Roasted Fish Fillets With Brown Buttered Corn Sauce

6 fish fillets such as striped bass, flounder or red snapper, each about 6 to 8 ounces

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional

brown buttered corn (see recipe)

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season fillets with salt and pepper and place in a baking pan, skin-side down.

2. In a small bowl, mash together the butter, about two-thirds of the garlic, and the lemon zest if using. Smear on top of fish fillets. Roast until cooked through to taste, 7 to 12 minutes depending upon variety of fish and thickness of fillets.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, purée half the brown buttered corn with broth or water, oil, lemon juice and remaining garlic. Stir in remaining corn. Serve sauce over fish, garnished with herbs.

Yield: 6 servings.

Brown Buttered Corn

3 ears corn, shucked

4 tablespoons butter

4 sprigs thyme, preferably lemon thyme

coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh soft herbs (basil, mint, parsley), optional.

1. Break ears of corn in half and stand one half vertically on a cutting board. Using a sawing motion, run a knife between cob and kernels to remove kernels. Using back of knife, scrape denuded cob to release corn’s juices. Transfer kernels and juice to a bowl. Repeat with remaining corn.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan; add thyme. Let butter cook until you see golden brown specks in bottom of pan and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add corn, juices and a large pinch of salt and pepper; stir well and cover pot. Let cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove thyme sprigs, add more salt and pepper if desired, and serve hot, alone or as a side dish, garnished with herbs if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

From The New York Times  (Sept. 5, 2007)