Fish Fillets with Lemon and Capers

I'm told that one of the first things they teach in cooking school is preparing a dish "meunière" style. I've never been to cooking school but its seems we in the Rivera family have been cooking "meunière" style all along. It's simply dipping fish fillets (or a whole fish) in milk, coating with flour, and frying. A variation of this is meunière with lemon and capers. This is called grenobloise style. My mother had been preparing fish like this for years without knowing of its highfalutin background. In French classical cuisine they use mainly an unflavored oil such as peanut or corn oil for the frying. Given our Latin roots, we in the Rivera clan use olive oil.

What's great about this dish, whatever you want to call it, is its simplicity. It's one of the most basic of entrées. Boiled potatoes is the classic accompaniment to this dish, but you can serve it with rice or pasta, or any other preferred grain.  With a crusty piece of bread, it's the best thing around.


4 boneless fish fillets, such as haddock, cod, flounder, turbot, ext. (about 1/4 pound each)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (plus three-four thin lemon slices for garnish)
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Rinse the fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place the fillets in  shallow dish and add the milk. Turn the fish to coat evenly with the milk.
3. Place the flour in another shallow dish and season salt, pepper, and oregano. Dredge each fillet in the flour; and shake to remove excess flour from the fish.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I prefer cast-iron), and cook the fillets over moderate to high heat about 4-5 minutes until golden brown on one side. Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side. As the fish cooks, baste with the oil in the skillet. Total cooking time is about 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove the fillets to a warm serving dish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice.     
6. Pour off the oil from the skillet, and wipe the skillet with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the capers and cook about 15 seconds. Pour the butter sauce with the capers over the fish fillets. Sprinkle with the parsley. Garnish with the lemon slices, and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.