savory garlic and, of course, fragrant vermouth.
Prepared in a single pan, you simply cook a few ingredients for the sauce, add in the fish, cover to (briefly) finish cooking and serve.
The original recipe called for cod, but I used halibut which I love for its ability to not crumble in cooking. But the flavors would complement almost any whitefish!
Now the super simple part is another aspect I appreciate, especially now. As covid wears on, I seem to need more easy dishes to deal with those flagging energy days. But I don’t want to eat something that’s low on flavor ‘cause then I’d feel deprived.
Thankfully Whitefish with Mushrooms and Vermouth delivers on both counts.
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 10 ounce thinly sliced mushrooms (cremini or white)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 3-1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
- 24 ounces Whitefish cut into 6 ounce fillets
In a large skillet, melt 3 Tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring about 45 seconds. Add the vermouth, 3 Tablespoons of the parsley, the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Boil until the liquid is reduced by a third, about 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium, add the fish to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spoon some of the mushrooms and liquid on top.
Cover the pan and simmer until just cooked through, 7 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer the fish to serving plates. Over low heat, whisk the remaining 1 Tablespoon butter into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon parsley.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g
Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
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