$14.00 for 2 people: Pan roasted white fish + creamed spinach (INTERMEDIATE)

On May 8, 2012 by Andy Bandy Man

I am not like a food photographer, just a regular dude that likes to eat. The green tint is olive oil, by the way.


After you try this, you aren’t ever going to eat at Long John Silver’s again!  We are getting a bit fancy this time and putting more of a meal together, but this should still take less than 40 minutes from start to finish. This recipe comes from the famous Australian chef Neil Perry’s book “The Food I Love.”

IMPORTANT: For the fish, you will need a pan that you can put in your oven – in other words, a stainless steel or cast iron pan. If your pan has a rubber handle, you can use it if you cover the handle with aluminum foil.  We DO NOT recommend using plastic handled pans or traditional nonstick pans, as they may break down and / or release toxins at high temperatures. Other equipment you will need is fairly standard: knife and chopping board, large pan (mine is 12 inches across) for the spinach.


Pan roasted white fish ingredients

  • 2/3 pound (about 4 pieces) fillets of white fish, tilapia, halibut, barramundi, cod, or other similar fish, preferably with skin. Note that you should buy the fish fresh on the day you plan to eat it – go to your local fishmonger, or to a retailer like Whole Foods, Wegman’s or Target, which sell more sustainable fish than other major chains ($7.00)
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon ($0.75)

Creamed spinach ingredients

  • 1 pound spinach, stems removed and washed (I don’t recommend cutting this recipe in half or anything – this is less spinach than you think!) ($4.50)
  • 1/2 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced ($0.50)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced (you can put more garlic if you are into that kind of thing) ($0.25)
  • 2/3 teaspoon of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream – (from the dairy section; NOT cool whip) ($1.00)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


CREAMED SPINACH RECIPE (slightly more time consuming):

1. Place a pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high, letting it get hot (no oil or anything). Add spinach to the pan in batches, and stir until the spinach just wilts (about 2-3 minutes). Place wilted spinach in a bowl and continue until all spinach has been wilted. Squeeze out excess water from your great big ball of spinach and chop so it pieces are slightly smaller

2. Dice the garlic and onion so it’s ready to go (diced = pretty much cut them as small as you can)

3. Saute the onions and garlic on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes until the onions are soft (saute = cook on medium heat, stirring often)

4. Add the spinach, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and let it cook for 1 minute

5. Add the cream, turn the heat up to medium-high so it simmers (simmer = cook until it is bubbly and “alive” around the edges) and cook for another 2 minutes. Finally, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice

6. Taste to make sure it’s good


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

2. While you wait for the oven to get hot, put some extra virgin olive oil on a plate and coat the fish with it. Generously season with sea salt on both sides (I use a couple pinches on each side – it always needs more than I think)

2. Put an oven-proof pan on the stovetop, and turn the heat to medium. Add some olive oil (~1 teaspoon – enough to cover the pan)

4. Once pan is (very) hot, put a small slice of butter on the pan. If it foams, indicating that the pan is hot, then your pan is ready to go. Place the fish skin down on the pan, and let it cook for just over 1 minute. Then, carefully flip them over

5. Once you have turned all 4 pieces over, place the whole pan in the pre-heated oven and let it cook for 4 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness. The fish in the photo cooked in 4 minutes, but a thicker piece might need up to 7 minutes – that would be the absolute maximum

6. You will know for sure the fish is done if you can easily slip a butter knife through the flesh. Make sure you do NOT overcook!



Once the spinach is done, put it on the center of each plate and place a piece of fish on top. This is a fantastically simple meal to prepare, and the taste is out of this world!




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