Fresh fish is an excellent addition to any diet but, unfortunately, sometimes you have to deal with the whole fish. The thought of preparing fish for a meal tends to discourage many people from adding more fish to their meals. In reality preparing fish for grilling, broiling or however you decide to cook it is really very easy.
Before you go to the market and buy a whole fish realize that sometimes the fish are sold with the scales still on them. It is not a big deal but it can add to your frustration if you are not ready to deal with removing the scales of a fish. To prepare fish you will need a fillet knife, a flat cutting surface and a metal spoon if you need to remove the fish scales.
If you bought a fish with the scales still on it simply spread newspaper over a large flat surface and place the fish on the newspaper. Take a metal spoon scoop side down and place it on the fish and move the spoon back and forth along the body of the fish. The scales of the fish will come off with little effort but it can become a bit messy. Once you have removed the scales from both sides place the fish under running water to rinse away any remaining scales.
Now that the scales are off of the fish it is time to fillet the fish. Place the fish on a flat clean surface and take a fillet knife and make an incision near the tail and near the forward fin, the incisions should go to the bone of the fish. Once the incisions have been made place the fillet knife in the tail incision and turn it horizontally into the meat while making a sawing motion.
Allow the side of the fillet blade to ride the spine of the fish as you cut the flesh toward the head. After you have arrived at the fin incision turn the fish over and repeat the process on the other side, do not remove the fillet until you have finished filleting the other side.
Remove the fillets and place them under running water and rub the fillets to expel any bones that may have remained in the flesh.
Now your fillets are clean and ready to be cooked. Take a skillet or frying pan and place it on the stove. You want a medium heat on the pan in order to melt butter. While the butter is melting in the pan coat the fillets in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Once the butter has melted and covered the pan place the fillets in the hot pan and allow the side to brown. Try not to turn the fish too many times because it will break apart if handled too much.
After the fillets have cooked to a nice golden brown color remove the fillets from the skillet but do not remove the pan from the heat you will use the same pan to create a sauce for the fish. Add about 8 tablespoons or one stick of butter to the pan and allow it to melt.
Add a clove of finely chopped garlic and squeeze a whole lemon into the melted butter and lower the heat to allow the sauce to simmer. Finally add some cayenne pepper to the sauce for a little flavor.
Serve the fish and sauce with your favorite pasta or rice dish and enjoy!