Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Word or Two on Fish

There's no denying it, fish is good for you. Most fish contain polyunsaturated fat, Omega 3 fatty acids, are low in cholesterol, low in sodium and the current USDA recommendation is to consume fish at least twice weekly.

That's all well and good if you know how to cook it
but what if you're a first-timer in the seafood arena?

Denser fish are easier to cook, in general. Fish like cod, halibut, salmon, tuna, and swordfish are all easy to handle and leave a little room for error. Steaming or poaching fish is not only the healthier choice but the easiest one.
Here are some guidelines for different types of preparation:

Steamed fish:
For a no-fat entree, a 1-inch-thick fillet of salmon can be set on a plate,
sprinkled with salt and pepper, then set on a rack inside a wok filled with a
shallow depth of boiling water, and steamed, COVERED, over high heat for 10
minutes. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the fish and serve.

Sauteed fish:
A 1-inch-thick fillet of halibut can be lowered into a small frying pan of hot
melted butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and fried for 5 minutes on both
sides over medium-high heat. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the fish and serve.

Baked fish:
A 1-inch-thick fillet of sea bass can be set in a buttered baking dish just large
enough to hold the fish, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and placed in a preheated
425-degree oven for 10 minutes. (TIP: fish bakes nicely between 400 and 425
degrees F. This is higher than chicken's baking temperature. The high temperature
cooks fish quickly without prolonging the time spent in heat.) Squeeze a lemon
wedge over the fish and serve.

Poached fish:
A 1 inch-thick fillet of salmon can be lowered into simmering water (about 2
inches deep) that contains aromatics like dill and bay leaf and simmered, turning
once if desired, for approximately 5-7 minutes per side.

Here is a link to HGTV about purchasing and cooking fish at home. And please follow this link before you buy fish, it's important information about the dangers of mercury in seafood.

On to the good part; RECIPES!

Fish Tacos
6 Soft Taco Size Flour Tortillas
1 pkg. (1 oz.) Chicken Taco Spices
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2-3 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice
16 oz. Cod or Orange Roughy Fish Filet
sliced Cabbage

Lime Wedges, sliced Olives, Salsa,
chopped fresh Cilantro, shredded Cheese

combine 2 teaspoons chicken taco spices
with sour cream and enough milk to thin
to pouring consistency; set aside.

Seasoning paste:
combine remaining seasonings,
oil, and lime juice.
Brush seasoning paste over entire fish.
Grill or broil until fish begins to flake easily,
about 10 to 12 minutes.

Evenly divide fish among tortillas,
top with cabbage and sauce, fold,
and serve with lime wedges and garnishes.

Baked Cod with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Lemon
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 T olive oil
1 T chopped fresh thyme or
1 t dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 lb cod, scrod, or halibut fillets
1 large tomato, blanched, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 med zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 C fish stock or chicken stock
1/2 C dry white wine
1 lemon, sliced paper thin
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 C fresh soft white bread crumbs
2 T chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 350 'F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Arrange onion
slices in bottom of baking dish. Drizzle with half the oil.

Sprinkle with half the thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange fish in single layer over onions, cutting fillets as necessary to fit.
Layer tomatoes,then zucchini over the fish.

Pour in stock and wine. Sprinkle zucchini with remaining oil and thyme. Top with
lemon slices. Set aside.

In small skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toss
until lightly golden. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle lemon slices with bread-crumb mixture.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes until fish is opaque and flakes in center when
tested with a fork.

Victoria, July '93

Roasted Salmon with Garlic Cream
4 whole garlic bulbs
3 T butter
1 c creme fraiche or sour cream
1 t stone-ground mustard
2 lb fresh salmon fillets

Remove papery outer shell from garlic, but leave bulbs intact and cloves
unpeeled. Place bulbs in a saucepan just large enough to hold them. Add
water to barely cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to
maintain a simmer and cook 40 minutes, adding more water as necessary to
keep heads barely covered. Remove from heat, cool, and peel. Cloves will be
very soft and easy to peel. Place cloves in a food processor with butter
and puree. Add creme fraiche and mustard and process until blended.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Cut salmon into 8-ounce fillets. Spread top surface of each fillet with
some of the garlic puree. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at
least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place fillets on a lightly buttered
baking sheet or in a buttered baking dish and roast until done to your
liking (7 to 10 minutes). Serve immediately.

Flounder With Parmesan Crust

6 flounder or sole fillets (1-1/2 pounds total), thawed if frozen
1/3 c plain low-fat yogurt
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 t prepared horseradish, drained

Preheat the broiler and prepare the broiler pan with
non-stick pan spray. Arrange the fish on the broiler pan.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, Parmesan, mustard,
lemon juice, and horseradish. Spread the mixture on both
sides of the fillets.

Broil about 8 inches from the heat, turning once, for
about 6 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Baked Catfish
4 catfish or ocean perch fillets (1 pound total),thawed if frozen
2 slices white bread, crumbled, or 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 T grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 t chopped fresh basil or oregano, or 1 tsp dried basil or oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten, or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 c low-fat (1 percent) buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan
with non-stick cooking spray.

In a pie pan or shallow dish, mix the bread crumbs, cheese, basil or
oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In another pie pan or dish, combine the egg and buttermilk.

Dip each fish fillet first in the milk mixture, then in the
crumb mixture to coat both sides with crumbs.

Arrange the fillets in 1 layer in the baking pan. Bake
15 to 20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a


Anonymous said...

I've never had a fish taco, but those look pretty good!

You should try Tacos de Lengua (aka Cow Toungue tacos) I know it sounds gross, I know. But it's seriously one of the most delicious things you'll ever eat. :)


Anne Coleman said...

Actually, the first time I had tongue I was 10--and I thought it was good stuff then. I can't recall the last time I saw one at the butcher though-not that I was looking. My kids would get a real kick out of it!

KFarmer said...

I am so glad you posted about fish-I LOVE fish (not salmon though or anything remotely fishy smelling) but am too scared to buy it. I know how to catch and clean a fish but I would not know how to look for a good piece in the supermarket if one blew a bubble at me. Any guidelines? Anne-HELP! :)

wadaiko said...

now today when i come by fish!!! great there is always heaps of fish here just been looking for some recipes other than soya flavoured....yummy....and i just bought some fish today...problem is i dont know what theyre called but some great ideas, just need to really study the recipes and get at least one locked in the old brain...thanks

cmhl said...

I just saw this, thank you Anne!! I am going to try some of these for sure!!!