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Outdoors

Striper time — try it with amazing brown butter topping

By: J.D. Richey, columnist
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For the past two months, I’ve been working on the Delta, running striper trips and the fishing has generally been outstanding.
Most outings have resulted in 30 to 50 hookups and we have seen some really nice fish to nearly 20 pounds!
These trips are light-tackle oriented and most of my clients release their fish. If somebody wants to take a small male or two home, however, I’m okay with it — stripers are ridiculously tasty!
They have firm, light flesh that is really mild and extremely versatile. On the grill, deep fried, baked or in tacos —you can do it all with striper!
Quite by accident, I recently discovered my favorite new way to cook ’em. I was finishing up a book on surf perch fishing (you can see it on my website, www.fishwithjd.com) and called Scott “The Sporting Chef” Leysath for a recipe for the final chapter.
Scott gave me a great way to prepare perch and I figured I should try it just so I would be able to “practice what I preach.”  
The only problem was I didn’t have any fresh perch to use and no time to run over to the coast. So, I tried it on some fresh striper instead.
Oh man, was it good! So sublime in fact that I feel the need to pass it along. And a great thing about Scott’s masterpiece: it is so simple!
So, here’s how to do it. This will work great on halibut, rockfish or any other white fish, too.
Take your fillets and pat them completely dry with paper towels. Then, salt and pepper both sides of the fish to taste and lightly coat them in flour.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of butter and the same amount of olive oil in a skillet and cook the fish a few minutes per side until it’s golden brown.
Then, place it on a plate in the oven on low heat just to keep it warm.
Now, here’s where the magic takes place — time to make brown butter topping. Browned butter is an amazingly rich, heavenly treat that takes fish from good to OMG!
Take a half stick of butter and cut it into even squares. In a small light-colored pan, heat the butter on medium high.
Stay with the pan and stir constantly. The butter will soon start to bubble and foam. Keep stirring until you start to see it turning brown. At that point, you should start smelling the amazing nutty, slightly sweet aroma.
Immediately take the “nectar of the Gods” off the heat and pour it, piping hot, onto the fish and enjoy. It will knock your socks off!
Oh, so good!!