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Center is just separating when pressed.

Easy Weeknight Fish Dinner

If you need a quick healthy mid-week meal, then this one is for you. We’ve been saying we need to eat more fish and chicken and Lemon Pepper Fish is a very simple, yet tasty and healthy dinner. The ingredients are very minimal – white fish filets, lemon olive oil and pepper. I found some very nice cod filets to make for dinner. I’ve made this recipe with Tilapia and Halibut among others. You can walk in the door and have a healthy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Easy Ingredients
Easy Ingredients

You start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Place the filets on a baking sheet. Rub some of the lemon olive oil onto the fish. Grind some fresh pepper over the fish. Now put the pan in the oven and roast for 7-12 minutes until the fish is ready.

Oil and Pepper Fish ready to go in the oven.
Oil and Pepper Fish ready to go in the oven.

For the lemon olive oil, if you are in the Huntsville area – go visit my friends at King’s Olive Oil and they have a very nice Lemon Olive Oil. If you can’t get there, “O Olive Oils” makes another wonderful lemon olive oil. (I put both bottles in the picture so you could see them.)

One key thing to remember when you are cooking fish is that you MUST take it out just as the center is still a bit underdone and the layers of the fish separate slightly when you press on them. Just because you take the fish out of the oven doesn’t mean it stops cooking immediately. This is referred to “carry-over” cooking.  Since fish is almost all protein, if you cook it until it is “done” then the carry-over cooking will mean it ends up overcooked. When I’ve taught classes on seafood, the main concern I hear is that fish ends up overcooked. If you want more information about how proteins cook, see Shirley Corriher’s book “Cookwise.”

Center is just separating when pressed.
Center is just separating when pressed.

Here you can see the filet is just starting to separate when pressed. The center is still a bit opaque. If you wait until it is fully white, it will be chewy and overdone.

Don’t be too worried about not getting it right – just err on the slightly undercooked side and it will come out very well. Just enjoy a quick mid-week, after work dinner.

Recipe (If you really need one….)

Fish Filets
Lemon Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the filets on a sheet pan. Rub Lemon Olive Oil on the filets. Grind fresh pepper over the filets. Roast the fish for 8-12 minutes until the fish is just opaque in the center of the filet and the layers are just separating. Remove from oven, let rest for about 5 minutes and serve.

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