A real beurre blanc can seem hard, but it is easy enough to do a “cheat” version of a butter sauce and it goes so nicely with white fish. My cheat version of a butter sauce is just a bit of shallot and a quickly reduced splash of wine finished by whisking in cold butter.
Adding orange and dill make the sauce a bit more interesting, though endless additions are imaginable. Serve it right away as it is fragile and can break – and whatever you do watch the heat when you start adding in the butter. If you want a thicker, creamier sauce double the butter.
Pan Roasted Cod with an Orange Butter Sauce(serves 2)
Trim the cod and portion if necessary. Zest the orange and sprinkle the orange zest, paprika, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish.
Start heating a large skillet to medium high heat and turn the oven on to 375F. When the pan is hot, add the butter and the olive oil and then quickly dredge the fish in flour. (Doing this too early will end up with heavy and sludgy fish.) Place the fish in the hot pan, blood vein up, and brown it on the first side. Flip and transfer to an oven safe dish place in the oven. Continue in the oven until the fish flakes - about 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.
While the fish is cooking, peel and segment the orange flesh and chop the chives and shallots if you haven't done it already. You can also start your sauce
Remove the fish from the oven when cooked and transfer the fish to a plate.
For the sauce, place a pan on medium high heat. Quickly add the shallot and stir until soft, then add the wine. Reduce the wine until it is less than 2 tablespoons Remove from heat and whisk in the cold butter, followed by the orange and chives. Season to taste. Plate fish and spoon sauce over top.