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Old 03-25-2009, 03:49 AM   #1
Apollo
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Best way to cook fish?

I'm on spring break and my family is in D.C, so I decided to give cooking a try. Actually, that's a lie. This girl that I'm kinda sort of in love with is coming over and I wanna become a master chef.

Anyway, I would love some input, as I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:05 AM   #2
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Got a kitchen exhaust fan or can you cook outdoors in any way? If so, blackened fish. Orange roughy stands this treatment to excellent effect, but any particularly firm-fleshed fillets can do.

But the method is exceedingly smoky so you need an efficient way to keep the kitchen clear and not set the smoke alarm off. The cast-iron frying pan is heated so much it stops smoking (it'll smoke again (a lot) when the fish fillets go in) and shows white ash on its bottom, and the cooking time is quite brief -- about a minute or two on a side. Paul Prudhomme's blackened fish seasoning mix recipe is about the only one worth using: every other one I've tried is the sorriest of pale imitations. Use the stuff Louisianans like, not the wimp-mixes. Don't be afraid to try revving an unsatisfactory mix with some cayenne. You literally can't get the seasoning mix or the skillet too hot for this one.

The fillets get brushed or dipped in melted butter (not margarine!) and hand-sprinkled with the blackened-fish seasoning first on the first side to cook, then while the first side is cooking upon the top side, a quick sear either side, then out onto a plate where they may be kept warm until serving. You sort of need an assembly line setup to prevent fumbles.

The dish is zippy enough to go with a zinfandel or a lightbodied red wine, but you may prefer a robust beer instead. For vegetables, a green salad, and slices of robust-flavored wholegrain bread and butter. Simple, powerful, macho, and thoughtful too.

A rundown on the technique -- read this first.

Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish

The seasoning mix, with both paprika and cayenne -- you may prefer this mix instead of the milder one above. For a given value of "mild..."
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Last edited by Urbane Guerrilla; 03-25-2009 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:28 AM   #3
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just broil them.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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blackened salmon.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
Pie
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Can't fail to impress with a French method: en papillote.
Look for "parchment" paper at the grocery store.

Quote:
Let's assume you've got a beautiful fresh fillet of fish such as flounder, sole, snapper, or salmon. Wash the fillet and pat dry.
  1. Thinly slice or julienne a few aromatic vegetables. Fennel is lovely with fish and can be found in most supermarkets now. Also good are carrots, shallots/onions, snow peas, zucchini, asparagus. Just remember that everything is going to be cooking exactly the same amount of time. Slice accordingly.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment (doubled over) which is large enough to encase your fillet with an inch or so margin around it. I like cutting a heart shape for the packet - remember grade-school Valentines? A rectangle works just fine, too.
  3. Lightly butter or oil one-side of the heart, place a couple of lemon slices on it, top with the fillet, sprinkle fish with a little salt & pepper. (Preparing the packets on your baking sheet can eliminate any transfer problems.)
  4. Add the julienne of vegetables, some herbs, perhaps a few slices of citrus (lemon or orange) on top, a splash of dry vermouth or dry white wine, a splash of olive oil or a pat of butter, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper. The elements you need are: veggies, herbs, acidic liquid, seasonings, a little fat. You could also go the Asian route with soy sauce & rice wine, ginger, star anise, chilies, with napa cabbage or asparagus & shitake, sesame oil, etc. Serve with rice.
  5. You are ready to crimp -- beginning at the wider part of the valentine, begin folding the paper over itself. As you move around the paper, you'll end at the pointed end of the heart, fold under. If you have trouble with the crimping, you can staple the packets shut, too.
  6. Pop onto a cookie sheet (which you probably won't even have to wash) and into a 400 degree oven and about 6 - 10 minutes later you're opening your pouch!
  • It can be prepped ahead of time (keep refrigerated)
  • It's easy to clean up
  • It's very tasty and can be made very healthy, depending on how much oil/butter & salt you choose to use
  • It gets your veggies and fish in one dish -- serve with lovely crusty bread to sop up the juices
Serve each pouch piping hot from the oven on plates, and let your guest rip into it, releasing the wonderful aromatic vapors just before eating.

...And, best of all, It's French!
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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A George Foreman grill or such device cooks salmon PERFECTLY.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:52 AM   #7
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With enough booze, frozen fishsticks will do.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
Pie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo View Post
This girl that I'm kinda sort of in love with is coming over and I wanna become a master chef.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
With enough booze, frozen fishsticks will do.
Um, Brucie? He's trying to impress her, not just get her drunk enough to have his evil way with her...

(Right, 'pollo?)
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:02 AM   #9
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Sorry Pie, "I wanna become a master chef" is secret guy code. :p
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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..but if she's still impressed the next day, perhaps she'll come back for seconds? Maybe?
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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My secret for fish is don't sweat about the cooking--just pop them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The real key is to drizzle them in a really tasty sauce before putting them in the oven. It's all about the flavors, not whether the texture of the fish is just so.

My favorite go-to sauce at the moment (this is plenty for two filets plus some extra sauce for the veggies, because it's really that good: )

1/4 cup grey poupon (yes, other dijon mustards will work, but they are not as good.)
1/4 cup honey
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. dill
1/2 clove garlic (I get mine pre-minced in a jar, so that's not a difficult measurement. You could convert to garlic powder instead if you want, but you'd have to look up how much to use, I don't know.)

Don't forget to spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:16 PM   #12
monster
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What type of fish? broiling works pretty well for most fish filets -make a made-to-measure "dish" to keep the juices in so it doesn't dry out. Takes about 15 miutes. Use a touch of black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon to get fancy.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo View Post
This girl that I'm kinda sort of in love with is coming over and I wanna become a master chef. Anyway, I would love some input, as I have no idea what I'm doing.
I'm not a fish cooking expert, but this line made me laugh! "Secret guy code," eh?

Find yourself a good cookbook and follow a recipe. Or, that en papillote is easy, too, and parchment paper is pretty easy to find these days. Don't overcook it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:13 PM   #14
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The secret to appearing to be a master chef is doing the recipe twice. The first time, you just do it to try it, to see where the dish can go wrong.

I've been burned trying to do a new recipe for pot luck and whatnot. First time out there is a much greater chance of a muff. The onions are cut too thin and they turn to mush. The spatula you have isn't thin enough to turn the dish without mashing it. The recipe adds too much cinnamon. You just never know until you have a go at it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:19 PM   #15
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ooh, very good tip!
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