BEURRE noisette, the nutty-tasting browned butter sauce, fell out of favour in all those years when butter was viewed as a heart attack in a frying pan. But there’s a reason it has been indispensable in French kitchens for centuries. It couldn’t be faster, simpler or more satisfying.
Noisette means hazelnut, and the name was undoubtedly given to the sauce not only for its light-brown colour but also for its sweet, complex flavour and aroma. It’s superb with vegetables but in my opinion, meant for fish.
Beurre noisette falls in between drawn butter, which is simply melted and remains yellow, and beurre noir, which is made by cooking the butter until dark brown and slightly bitter. The colour comes from browning the butter’s milk solids in its fat by simmering it until the bubbling stops. All it needs after that is salt, pepper and something tangy like lemon juice.
This recipe will serve 4.
4 medium-large sea trout steaks or fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
60g (about 4 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
A handful of rocket for each plate
1 pack of pre shelled walnuts coarsely chopped
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the rapeseed oil.
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and place the sea trout fillets to the pan skin side down.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 4 minutes. Tun the fish over and turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook for a further 3 minutes (depending on the thickness, you may have to add a minute more).
While the fish is cooking, put the butter in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter stops foaming and begins to brown.
Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat immediately and season lightly with salt and pepper.
To serve, place a handful of rocket leaves to the plate and sprinkle over chopped walnuts.
Place a sea trout steak over the salad and drizzle a little of the lemon beurre noisette over each piece of fish.