MY June 2012 : Page 54
+HDOWK\ &RRNLQJ  SIMPLY NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS by Dawn Bause L ast month I talked to you about “Turning Veggies into Happy Meals” this month, I want to share with you my love for ﬁsh and seafood, and how simple it is to cook. Fish is truly one of the super foods that is at the top of my list for “Simple, Nutritious and Delicious”. My philosophy when it comes to ﬁsh: prepare it simply, and serve it with simple sauces that complement the dish and enhance the ﬂavor. There are a couple secrets to cooking ﬁsh successfully that I want to share with you. The ﬁrst one is please, do not overcook it! Fish will toughen and lose its ﬂavor and moisture when cooked too long. It becomes dry and tasteless. The second is to buy ﬁsh from a reputable ﬁsh market or counter at a supermarket, and make friends with the “ﬁshmonger.” Freshness and quality inﬂuences the taste and cooking time. Fresh ﬁsh should smell like clean water. Under no circumstances should you buy a nasty smelling ﬁsh. Trust me, cooking won’t improve it  The ﬂesh should be vibrant. If there is liquid on the ﬂesh it should be clear, not milky. Milky liquid on a ﬁlet is the ﬁrst stage of rot. Fish can be easily prepared using a variety of techniques. Grilled, poached, oven-baked, broiled or sautéed. Let’s talk about those now. pepper. If I am going to use lemon or balsamic vinegar, I put that on after the cooking is ﬁnished. I will also drizzle the grilled ﬁsh with a little more extra virgin olive oil just before serving for more ﬂavor. When I am grilling thicker ﬁlets like salmon, sea bass, halibut or swordﬁsh, I like to marinate them prior to grilling. Email me for some great ﬁsh marinades. I like to grill directly on a grate. If the ﬁsh is thinner or more delicate I will cover the grate with heavy duty aluminum foil, and spray it with high temperature PAM. Grill ﬁsh only until the ﬂesh is no longer translucent but opaque all the way through and separates easily with the touch of a fork. Thickness, not weight, determines cooking time. The basic rule is to calculate 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness in the meatiest part, for fresh or defrosted ﬁsh. If you are cooking in parchment, you should calculate 5 minutes more. You’ll only want to turn the ﬁsh once. good quality pan and heat it high enough the ﬁsh should not stick with a bit of olive oil. Always rinse and dry the ﬁsh before adding salt and pepper. Add oil to pan and start heating pan to medium heat. Add ﬁsh even before the pan is heated up. It will brown but will take a little bit longer at medium heat verses high. Depending on the thickness you’re looking at about 4 minutes per side, and remember to only turn the ﬁsh once. BAKING FISH. Fish contains natural ﬁsh oils so you do not need to add too much oil before baking. You can add seasoned panko breadcrumbs on top of the ﬁsh, to keep it juicy throughout cooking. The general rule with ﬁsh baking is to bake the ﬁsh for 10 minutes for every inch of its thickness. 450F is a suitable temperature for most baked ﬁsh recipes. Unless the ﬁsh is an inch or less thick, you should turn it half way through the cooking time. Cooking times also vary depending on the density of the ﬁsh. While cooking ﬁsh, tuck any thin ends underneath so it cooks evenly. The ﬁsh is done when it is opaque all the way through, when it is 145F in the center, or when you can easily ﬂake the ﬂesh at its thickest point with a fork. To stop ﬁsh sticking to the baking dish, you can place it on a bed of onions, celery, or both. This makes the ﬁsh stay in one piece when removing it from the baking dish and gives it some extra ﬂavor. That’s it for this month and remember…. there’s nothing ﬁshy about fresh ﬁsh!! Contact Dawn about private cooking parties, team building events, and foodie trips to Italy Dawn Bause is a cooking instructor, cookbook author, and owner of Cooking with Dawn Tours, LLC, from Commerce Township, www.cookingwithdawn.com AskDawnNow@aol.com. POACHED FISH Poached ﬁsh is a simple and delicious dish that can be prepared quickly and easily. When ﬁsh is poached it is cooked in a court bouillon (pronounced “coor boo-YONE”) a ﬂavorful, aromatic liquid used for poaching ﬁsh and shellﬁsh. The simplest court bouillon consists of nothing but salted water, and seasoned with ingredients like dill, peppercorns, bay leaf and some white wine. A lemon wedge may also be added. Poaching is a good technique for cooking lean ﬁsh like tilapia, cod, sole, haddock, snapper or halibut, as well as fatty ﬁsh like salmon or trout. Poaching preserves moisture and adds ﬂavor without adding fat. GRILLING FISH What’s so nice about grilling ﬁsh is the prep time is minimal and the clean-up is even faster. I’m pretty consistent with how I prepare my ﬁsh for grilling. First of all I make sure the ﬁsh is rinsed and patted dry. For thinner ﬁlets like tilapia, white ﬁsh orsole, I always drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt and fresh cracked SAUTÉING FISH: Use a stainless steel pan, if you have a 54 | MY Magazine www.mymetroyou.com
Healthy Cooking 101
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