Cooking for one – Seabass with beans, burnt butter and nuts

Just because you’re cooking for yourself doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t occasionally pull out some stops. Some nights it’s important to eat from a bowl on the couch.

But other nights, it’s worth treating yourself. Siting at a table. Using a knife as well as a fork. Drinking from a wine glass, even if it’s just soda water with lemon.

This is a dish that I would happily  pay good money for in a bistro. When I cook it I feel like I’m taking myself on a date.

The way the toasted nuts and a teaspoon of brown butter play against the tang of the yogurt is pretty damn sexy.   Yet because it only needs one fry pan and everything cooks at around about the same time you can have it on the table in 6 minutes.

Nb It also sticks to the rest of the ‘cooking for one’ rules. Minimal cleaning up, and no sad left over, half used vegetables hanging about, mocking you in your fridge for the rest of the week. There’s just half a lemon. Which rightfully belongs in a gin and tonic to sip while you make this.

You can eat it in your best outfit and most uncomfortable underwear, or your pajamas.

Your dinner, your choice.

Recipe below. Or; you could take 6 minutes out of your day and watch me make it.

One pan seabass with burnt butter and yogurt sauce

1 frypan. 1 piece of paper towel. 1 teaspoon.

Shopping foraging

1 fillet of seabass, or another slim fillet of white fish with the skin on (about 100 grams is fine)
1 handful of green beans
2 handfuls of salad greens (watercress, baby spinach and baby rocket is lovely)
6 hazelnuts
1 tablespoon of  flaked almonds
1 heaped teaspoon of natural yogurt
1 teaspoon of butter
1 small splash of olive oil
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s how we roll

1. Put your fry pan on a high heat.

2. Wipe your fillet of sea bass down with a paper towel, making sure that the skin is dry.

3. Test if your pan is hot enough by placing half a lemon, face down on the pan. If it makes a sizzle, then it’s hot enough.

4. Add your beans to the pan, shuffle them over to a corner.

5. Add a very small slosh of olive oil to the other corner. Sprinkle it with a little bit of salt. Then  place your fish fillet over the top, skin side down. Press the fillet down gently with your spatula to make sure it cooks evenly.

6. Add your nuts to the pan.

7. Cook the fillet for 90 seconds on one side, until the skin is crisp and the fillet has gone opaque half way through the thickness.

8. Flip the fillet over and cook for about 45 seconds on the other side.

9. Transfer the fillet to a plate. Put a handful of leaves to one side.

10. Test a bean to make sure they’re cooked to your likeness. Shuffle the beans, nuts and lemon out of the pan and onto the plate.

11. Add a teaspoon of butter to the hot pan. Shake it around until it melts and turns nut brown. This should take about 30 seconds.

12. Drizzle the natural yogurt over the top of the beans and nuts. Season them with salt and pepper.

13. Spoon the burnt butter over the top of the yogurt, beans and nuts.

14. Squeeze the caramellised lemon over the fish and the leaves. Add extra salt and pepper to taste.

Other episodes in ‘Cooking for one’

Miso salmon with zucchini noodles

Moroccan mince with carrot 

A kind of tapas

  1. I am definitely going to give this recipe a whirl. How delicious!

    And bless ya for the shout out – the print looks just perfect on screen! xx

  2. I made this tonight and it was delicious! Loved how the lemon became caramalised and the crunch of the nuts. Really impressed the other half too.

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