Monday, August 23, 2010

Cooking with Fish: it's easier than you think!

Fish is delicious, delicate and healthy, but we never seem to eat enough of it at home. Why? Because most people assume it's difficult to cook fish properly.

Below, we've collected a number of easy methods for cooking fish. Now all you have to do is buy a little of your favorite fish at the market and give it a whirl. FoodPair has tons of easy recipes for you to try!

1. Grilling fish

Summer is still upon us, so why not grill some fish alongside those burgers and dogs? First, pick a fattier fish like tuna, salmon or grouper, they all grill more easily than flakier fish. Second, make sure your grill surface is clean and lubricated with oil. Third, grill the fish, but make sure not to move it too early or too often. Once the fish is cooked, it will release from the grill without sticking. Don't cover the grill while the fish is cooking or it will absorb too much of the smoke.

There are some great tools for grilling fish more easily: place the fish on an oiled sheet of tin foil or use a grill basket.

2. Steaming fish

With the help of a bamboo steamer, suspend the fish over a pot of simmering, not rapidly boiling, water or stock. You can marinate the fish beforehand and also add ingredients like lemon and ginger to the stock to flavor the fish.

3. Baking fish

While roasting is done at temperatures higher than 400 degrees and may dry out fish, baking is done at lower temperatures and helps fish maintain its moisture. Simply season the fish with any number of rubs or marinates and place it in the oven in a foil-lined baking dish.

One simple method for baking salmon is to liberally slather a mixture of dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce and paprika on top of the fillets and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the salmon is flaky and tender.

4. Sauteing fish

You can easily saute fish on the stove top: simply add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and make sure it is preheated before adding the fish. Also remember not to crowd the pan. Thinner fillets need about 2-3 minutes on the first side to develop a nice crust. After that, carefully flip the fish and let it cook for another minute or two before removing it from the heat. The residual heat in the fish will complete the cooking without drying out the fish. Thicker fillets need 5-6 minutes on the first side and 4-5 minutes on the second.

5. Frying fish

When frying fish, make sure to preheat the oil to approximately 375 degrees. Simply dredge the fish in four and egg, or any type of batter you like, and cook for 4 minutes per side until the fish is golden brown.

6. Fish en papillote

This is an elegant way to cook fish. Most stores carry parchment paper (with instructions on the package), or you can use foil. Simply load the fish and any seasoning or sauces into the packet, fold carefully, and either grill or bake the packets. The packet holds in moisture, concentrates the flavor of the seasoning, and makes sure delicate fishes don't break apart. Plus, everyone will be impressed when you open the parchment and a beautiful cloud of steam is released.

Now all you have to do is choose a cooking method and search FoodPair for great recipes using your favorite types of fish.

Have additional tips or methods? Post them in the comments section!

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