Fish piccatta better than fish sticks for no-meat Fridays during Lent

Published 11:25 am Friday, February 24, 2012

We’ve made it through the joviality of Mardi Gras and moved right into the solemnity of Lent.

I wonder sometimes if people think of how all of these holidays play off each other and what dictates when certain dates are decide.

For example, do most of you know why the date for Easter changes each year? But, I’m jumping ahead of myself, and that is a column for another week of Lent.

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Very important in Lent for my friends of the Catholic religion is their rule of no meat on Fridays. I try every year to come up with some new fish recipes for them to try because nothing makes me sadder than to hear them say they had fish sticks, again.

This recipe is based on one of my absolute favorite dishes in the world, veal picatta. A friend of mine, Ricky Smith, does this dish with venison, and I loved it so much it made me wonder about using fish. I found this recipe originally made with Tilapia, but I prefer catfish. And I serve it over angel hair pasta that I have cooked al dente and tossed with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and little parsley.

This dish comes together very quickly and is actually dictated by the thickness of your fish. Cook your pasta before you start the fish so it will be ready and waitng. Served with garlic bread and salad, and you will never think about another fish stick.

Fish Piccata

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 (6-ounce) fish fillets (use a firm white fish)

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup white wine

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon drained capers

Fresh parsley finely chopped for garnish

Combine salt, pepper and flour in a large shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour mixture. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan and keep warm.

Add wine, juice and capers to pan; cook 30 seconds, scrapping the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to pan; stir until butter melts. Serve fish with sauce and pasta.


Christina Hall writes a weekly lifestyle column. She can be reached at