Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eat More Fish

I used to HATE fish! Unless it was breaded, deep fried and served in a pool of ketchup, I wouldn't touch the stuff. It turns out I just didn't know how to cook it properly before. Now I can't get enough of it!

A couple of tips for cooking great fish:

  1. Buy good quality: it's impossible to make it taste good if it's poor quality. Choose fish that doesn't smell fishy. I always ask the fish guys at the market what fish is fresh, and then I ask them if I can smell it. Let's face it, good quality fish isn't cheap, you'd hate to get the fish home and realize it was a waste of money.
  2. Season the fish: First pat the fish dry with a paper towel to get the moisture out. Then salt it (coarse sea salt is best). I add pepper too, although that's optional.
  3. If you have skin-on fish (which I love!) scrape the skin with a sharp knife, drawing out all of the moisture from the skin. This will allow it to get really good and crispy.
  4. Get your pan really hot. And don't use non-stick. Get a good heavy pan out, something that will really sear that fish well. Add 2 glugs of olive oil, enough so that it covers the entire pan liberally. You should see smoke coming from the pan
  5. Next, dismantle your smoke detector, or at least open a window (those things are just way too sensitive for my cooking)
  6. Carefully lay the fish (skin side down, if you have skin-on fish) into the pan (facing it away from you so you don't get splattered with that wonderful oil).
  7. Let cook without touching it 3-4 minutes, until the skin gets nice and crispy if you have skin-on fish, or until you create a nice brown colored sear if you have skinless fish.
  8. Use a spatula to flip the fish. If the fish seems to stick a lot, it may not be ready to flip yet. Let it go another 30 seconds and try again.
  9. Allow the fish to cook 30 seconds-1 minute on the other side.
  10. Your fish should be done now, unless it's super thick in which case you can finish it off in the oven (350 degrees) for a few minutes.
  11. Squeeze a little lemon juice overtop, and you're done!

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