Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Seared Rockfish Filets with Mustard Chive Cream Sauce

The simple preparation of this dish allows for the mild, buttery texture of the rockfish meat to truly shine. Seared in a hot pan, the crispy skin creates a lovely crunch that offsets the creamy richness of the accompanying sauce.

Makes 4 servings

For Sauce

1/3 cup minced shallots

1/4 cup dry, un-oaked white wine

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives and extra chives for garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon softened butter

In a small saucepan, boil shallots, white wine and champagne vinegar on medium-high until most, but not all, the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn down heat to medium and whisk in heavy cream and mustard. Whisk constantly until mixture reduces to about 1 cup.

Strain sauce into another saucepan, pressing down well on solids. Discard solids and return saucepan to medium-low heat.

Add chives and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to low and whisk in butter. Remove sauce from heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

For Rockfish

4 medium-sized rockfish filets, skin on

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Score the outside of the skin of each piece of rockfish two or three times, careful not to cut too deeply. Pat fish dry with a paper towel. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Add butter and peanut oil to skillet. Once pan is hot, place fish, skin-side down, in pan and sear until the skin is nice and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Carefully turn fish over and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is done to your liking. Continue cooking fish all the way through in a 350-degree oven if your filets are extra thick.

Spoon about a 1/4 cup of sauce onto a large plate. Place rockfish filet on sauce, skin side up so it doesn't get soggy, and garnish with additional minced and whole chives.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit