Magazine article Sunset

Five Easy Ways with Fish ... Flexible, Reliable

Magazine article Sunset

Five Easy Ways with Fish ... Flexible, Reliable

Article excerpt

Think fish is tricky to prepare? In truth, it could hardly be simpler. Here, we equip you with five easy and flexible cooking methods that give reliable results with most market fish. Each method has several variations you can try. And two of the techniques can be used with undefrosted frozen fish.

On pages 88 and 89, you'll find listings of fish grouped by characteristics such as size, texture, fat content, and flavor intensity Check those lists to see which cooking methods are recommended for the fish you've selected.

Moist-heat broiling

Broiling the usual way, with dry heat, is best reserved for fish with enough natural oil to keep them from drying out, but this technique gives delicious results with lean fish, such as those in groups 2A, 3, and 4A (see pages 88 and 89). Use it for steaks or fillets 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches thick, or for small whole fish, such as trout.

Fish Broiled with Moist Heat

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds lean fish steaks or

fillets, or 4 to 6 cleaned small fish (6 to 10 oz. each)

About 1 cup regular-strength

chicken broth or dry white wine

2 tablespoons melted butter or

margarine

1 teaspoon dill weed or dry thyme

leaves

Salt and pepper

Almond or caper sauce (recipes

follow; optional)

Rinse fish and pat dry; cut into servingsize pieces. Arrange fish in a single layer in a greased baking pan (about 10 by 15 in.) that can be used under the broiler. Adjust oven rack so heat will be 3 inches from pieceS 1/2 tO 3/4 inch thick, 4 inches ftom pieces 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Remove pan from oven and heat broiler.

Pour broth around fish to a depth of 1/2 inch. Combine butter with dill and brush part of it over fish.

Broil fish (do not turn), basting once or twice with remaining butter mixture, until just slightly translucent or wet-looking inside when cut in thickest part, 3 to 6 minuteS for fish 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, 6 to 10 minutes for fish 1 tO 1 1/4 inches thick.

Transfer fish to a warm platter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sauce. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving made with Pacific halibut steaks and no sauce : 141 cal ; 20 g pro tein; 6 g fat: 0.3 g carbo. ; 98 mg sodium; 40 mg chol. Almond sauce in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan, heat 1/4 CUP (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine over medium-high heat until it foams. Add 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds or chopped filberts; stir until nuts begin to brown. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Caper sauce Follow directions for almond sauce, omitting almonds. When butter foams, add 2 tablespoons drained capers. Heat just until capers are hot. Omit lemon juice.

Pan-poaching This short-cut poaching technique is a quick way to prepare any fresh or frozen fish steaks or fillets (1/4 to 1 1/2 in. thick), or small whole fish, such as trout. The fish steams in a small amount of seasoned liquid inside a covered frying pan. Then you reduce the cooking liquid to make a sauce that can be enriched with cream, if you choose.

Pan-poached Fish

1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh or individually

frozen fish fillets or steaks, or 3 or 4 cleaned small whole fish (6 to 10 oz. each)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 shallots or 3 green onions (roots

trimmed), with about 4 in. of the tops, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or 114

teaspoon dry tarragon leaves

2/3 cup regular-strength chicken broth,

or 1/3 cup each broth and dry white wine

Salt, pepper, and lemon or orange

wedges (optional)

Rinse fish and pat dry. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring, until limp, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. …

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