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husband doesn't like salmon, and therefore thinks he doesn't like fish... but willing to try--ideas?

Want to introduce husband to some non-fishy fish. He doesn't like salmon, but does eat catfish... I'm thinking cod or halibut with a flavorful marinade? Other ideas? Also, he thinks cooking it stovetop smells up the apt, so I'm looking for baked or broiled recipes.

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  1. Likes catfish but not salmon - hmmmmmmm. Well here's what I would try - halibut caddy ganty/halibut olympia. If its frozen, thaw and marinate briefly in white wine. If fresh, you can skip this step. Put a bed of sliced onions in a baking dish, place the fish on top. Mix half sour cream and mayo, some pepper and season salt and spread on fish. Crush some crackers - I like Ritz- and sprinkle over the top. Sometimes I add smoked paprika to the crackers, skip the onions and add chopped to the topping, use green onions or chives, etc. Anyhoo....bake til the fish flakes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AlaskaChick

      I grew up eating something very similar, and I still crave it. My mom would cover a lovely piece of halibut with a layer of mayo and put raw bacon and onions on top, and bake it. It was very good.

    2. Do you have a bbq? I'd wrap some cod or halibut filets in tin foil, sprinkle with lemon, some herbs of your choice (i'd go with dill, maybe cilantro), some diced tomatoes, perhaps, diced red peppers, maybe some thinly sliced zucchini and grill on the bbq until the fish is just done (still moist, but firm).

      1. I'm like your husband -- salmon is my least favorite fish!

        Try a simplified tagine with your cod, halibut, sea bass, snapper, whatever: lay some sliced tomatoes and onion (maybe a sweet pepper) in the bottom of a baking dish and lay the fish fillets over. Wzhhh together in a blender a quantity of cilantro, some parsley, a little olive oil, hot pepper, lemon juice, cumin, dilute with a little water, and pour over the fish. Cover and bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes. Serve with rice or couscous.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sea97horse

          Oops -- forgot to include the garlic clove in the sauce. You can also tuck in some preserved lemon with the fish, if you're into it.

        2. so simple, but i love blackening seasoning on my fish, then broiled or grilled. the heat of the spice tends to mask the fishyness a little - we love Joe's blackening seasoning.

          you can also do fish en papillote with a bed of onions or leeks and carrots and garlic, the layer fish and pour on some white wine and lemon juice, herbs if you like. wrap the parchment and bake.

          how about sole piccata - the creamy lemon sauce might mask a bit too

          you might also try swordfish with him, as it's a meatier fish with a less flakey texture.

          are you open to shellfish as well? shrimp scampi (assuming he doesn't have textural issues)

          1. maybe he doesn't like oilier "fishier" fish like salmon, and would like a very mild fish, like cod, as you say, but maybe also try some recipes with fresh sole! there are lots of very good, fast & simple recipes for sole.

            6 Replies
            1. re: soupkitten

              I was just thinking of sole as well - gray sole and lemon sole are lovely, and less expensive that Dover sole. I cooked a whole Branzino this week and it reminded me of what a great fish it is - unfortunately I just disregard all fish smells when cooking even though they linger right into the adjoining living room, so I'm not going to post the cooking method for the OP (from Marcella, with garlic and rosemary).

              1. re: MMRuth

                dh does a fantastic sole filet with lemon, olive oil and capers-- french recipe-- ooh **why** can't i remember the french name for it right now?

                anyway very easy. helps to simmer some of the slices from the lemon on the stove in some water when cooking fish, if the smell really bothers, but it never does me either. . . that branzino recipe sounds delicious too-- which of her books is it in??

                1. re: soupkitten

                  Essentials - you basically just heat some olive oil in a pan with garlic cloves, remove when they are nice and brown (I then eat them), add whole fish that you've seasoned and scored on either side (I do three incisions on either side, and throw into the pan with some sprigs of rosemary. I brown on each side, then cover for a couple of minutes until done. Served with aioli the other day, great drizzled with olive oil.

                  1. re: soupkitten

                    kitten...are you thinking of sole meuniere?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Authentic sole meuniere is made with much butter and parsley rather than capers.

                      I do agree with sole as a good choice for the OP: it is delicate and almost sweet in flavour.

                      Here's a page of recipe links: http://www.all-fish-seafood-recipes.c...

                      1. re: mrbozo

                        i know, but it sounded like that was the term kitten was grasping for...my intention was to offer her a prompt, not to question the authenticity of her DH's technique/recipe. although the "traditional" or "authentic" recipe may be as you described, many variations - e.g. olive oil instead of butter, the addition of capers - have evolved over the years, and people still call the resulting dish "sole meuniere." the semantics argument is another issue ;)

              2. My method is neither glamorous nor low-fat.

                Poached Halibut

                Take two halibut fillets (about 150 grams each), salt and pepper them. Place in small, shallow baking dish that the fish jsut fits in. Add the juice and rind from one lemon to the pan (let it drip down the side of the fish). Throw in three tablespoons butter.
                Bake in 325 degree oven until fish flakes (time depends on thickness of fillets, so get two that are similar in size).

                Basic, yes. Delicious, yes. But out of curiosity, where are you from? I'm from the west coast, and I have access to great seafood at my grocery store. So I never buy frozen fish.

                1. I'd try mahi-mahi steaks grilled, maybe swordfish, or (one of my favs) black cod with a sweet asian glaze. YUM.

                  1. If he likes his steaks rare or medium-rare, he might enjoy a seared ahi steak. Otherwise, broiled mahimahi or halibut. Here's a recipe that everybody I've served it to has raved about:


                    1. Great thread topic. I think there are lots of people in this predicament.

                      My cure:

                      Tilapia with Panko crums

                      1 lb. Tilapia
                      Panko Crumbs
                      Salt & Pepper
                      Parmesan Cheese
                      2 Eggs
                      Chutney (your favorite flavor)

                      1. Make mixture of flour, salt and pepper
                      2. Make mixture of egg and milk
                      3. Make mixture of Panko and 1/4 cup Parmesan grated cheese
                      4. Wash Tilapia
                      5. Dip fish in flour mixture
                      6. Dip fish in Milk/Eggs
                      7. Dip fish in Panko and Parmesan cheese
                      8. Put fish in fridge for 1 hour (this is if you have the time - not necessary)
                      9. Warm pan with EVOO
                      10. Place fish in pan - 2 min on each side
                      11. Serve with chutney on the side

                      (I serve with rice pilaf and vegetables)


                      Source: My mom

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: gramercyfoodie

                        Another Panko Tilapia version:

                        2 talapia filets, rinsed, patted dry, sprinkled with salt and pepper.

                        2 tablespoons good mayo
                        1 tablespoon dijon
                        Mix together.

                        1 cup of pankco crumbs in a pie plate spread out.

                        Spread mayo/mustard mixture over Tilapia filets
                        Dip in panko bread crumbs.

                        In a large skillet on medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Make sure the butter is foaming (the pan is hot enough).

                        Place Tilapia in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, turn over and cook 2 minutes on second side.

                        Remove to brown paper bag or paper towel in dish and let rest a minute or two. Serve with sliced lemon.

                        I serve it with mescalin greens tossed with a vinegarette.

                        1. re: gramercyfoodie

                          Panko crumbs or really any bread crumb variety is awesome. Fried fish might get him more used to eating them. I like to use canola oil for frying since it has a higher smoke temp, so it shouldn't really make your apt reek. And crack a window or turn up the fans

                          1. re: gramercyfoodie

                            sorry didn't read your broil, bake requirement, but this does not smell at all on the stove...

                          2. I'd keep it really simple, so that he can learn that not all fish tastes like salmon. Maybe code or haddock baked with butter and bread crumbs (throw it under the broiler for 30 secs. to a minute to brown it up at the end). My wife, who isn't a seafood person generally and doesn't like salmon at all really likes baked cod/haddock prepared this way.

                            1. I have yet to find someone who do not like the famous Nobu's black cod with miso. Try using the recipe below (click the link of saikyo miso and it will show you how to make it with white miso):

                              1. Jerry Traunfield has a really interesting recipe for poached halibut in a carrot-cilantro broth.

                                Basically, you poach steaks/slices of fish in:

                                2 cups carrot juice
                                1/2 c white wine or vermouth
                                2 T lime juice
                                2 T chopped shallots
                                1 T grated fresh ginger
                                salt to taste.

                                You cook the fish very slowly in the just-boiled broth. He suggests serving the fish over spinach and a reduction of the broth, and topping with cilantro. Sounds wonderful to me, and not very fishy.

                                1. I heartily endorse all the tilapia (mild fish)/panko recommendations above. NOBODY doesn't like fish and chips, so I would pair it --or a mild, fresh scrod-- with baked steak fries that don't have a lot of oil on them.

                                  If you don't want the mess of frying, fish in breadcrumbs can also be baked. Here's a beloved recipe from the Oyster Bar Cookbook that's easy, tasty and fast:

                                  Scrod with lemon butter for 2

                                  This is from the Oyster Bar Cookbook.

                                  1/2 stick butter
                                  1 Tablesp lemon juice
                                  1/2 teasp salt
                                  pepper to taste
                                  1/2 Tablesp fresh parsley, minced
                                  2 scrod filets, about 1 and 1/4 lbs.
                                  1 tablesp FINE bread crumbs

                                  Preheat broiler for about 10 min. Melt butter in small heavy saucepan over low heat. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley to butter.

                                  Arrange fish in one layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour butter all over fish, coating thoroughly.

                                  Broil fish 5 minutes, basting several times with lemon butter sauce.

                                  Sprinkle bread crumbs over fish and broil for 5 minutes more, or until scrod flakes easily with a fork. Spoon lemon butter over fillets and serve.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: SSqwerty

                                    sounds great. any favorite fish to make with this? I'm not a big fan of cod. would tilapia work?

                                    1. re: gramercyfoodie

                                      Sure! I've used tilapia, haddock, flounder, sole --any mild white fish.

                                  2. Just remembered a recipe I bake haddock with in the colder seasons:

                                    I used to waitress at a pretty famous (Boston) wedding place, called Lombardo's. They were big back in the 80's, known for their great food. I snagged this recipe from the chef many moons ago.

                                    2 haddock filets
                                    1/2 cup kellogs bread crumbs (they sell them now)
                                    1/2 cup sour cream (there is always extra)
                                    2 tablespoon butter, divided up to 8 pieces
                                    salt and pepper

                                    Wash and pat dry fish.
                                    Sprinkle with salt and pepper

                                    Preheat oven to 425 degrees

                                    Dip each filet in sour cream (may have to spread with brush), thinly coated.
                                    Dredge in Kellog crumbs.
                                    Place on greased baking sheet (I use the spray)
                                    Place little pieces of butter on each haddock filet.

                                    Place in oven and cook 20-25 minutes.

                                    1. I've met people who liked freshwater fish but not seafood, so maybe stick with freshwater, such as trout. But if he can't even stand the smell of fish (I like it) maybe you should just consider cutting it out of your diet.

                                      1. My husband "thinks" he doesn't like fish either, but he loves tilapia. I always prepare it very simply breaded and baked.

                                        1. Get a recipe for cioppino and make it with frozen white fish fillets--cut into bite sized cubes. Don't use the shellfish and other seafood the recipe calls for. Cookinig won't smell like fish and he will like it!

                                          1. All the previous responses are great.
                                            I like the "catfish but not salmon...hmmmmmm" (everyone thinks catfish tastes like mud).

                                            Anyways I like most all kinds of fish, but interestingly enough, don't really care for salmon (well homemade gravlox is a different story) either. With this said, I would disagree with mpalmer6rc in that trout is somewhat similar to salmon.

                                            What I'm thinking, is leave out all that fancy schmancy stuff (do that later with great satisfaction).
                                            Get some walleye. Either wild caught, (I know this can be difficult) or store bought (its usually "european walleye") and make walleye nuggets.
                                            Nothing could be simpler - cut the fillets into whatever size you want (tiny or chunky), dredge in salted flour (maybe a pinch of paprika and garlic powder), fry in oil in a cast iron pan, and voila, drain on paper towel, another sprinkling of salt, maybe a squeeze of lemon....oh boy...

                                            Kinda like fried squid (calamari) or fried clams or fried smelt (HEY TRY THE SAME WITH SMELT!). simple, no fuss and delicious.

                                            I don't think the apt will smell any worse than making a batch of fries (or pommes frites...)

                                            let us know what you decide, and how hubby likes (or dislikes) - promise!

                                            1. Thanks again to everyone who posted. I forgot to add to the mix that he likes smoked salmon, and that scallops are among his favorite foods. I think I will try a version of the tagine someone suggested early on. Lots of flavors there he likes, and with a white mild fish like cod, halibut, or tilapia...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ejpnyc

                                                A tagine is nice but masks the fish (or at least distracts you from what fish is really about). Let's face it, there are so many tasty tagine recipes out there, you could get someone to eat the bottom of your shoe if you tagined it properly.

                                                Find a fish that can be prepared in a simple way and then you will know if he likes really likes fish for what it is, or if you have to mask it all the time. The perfect fish for this indoctrination is Orange Roughy. It doesn't stink as much before cooking. It's not as thin as sole and not as thick as cod or haddock. It is firmer than sole and flakes nicely like cod. It almost never has any bones.

                                                Coat the pieces lightly in flour, salt and pepper and fry them in hot (not smoking) olive oil until golden brown. If he doesn't love the roughy prepared this way, he's not a fish guy.

                                              2. Cod dipped in egg, wondra, lightly cooked and covered with a lemon/butter/garlic sauce. It shouldn't stink- lately salmon tends to be quite fishy smelling and tasting to me. I prefer it raw, actually or smoked. Keep your cedar plank cooking-blah. Maybe I've just never had it done 'well'.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                  I'm so glad I didn't steer you wrong, ejpnyc! And the dish was real easy, no?

                                                2. For those of you who are interested, I made fish for my hubbie per sea97horse-- baked filets of halibut marinated in a mixture of cilantro, parsley, cumin, garlic, cayenne, lemons, olive oil, atop a bed of sliced tomatoes and chopped vidalia onions. I served it with grilled asparagus and brown rice. It was delish. Husband was a but nervous, and at first claimed it smelled like fish--even though it smelled of lemony cumin and cilantro. However, he ate every last bite, and went for more tomatoes. which I pointed out to him were soaked in fish juices. He agreed it was "good." No rave reviews from him, but I think I will start trying to introduce him to different fish meals each week. Thanks everyone for your help!

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: ejpnyc

                                                    If he liked that recipe, you might try fish tacos. Use essentially the same marinade for the fish, substituting lime juice for the lemon, and substitute tilapia for the halibut. Then grill (or bake if no grill available), and chop/flake into bite size pieces. Serve with corn tacos and garnishes of chopped onion, chopped avocado, cilantro, sliced lettuce or cabbage, and salsa verde.

                                                    1. re: ejpnyc

                                                      I'm so glad I didn't steer you wrong! And the dish is so easy, no?

                                                      1. re: sea97horse

                                                        Thanks! Yes- very easy. I've never made anything like that before. WOuld probably work well with chicken too, right?

                                                        1. re: ejpnyc

                                                          I've done tagine-ish things with chicken, with lamb... it's basically a braise, if you think about it. My inspiration comes from Paula Wolfert's cookbooks, though her recipes tend towards fussiness...

                                                          1. re: sea97horse

                                                            How much liquid do you use (water, lemon juice)? Mine was more of a loose paste, but became more watery from the tomatoes, I think.

                                                            1. re: ejpnyc

                                                              I had the same problem, as La Wolfert calls for a quantity of water, so now I just use a drizzle to loosen up the paste. That's we have rice, to sop up the juices!

                                                    2. If you can get Great Lakes fish, try lake perch or whitefish. Very mild tasting, but watch for the bones in whitefish.

                                                      1. I agree with the post on the grilled Ahi tuna. Stick some sprigs of rosmary through the middle as you grill and yum. Also, I would try a miso glazed cod or I have done a herb baked Halibut. All have been loved by men who don't pick fish as the 1st option.