Pan-Roasted Fish Fillets
5- to 6-ounce fish fillets, like black bass, haddock, fluke, striped bass, tilefish, snapper or salmon, 1/2- to 1-inch thick
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, tarragon, chives or another herb
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, optional
Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Place the fillets in the pan, skin side down (if applicable), laying them down away from your body. If fillets have skin, press down gently with a spatula for about 20 seconds to prevent curling.
Lower heat to medium and let sizzle until fish is golden and caramelized around edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and add butter and thyme to pan. Tilt pan slightly to let the melted butter pool at one end. Use a spoon to baste the fish with the pooled butter. Continue basting until golden all over and cooked through, 45 to 90 seconds more, depending on the thickness of your fish. Serve immediately with chopped parsley (if using) and lemon wedges.