I am always looking for new ways to cook the fish that I catch so I have a lot of fun experimenting and making new dishes. I share these with you so that you can try them too. This turned out so well and my younger teenage daughter LOVED it! Here I am showing you how to make it with just one fish (It was a pretty good sized bluegill (about 8 inches long) and made some decent sized fillets.
Start with your fillets. Here I actually removed the scales from the whole fish first and then I filleted it the way I usually do. (See my How to Fillet a Bluegill post.) Then I season the skin side first because that is going to go down on the skillet first. Here I just used salt and pepper. I know some people aren’t a fan of skin on fish, but with these fish, the skin is so thin that you barely notice it’s there, but it adds a little flavor to the fish and keeps the fillet from falling apart too much while cooking it.
Next I want to infuse some oil with a light garlic flavor. Too much garlic will easily over power this delicate white fish, so I cut a clove in half and as the oil is warming (before it gets too hot) I rub the pan with the garlic clove to lightly flavor the oil and the pan. This is about 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Next put your fish skin side down in the pan. Then season the fish again, not too heavily, on the other side.
This fish only needs to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. It cooks fast, so after a few minutes, flip them over. When the fillets are done you can place them on a heat safe pan and place them in the oven on the warm setting.
For the sauce we will use a white wine of your choice. I normally would use a pinot grigio that is less sweet, but I decided to use a Moscato this time. Then I have some fresh basil and a tangerine.
Now we start the sauce. In the same pan, I just add 2 tbsp of butter (to the oil already in the pan from the fish) and 2 tsp of flour. Mix this well, allowing the flour to cook for just a few minutes before we add liquid. (You can also add some more salt and pepper to your liking here if you’d like.)
Add the basil and the juice of the whole tangerine and stir.
Next add about a half a cup of the wine. Continue to stir. I usually use a whisk to keep it smooth. Stir until it is all blended and thickened. Also, make sure to cook it long enough to cook the alcohol out of the sauce. Just about 5 minutes or so.
Then I did add a little lemon for acidity to balance the sweetness of the sauce.
There you have it. My Bluegill fillets with a Basil and Citrus Wine sauce. This did turn out really good and even my kids loved it! This would be good over rice, wilted greens or even mashed potatoes. You can change it or make it how you’d like it, but have fun trying new things and making great food with the fish that you catch. Even the humble little bluegill can be a delicate and delicious meal.