Pan Fried Wahoo with Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I strayed from the menu plan again this week.

Only this time it was not a result of my laziness, bad planning, or working late.  

Our friends (who happen to also be our neighbors) had a successful fishing trip this past weekend and were kind enough to gift me fresh wahoo on my birthday.  I'd be hard pressed to come up with a better birthday present for a self proclaimed foodie.    Thanks again Derek and Stephanie!

Perfect timing too.  After one too many mini packs of Cadbury Mini Eggs (for the sake of my closet, those evil things must  be discontinued) and one phenomenal Devil's Chocolate birthday cake at work from Priceless Desserts (the icing was literally fudge, AYFKM?!?),  I have been in the mood for lighter meals this week.  Even with whole wheat pasta, low fat ricotta and spinach, lasagna could never be accused of being a "lighter meal".  

So I left the lasagna in the depths of the freezer for another week and began brainstorming possible ways to prepare the wahoo.

The best thing about fish is that any way you choose to prepare it will be quick.  It's the perfect weeknight meal.  Simply season it and throw it in a pan and fry it, broil it, bake it, or slap it on the grill and dinner is ready in under thirty minutes.  And unless you drop it in batter and deep fry it, it generally pretty healthy.

My current borderline infatuation with blood oranges coupled with the fact the crimson citrus won't be available 'round these parts much longer led me to pan fry the fish and top it with a blood orange beurre blanc.

Don't let the extravagant name intimidate you or otherwise deter you from making the sauce, it's ridiculously tasty and adds a boatload of flavor to the fish. And it's pretty, which will satisfy the shallow side of your appetite.   The fancy schmancy Blood Orange Beurre Blanc is simply white wine, blood OJ, herbs and shallots thrown in a pot, boiled to a syrup, and finished off with a half a stick of butter. 

Honestly, dinner couldn't possibly get any easier unless I came to your house and made it for you, which I'll happily do so long as you pay me in red wine, agree to clean the dishes and the counter tops, and provide a candy bowl full of Cadbury Mini Eggs.  

Pan Fried Wahoo with Blood Orange Beurre Blanc:
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes

2 lbs. Wahoo cut into 4 pieces (can be substituted with other fish such as Grouper or Mahi Mahi)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil 
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to season fish

For the Blood Orange Beurre Blanc
2 blood oranges, juiced
Zest of one blood orange (approximately 2 teaspoons)
1 shallot, halved and sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
4 tbsp of butter, cut in 1 inch sections

Rinse fish and pat dry.  Lightly season with salt, pepper and garlic powder (I know it's slightly annoying I didn't give measurements, but I did not use enough to measure - think of a light dusting of fish).  Allow fish to sit room temperature while you prep beurre blanc.  Heat a medium sauce pan of high heat and add blood orange juice, blood orange zest, shallots, thyme and white wine.  Boil for 10 to 12 minutes until reduced to about 4 tablespoons.  Remove pan from heat, turn stove to low and add a few cubes of butter, whisking constantly until melted. Move pan back to low heat (wait a few minutes if you have an electric stove) and slowly add rest of butter, whisking constantly (don't let the butter boil).  Allow sauce to rest over low heat until fish is ready. Heat large skillet over medium high heat.  Add coconut oil and allow to heat for  2 to 3 minutes (the pan needs to be hot!).  Add fish to pan (one at a time, largest first) skin side down and press down on fish with a spatula to prevent skin from shrinking*.  Add rest of fish and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side undisturbed.  Flip fish and cook for an addition 2 to 5 minutes until fish is cooked through and flaky.  Top fish with blood orange beurre blanc and serve immediately.

*I know pan frying fish can be intimidating, I have have butchered my fair share of expensive fillets trying to scrape them from the bottom of pan.  Save yourself the frustration and read this article.  Although the article specifically addresses salmon, I found the tips are applicable to pan frying any variety of fish. And yes I cheated a little by using a dreadful non-stick pan.  I wasn't about to take a chance ruining that fish.


  1. Got to love the name of the fish! :)

  2. Looks amazing!! Rest assured that even after we move... fresh catches will always find their way to your home!! :) --stephanie--

    1. I need to find a way to return the favor Stephanie. Maybe I can cook some for ya'll one night! :)


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