A warm welcome from Charente Maritime in SW France with Five Minute Pan-Fried Fish in a Beurre Noisette Sauce with Capers

Lyrical Lavender in bloom in France by French Tart
Tuesday 28th June 2011 ~ St Peter’s Eve/St Paul’s Eve
A new venture and a new blog ~ a warm welcome from me, Karen, in the sunny Charente Maritime in France………I have been meaning to “do” a blog for months, nay, years now, and today I have taken the plunge into “blog world” and here I am!
A French Lavender Field in SW France
I aim to share all my culinary exploits, recipes, photos, hopes and triumphs as well as gardening adventures here on a daily basis ~ a visual delectable daily diary, one hopes!
To start the ball (or is that a cheese) rolling, I would like to share some photos of home with you…….starting with some of my kitchenalia collection below!
Blue and White Vintage French China
Old Terrines and Flying Duck Pichet
I live with my husband in a Maison de Maitre ~ a wonderful old stone house, which was an Auberge, in a pretty little village in South West France, as well as in North Yorkshire in England, near the North York Moors. Our house in France is lovingly restored, maintaining and keeping all the original features such as immense wooden beams, fireplaces, wooden flooring and antique tiles etc.
The sunny B and B Breakfast Room for Guests
Elegant dining in the Pierre Loti Salon
The Pierre Loti Salon
We run a busy and successful Bed and Breakfast, specialising in Gourmet Food and Wine breaks, during the summer, and we pride ourselves on serving amazing breakfasts; homemade granola, breads, jams, confitures and pastries with local organic free-range eggs. All of the meals in our B & B are cooked to order, and we have a cave (wine cellar) that holds 1200 bottles of wine to choose with your meal. The herbs I use in my cooking are freshly picked from my walled kitchen herb garden, and my favourite herbs are lavender and lovage ~ therein, a blog name was born!
Part of the Kitchen Herb Garden 
I am also a freelance food writer and food photographer, that is when I am not “B and B-ing”! I develop new recipes all the time, and specialise in local and seasonal ingredients. The recipe I would like to share with you today, is a wonderful early summer fish dish, simple and easy to whip up. I have suggested fresh perch fillets, but haddock, plaice, coley or cod would be just as nice, and lemon sole would be perfect.
Five Minute Pan-Fried Fish in a Beurre Noisette sauce with Capers
Beurre noisette, just butter cooked until it goes light brown and nutty and is one of the great classic sauces for fish, especially when paired with capers.
Serves 2

2 thin fillets of Perch (other white fish will work well too, such as lemon sole, cod, haddock or coley)
3 – 4 sprigs of curly parsley or chervil
3 tablespoons butter (salted is best)
2 tablespoons capers in vinegar
Half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a frying pan over a high heat, add the perch and cook for two–three minutes on each side, until just cooked through.
Meanwhile, chop the parsley or chervil.

Slide the fish on to the plates, add the rest of the butter to the frying pan and cook until it just starts to turn light brown. Add the capers and parsley or chervil, plus a squeeze of lemon, taste to check the seasoning and pour the butter sauce over the fish.
Serve with seasonal veggies and boiled new potatoes.


  1. Richard says

    my French Charente maritime in-laws would never use butter for cooking, that sounds like a Normandy or anglo-saxon influence

    They only olive oil or ‘huile de pepin de raisin’ bought from the local wine cooperative

    • says

      Well, having lived here for 13 years now, (and in the Poitou prior to that) it is what the locals use, as the Charente Maritime butter is famous. plus it’s a Beurre Noisette sauce for a special occasion. I agree that for every day you may fry your fish in Huile de Pépin de Raisin, which can be bought in SuperU, LeClerc and most major supermarkets now, as well as Colza oil (rapeseed oil) or Olive Oil, but my French neighbour DOES use butter for her fish too! So, we will have to agree to differ there and settle on the fact that it may vary from person to person, (or family to family) rather being a regional thing! Karen

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