France is famous for many things: the Eiffel Tower, wine, art, fashion, to name a few. But perhaps the country’s biggest claim to fame is how it’s turned cooking (and eating) into an art form. As good as they are, buttery pastries, belly-warming soups, and savory meat dishes reach new levels of gourmet when French chefs have their way. French cuisine is one of the biggest pulls for many travelers, so we’ve found a way to bring France home without having to board a plane. Two words: brown butter.
For many Americans, butter conjures up memories of stacks of pancakes or piles of French toast (although it’s not actually French — sacre bleu!) dripping with maple syrup. Butter is synonymous with baked goods and other delicious sweet treats. However, the French embrace this little cube of fat in more ways than just sweets.
Brown butter is simply butter cooked until the milk solids caramelize and it turns brown or black. The French call it beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) or beurre noir (black butter), depending on how dark the color is. Beurre noisette has a much nuttier flavor, whereas beurre noir tastes a bit like coffee and can be almost bitter. While regular butter is multifaceted in its uses, brown butter is almost a chameleon in its ability to fit in, taking steak, oysters, pasta, salmon, and even chocolate chip cookies to new heights of deliciousness.
So, forget the flight to France. Bring the famous French cuisine to your table with this brown butter and crispy sage halibut recipe — the nutty butter pairs perfectly with the sweet, subtle flavors of the halibut. This dish comes together in 15 minutes and will make you say “Mon dieu!” with every mouthful.
Brown Butter Sage Halibut
- Sauce pan
- 1-2 halibut fillets
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 8-10 fresh sage leaves
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pat your halibut fillets dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet, then add the fillets. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and easily flake with a fork (time may vary depending on the thickness of your fillets).
- While the fish cooks, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, allowing the butter to cook — stirring frequently — until it turns a light golden-brown color.
- Add the sage leaves to the brown butter and let them cook for about 30 seconds, just until they become fragrant and slightly crispy.
- Place the halibut on a plate and spoon the brown butter sage sauce over the fish and serve. Bon appetit!