Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Julie & Julia Barramundi with Lemon Sauce

Barramundi with Lemon Sauce
The Oscars are happening this month so Recipe Redux’ theme for February is to pick a food or recipe from a favorite movie. It can be a recent movie or an old classic.

For me, the movie that comes to the top of my list is Julie and Julia that came out in 2009. Meryl Streep was fantastic as Julia Child and Amy Adams played Julie Powell, a young woman who blogged about preparing all 524 of Julia’s recipes in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. I believe that this was the first major movie based on a blog. Julie used blogging to motivate herself to test all 524 recipes and to document her progress. The movie gave me a better sense of the challenges that Julia Child faced while she was in Paris in the late 40’s and early 50’s.

The plot is good but it was the food that was the big draw for me. All of the food depicted in the movie makes your mouth water. Julia prepares a wonderful fillet of sole in a lemony butter sauce. I decided to start with this recipe but make it a bit healthier. I substituted barramundi fish for the sole. If you’re not familiar with barramundi, this is a mild white fish that can be found in many markets today. It is a member of the Asian sea bass family. While it doesn’t have as many omega three fatty acids as salmon or sardines, it has more than many other types of fish, about 480 mg per 3-ounce serving.

Barramundi is one my favorite new seafood items. It can be found frozen or fresh in some markets. I found barramundi frozen at my local BJ’s store. If you can’t find it, click here to go to Australis’ web site to find where to buy it in your area. Here is a picture of the package I bought.

Julia Child’s original recipe called for sole, 2 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup heavy cream. My recipe uses barramundi fish instead of sole. This mild white fish is more affordable, has more protein and more omega three fatty acids than sole. This recipe below also uses a combination of olive oil and butter, fat free half and half instead of heavy cream and uses less salt. And portion sizes are more reasonable. It’s loaded with good nutrition and costs about $2.50 per serving.

Here is a comparison chart of my Barramundi with Lemon Sauce compared with Julia Child's Fillets of Sole Meuniere (found in The Way to Cook, pages 98-99).

Per serving:
Julia Child’s Fillets of Sole Meuniere
Dr. Barb’s Barramundi with Lemon Sauce
310 kcal
219 kcal
Total Fat
23 g
10 g
Saturated Fat
13 g
3 g
127 mg
67 mg
22 g
22 g
899 mg
279 mg

Here is the full recipe.
Barramundi with Lemon Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced fine
4 (4-ounce) barramundi fillets, thawed if frozen
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wheat flour
3/4 cup fat free or regular half and half
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle the sole with salt and the pepper. Dust the fish fillets with the flour and shake off any excess. Set aside.

In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook one minute. Put the fish in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 3 minutes longer. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.

Add the half and half and lemon zest to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until starting to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve the sauce over the fish.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving (using fat free half and half):
219 calories, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 67 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 23 g protein, and 279 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein and vitamin B-12 and a good source of riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B-6.

Cost per Serving: $2.51
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Here are some preparation photos.

Be sure to check out these other movie favorites. 
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  1. i have never tried this fish before but since it can be purchased frozen- it will make a healthy quick weeknight meal.

    1. Hi, Dixya: Yes, the fish fillets are thin and the frozen fillets thaw very quickly. It makes a very fast meal, great for week nights.

  2. You know, I never thought about it but Julie & Julia is probably the most appropriate movie for this month's theme because it was based on a blog! The actresses were wonderful and the food was just as wonderful. Barramundi is a new favorite of mine for the taste and the omega 3 count as well. Your recipe looks delish.

    1. I agree, Deanna. I believe this was the first movie done that was based on blogging. Very appropriate for this group.