How to Sauté Fish
Sautéing is probably the easiest way to cook thin fish fillets. As you cook them in a small amount of hot fat on top of the stove, it's important to sauté the fish in a pan that's heavy enough to distribute the heat evenly. A professional sautépan (available at any restaurant supply store) or iron skillet is ideal.
When you sauté fish, use enough oil (or butter and oil) so that the surface of the pan is generously coated. Make sure the fat is hot before you add the coated fish or it will stick to the pan. We use a grapeseed and olive oil mixture or a combination of grapeseed and oil and butter to sauté fish. Not only is grapeseed oil heart-friendly, but also it has a high flash point, which means it can be heated to higher temperatures tahn conventional oils. It's considerably more expensive, but we think you'll find the added expense well worth it, once you've tasted how delicious food suatéed in grapeseed oil tastes. (Most Italian grocery stores and gourmet sections of supermarkets stock grapeseed oil.)
Place the fish in the hot oil, leaving ample space between the fillets, and cook the fish uncovered. Otherwise, the fish will steam rather than fry, and the coating will be soggy rather than crisp. Sauté the fillets until they are a light golden color on each side, turning once. Serve immediately.
From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren