Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Easy Tips for Perfect Fish

If you are observing Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season, there's a good chance you're having fish for dinner tonight and for the next 7 Fridays. Here are some quick tips for flawless fish fillets or fish steaks cooked on your stove - whether you're using fresh or frozen/thawed fish, you'll have perfectly tender, moist and golden fish that's sear-steamed in just a few minutes!

*Dry the fish thoroughly: Use paper towels to completely pat dry the fish. This is especially important with thawed fillets, which have lots of extra moisture from being frozen.

*Use canola or peanut oil: You'll want an oil with a very high smoke point so that it can take the heat. Corn oil is also a good choice. On the other hand, butter or olive oil are not good because of their low smoke point. One scant tablespoon of oil is plenty for 4 fillets or steaks.

*Use a very hot well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick pan: While cast iron is ideal, a good nonstick pan will work - just make sure to add the oil BEFORE you heat the pan, and heat for about 3 minutes on medium-high heat.

*Don't disturb the fish! Season the dry fish steaks or fillets as desired (salt, pepper, herbs), carefully place in the heated pan, and then don't touch them for two (2) minutes. Resist the urge to poke or move the fish during this time. Letting it cook undisturbed will sear the fish and produce that beautiful golden color.

*Flip, cover & remove from heat: After searing undisturbed for 2 minutes, carefully flip each piece of fish, add any fresh herbs if desired (a couple of sprigs is plenty), cover the pan and remove from heat. If you don't have a tight-fitting lid for your pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let the fish steam in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness (5 minutes for 1/2 inch thick fillets, 10 minutes for 1 inch thick fish). During this time, the fish will gently cook without drying out. While the underside won't be as browned as the seared side, the fish will finish cooking in its steam and with the residual heat of the pan. Resist the urge to look under the lid while the fish while it is steaming, as doing so will cause the steam to escape and the fish to be underdone.

That's it!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're looking for tasty new seasonings and sauces especially for fish and seafood, check out this Seafood Lover's Gift Set!

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