Pan-Grilled Black Bass with Flavored Butters

Serves: 4

Anytime you grill or pan-fry fish, it's essential to thoroughly dry it before adding your fat. You can find flavored butters near the butter section. One brand I like is Land O'Lakes. I like to keep 2-3 flavors on hand to top vegetables, fish, steak, bread, etc. Or - you can make your own Maitre d'hotel butter.

Yield: Servings: 4
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:


1 pound broccolini or broccoli rabe, trimmed
kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces 6- black bass or trout fillets or skinless cod or haddock fillets
1 cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
mâitre d'hôtel butter


Cook broccolini in a pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium until foaming. Add broccolini, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, just until broccolini is warmed through and coated in butter.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Pat black bass fillets dry; this will help keep the fish from sticking to the pan while cooking. Place flour on a plate and season generously with salt and pepper (you are not seasoning the fish itself). Working one at a time, dredge fillets in flour, shaking off excess. Spread butter over flesh side of fillets as if buttering a slice of bread.

Add fillets, flesh side down, to pan; they should sizzle upon contact. Cook just until grill marks appear and butter is browned, about 1 minute. Turn and cook, pressing gently so entire skin side is in contact with the pan’s ridges, until skin is browned and crisp and fillets are cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.

Serve black bass fillets with broccolini and flavored butters, which will soften on contact with the warm fish.


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