Favorite Fish Recipes
I realize more and more that I do not cook enough fish at home. This is a particular shame I believe because I think fish cooks quickly and could make a great during-the-week meal.
Two things deter me --
The first is that I have no easy access to fresh fish. I live in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn and there no fish stores in my neighborhood. I have two ways to get around this. I can readily get flash frozen fish at Trader Joe and, if I rouse myself, I can get over to Fairway and pick up some fresh fish.
The second obstacle is my own lack of confidence in making fish. I just don't have a good technique down at all. When I eat out, I love fish that has a crust on it and is then roasted in the oven. It's moist at the center and has good flavor. Whenever I try to cook it that way it just sticks or doesn't work. It definitely doesn't crust. But I'm also open to other techniques. I don't know how to do any sauces for fish. And it seems that fish meals are blah....I don't know what to serve WITH the fish to make it a more interesting meal.
I'd appreciate those among you who are enthusiastic fish cooks sharing your recipes, techniques and ideas. Be kind to this fish novice...I do need a LOT of help!
This is my all time favorite recipe for fish (From Fine Cooking Magazine)
Get some good haddock or cod ~1.5 lbs
Mix 5 Tbs mayo, 1/2 tsp chopped garlic 1/4 tsp tomato paste, 1 tsp horseradish, 1 Tb lemon juice, cover and refrigerate
Mix 1 c panko, rind of 1 lemon, s & p and fry in 3 Tb EVOO until nicely browned, set aside to cool
Heat fry pan over medium to high heat. Add fish and sear for 2 minutes. Peek to see if its browning then flip over and turn off the heat. Spread over the mayo and top w the panko mixture. Finish off in 425 oven for 6-8 minutes.
OMG, soooooooooo good!
I have usually have 10 to 20 lbs of fish fillets in my freezer which I cook several times a week.. Some of my favorites:
Dredge in seasoned flour (I like cajun seasoning) dip in beaten eggs and coat with panko crumbs, fry in veg oil until golden (approx. 3 minutes per side) and serve with tarter sauce.
Dredge in seasoned flour, fry in olive oil & butter until golden and serve with either a piccata sauce http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-piccata-recipe2/index.html or salsa, mango salsa is very good.
These are also two favorites, I do the last one with thick pieces of ling cod
Shae...am trying this tonight...found fresh haddock on sale at Publix for $7.99 per pound...had all the ingredients...very similar to one of our favorites Fish Fillets Dijon from Epi...but the horseradish grabbed me...thanks!
EDIT: came out very tasty! Thanks! Recipe goes into "keeper" file.
To avoid the sticking problem, I have found a splash or so of white wine in the bottom of the pan works even better than olive oil. Also you can use the sticking to your advantage if you are using a fillet that still has the skin on. Cook it skin side down (on foil!) and then insert a spatula or fish server between the flesh and skin and you can lift it off. I also prefer to broil my fish than bake it, though with a thicker piece, like hake or cod, I will start in the oven and then switch to the broiler to finish off the crust.
There's a Martha Stewart receipe for Halibut with Fennel that I like. I also used to grill salmon that had been marinaded briefly in a mixture of mayo, mustard and a large amount of chopped dil which would work in the broiler as well.
re: Stuffed Monkey
Sticking, I hope not repeating. Important, medium high heat. Cold fish to me sometimes can stick. Let the chill come off before you cook it. Once in the pan DO NOT move. If you try to move before a crust develops, It will stick. I like to use non stick for mine although my cast iron is my second favorite. I too pan sear in olive oil and butter mix.
I love to Bake cod halibut, any thick cut fish, but this also works with thin fish. I use a simple mustard and honey mix on the fish and then top with bread crumbs mixed with some butter. Bake on a sheet pan.
I also steam and broil fish too. There are so many options. I don't like to get too fancy with fish, I prefer my fish that tastes like fish. I try to use citrus, some simple bread crumbs and fresh herbs for the most part. Not too many sauces. Although ..
You can pan sear the fish in butter and olive oil with just salt and pepper and some dried oregano. Brown on one side and flip, then move to the oven to finish. Remove from the oven and remove fish and cover. With the pan on the stove, deglaze with some white wine and get all the bits up, add some lemon and orange juice, some fresh thyme and parsley, salt and parsley and I like to thicken just a bit with heavy cream. Not much. Just enough to make it a bit creamy. It is a very clean simple sauce with a great citrus flavor over the fish. I drizzle with fish with some fresh orange juice and then serve the sauce over the fish. I make a couscous with some fresh citrus flavors and on a bed of sauteed spinach.
You didn't go into detail about how you roast fish, but an easy fix for the sticking problem is to line the pan with thin slices of lemon, then laying the fish on them. It also give you the basis for a sauce - just pour out the juices and add butter and herbs for a starter sauce. It will need high heat to have a crusty exterior but moist center - fish cooks quickly.
Check out Rick Moonen's book, FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT. It addresses all of the concerns you mention, and has some fabulous recipes. One of my favorites is Arctic Char with Harissa Tomato Sauce and Lentils -- a variation of which is also on the Food Network site: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sa...
As far as the fresh/frozen issue goes, I'd say it's definitely worth the effort to get fresh. That being said, I live someplace where I often have to make do with frozen, and while there are some losses in texture and flavor from freezing, it's still good!
I don't have the Moonen book, but have read good things about it. My own fish "Bible" is "Fish & Shellfish" by James Peterson. As I've said on these boards before, the techniques I learned from that book turned me from a timid fish cook to a confident one. There are others that get good reviews from cooks. To get to the point: invest in a good seafood cookery book, one that teaches techniques as well as providing recipes. It's well worth it.
If you're going to the Trader Joe on Court & Atlantic to get your frozen fish, walk a couple of blocks down Court to Fish Tales for a wonderful fresh selection.
re: Old Spice
I bought the Moonen book a couple of months ago, cooking from it quite a bit, and posting about it here:
Recipes are fast, easy, and delicious. Follow his instructions and you can't go wrong. "Fish Without a Doubt" is the March Cookbook of the Month.
Peterson remains my reference bible as well, but the Moonen recipes are more modern, less classic, than the Peterson, and he has some very interesting techniques that I think are even better than equivalent techniques in the Peterson book.
JoanN, thanks for the bit of detail on the Moonen book. Over time, I've learned to respect your opinions, so I'll be checking it out. Read through your linked thread, which I'd missed, and I'm already wanting to try the broiling method you used on the branzino filet. There's always something new to learn!
My favorite fish recipe is something my parents made up to try and replicate a meal they had out. It is fantastic. I don't have the recipe handy, but it's crushed ritz crackers, melted butter, worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, nutmeg and walnuts. You put it over a few filets of Cod or Haddock and bake it for about 20 minutes. It's amazing. I've done this multiple times with the frozen fish at Trader Joe's. :) It's nothing fancy, but everyone loves it.
Daing (marinated fish)
Take a butterflied fish or filets (e.g. trout, butterfish). Cover with white vinegar, 6 cloves smashed garlic, a handful of peppercorns, 3 sliced chilies. Marinate over night. Thoroughly dry and either broil for 15-30 min. or fry 3-5 per side. Serve hot and crispy with rice, pickled papaya and salad with ginger dressing.
Fish with sauce
Combine 1/4 c. soy, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 sliced scallions, 2 sliced chilies and 1 tsp. vinegar. Set aside. Take a whole fish and dredge thoroughly in cornstarch mixed with salt and pepper. Deep-fry about 10 minutes. Pat dry and serve with reserved sauce. Serve with rice, oyster sauce broccoli and garlic asparagus.
My faviorte easy one. Marinate skin on salmon filets (trim off the very thin parts so filets are uniformly thick) in 3/4 cup of maple syurp and 1/4 cup soy sauce for 1 preferably 2 days. Discard marinade pat fish dry. Roll top in cracked black pepper. Put on oiled aluminum foil same size a fish. Bake on your gas grill covered meduim heat for about 12-14 minutes. Skin will stay on foil.
This is my favorite simple way for making salmon. Nice crispy skin side, moist and yummy meat. Do it exactly as described in the video, don't move it until it's time to flip (when color change is 2/3 the way up the fish) and the salmon will release and not stick to the pan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSrR0C...
I've used the crispy salmon method for other types of fish and it's worked well there too, both skin on and off.
There was also a video for pan fried breaded fish which I can't find right now but the breading mix was nothing more than crumbs, s&p, and a generous pinch of curry powder. Traditionally you dredge the fish lightly in flour, dip it in egg wash and then dredge in the breadcrumbs, then fry until golden on one side and flip and repeat. I often omit the flouring step and just dip the fillet in egg wash and breadcrumbs. The crumbs stick better if you go through the whole routine but I find I like the crust lighter without the flour.
The key for both recipes is not moving the fish around after you lay it in the pan until it's ready to flip.
I am also trying to cook more fish at home. I made a herb-crusted fillet of cod recently that turned out very nice, I baked it in foil for 15 minutes, brushing the fish with egg first and topping it with a mixture of butter, chopped mixed herbs, parmesan and garlic. Another recipe I like for fish are fishcakes as you can use any cooked fish (poached is best), mix it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, breadcrumbs, a bit of flour, egg, herbs and spices and either fry or bake, serving with a sauce of your choice. Hope that helps.
Two favorite fish recipes in our house:
For wild salmon: Marinate in maple syrup, rice wine vinegar and fresh ginger. Grill and enjoy.
For thicker white fish filets(halibut for instance): Lightly dust with flour that has been seasoned with salt, pepper and mint. Sear fish on one side in a saute pan. Flip fish. Add equal parts white wine and your favorite citrus juice(we like grapefruit best for this). Cover and braise until fish is cooked through(about 1o minute for one inch fillet). Uncover, remove fish and reduce sauce. Finish sauce with a bit of butter if desired(we usually skip this step).
I have the same problem with access to good fish. I am using Fresh Direct more and more now and have been very happy with their fish (and their meats). Here's a ridiculously simply salmon steak recipe (aired on Everyday Food over the weekend). Season your salmon steaks to taste, then baste with a sauce of 2 parts dijon mustard to one part sugar (say 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup for four steaks) and 2 tsp of white wine vinegar. Grill them on an oiled (and very hot) grill pan for 3 - 5 minutes per side. The sugar gives them great caramelization. Hold out some of the sauce for dipping. And do NOT move the fish for at least 3 minutes. Protein will initially stick, but will un-stick itself if you don't fuss with it. Start to finish this is a 15 minute dish and was delicious (had it last night with grilled asparagus).
I catch, prepare, and cook a lot of cachama, a very firm white fleshed fish of the Amazon basin. The following are my faves:
1. Marinade fillets in soy, grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, touch of sugar, bit of white wine. Briefly simmer the fillets in the marinade with a bit of water added. Remove fillets; quickly reduce the marinade for a final saucing. Serve with rice.
2. Also cut steaks (bone-in cross cuts) to make tom yam pla: julienned ginger, chopped chiles, zebra peeled and de-seeded and 1/2 inch sliced half moons of cucumber (my touch), diag cut green onion, fish sauce, my homemade fish stock, and coconut milk. Simmer the soup for a bit, add vegetables and fish for a few minutes. Serve the soup over about two Tbsp lime juice waiting in the bowls. Top with torn cilantro.
3. Also cut steaks to make various soups - Asian or Mexican style. These are quick and easy. You can even assemble ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave. Fish needs not more time than the veggies.
4. Steam whole fish with shallots, garlic, ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, and fermented black beans; put on serving plate and douse with super-heated toasted sesame oil and soy sauce; top with a bit more ginger and shallot and cilantro.
5. Fish cioppino. Start with a sofrito, add finely chopped garlic, salt & pepper & diced chile or chile flakes, add tomato paste until almost browned, add diced tomatoes and red wine, cook a bit; add fish stock; simmer a bit to integrate flavors and add lime juice. In the meantime briefly sautee bite sized cuts from the fillets; add to the soup / stew and let simmer for a minute. Serve topped with chopped green onion / shallots.
6. I make fish stock from the heads and carcasses after filleting; or just the heads if I've cut steaks. Cachama makes an incredibly gelatinous stock.
7. The steaks can also be dredged in season flour and deep fried. I use Ethiopian spices.
have you tried cumin-crusted salmon served with yogurt tahini sauce?
- two six to eight ounce salmon fillets
- a tablespoon of finely minced sweet onion or shallot
- 1.5 tsp fresh ground cumin seed (toast in a pan and use a mortar and pestle to coarsely grind for a more robust flavor and texture)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp olive oil
preheat oven to 450 F.
wash the salmon fillets, dry well.
cut shallow slits in the fish (on the side without skin) about 1 inch apart. rub both sides of the fish with olive oil.
mix all ingredients together, other than fish, until you have a spreadable paste.
rub the spice paste into the slits and on the fleshy surface.
bake / broil for 10 minutes per inch, as measured at the thickest part. serve with yogurt tahini sauce.
* Yogurt Tahini Sauce
- 1 C plain yogurt (the higher the fat content, the better)
- 3 tbs tahini
- 1-2 large cloves of finely minced garlic
- juice of half a lemon
- salt to taste
mix all ingredients together. let sit for at least two hours to let flavors meld. it's even better if you let the sauce sit overnight.
I like this for a thick white fish, not for some thin white fish too much flavor. But I do enjoy tahini sauce.
I love this on chicken where it marinades all day however a fave of mine. Great flavor. Lamb chops are a must. Fish I tend to think it is too strong.
However ... I haven't tried it yet. Never know
yes, i love the versatility of this yogurt tahini sauce! it's one of my favorites. i even use it on salads as dressing.
i do think the stronger flavor and meatier texture of salmon stands up to the sauce quite well, though i can absolutely see where white fish would be overwhelmed. you needn't glop on a whole lot. if you do want a more muted flavor, lessen the amount of garlic and thin the sauce with water.
to tell you the truth, i would never use this prep for very fresh fish, only pre-frozen fish or fish that is not at its peak. if i have very fresh fish, i keep it simple so i don't obscure the intrinsic flavor. my favorite prep for very fresh fish is to grill with no seasonings except, perhaps, salt, and serve with a few drops of sesame oil or squirt of lemon.
(salmon prepared with a simple salt and pepper rub also goes well with a yogurt dill sauce.)
love salmon too, yogurt dill is a favorite. I make a white wine, cream and dill sauce which I love with salmon. I have a thread with fresh fish just got tons of grouper, pompano and snapper all fresh. Love it.
I eat salmon all the time. And do enjoy a sauce with that now and then. It holds up to a sauce very well. Lots of flavors., sesame I agree, good call. Nice flavor.
alrighty, this is a favorite food group of mine, so i'll just keep throwing recipes at you until you give up and admit you love making fish. ;)
have you tried sesame crusted tuna? i recently made a salt free version while i was doing a 'cleanse' and even that was great.
- two 6-8 oz, 1 inch tuna steaks cut in half if you, like me, enjoy maximum crustal surface area
- two tablespoons each of black and white sesame seeds
- a few tsps soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- about 1 tbs oil
mix sesame seeds and salt.
brush tuna steaks with soy sauce (or soy sauce mixed with a quarter tsp or so of prepared wasabi if desired).
roll tuna steaks in sesame seed mixture until well coated.
heat about 1 tbs of oil in a skillet until very hot, carefully place tuna steaks in pan and sear, about two minutes / side or until tuna is to desired state of doneness (i think it's best medium rare, which takes about two min / side).
serve with a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil if you want, and chives for garnish.
This tuna is amazing trust me, I went out and got tuna last night. I didn't use wasabi because I didn't have it and forgot to buy it. But it was great. Simple and ultra quick, I made some jasmine rice, fresh scallions and a little soy and sauteed snap pears and peppers. Then a small salad of arugula with a sesame ginger dressing and some toasted Asian noodles for crunch.
JungMann, I hear you re: salmon. I just came out of a three-year anti-salmon phase, actually. (Ate too much of the low-quality, farm-raised gunk, purchased not-so-fresh from Gristedes. Ugh.) The cumin-crust recipe also works well with wild bluefish, which is very inexpensive in our parts, this time of year. I am having it for brunch right now, in fact.
I just took advantage of my new fish-friendly digs to try your cumin-crusted bluefish and I am in heaven, not that I ever doubted you. It is unlike any fish I've had before and definitely an addition to my regular rotation. I'm out of tahini so instead of the dressing, I drizzled sesame oil over labne for a side dish and am quite the happy camper!
One of my favorites is quick & easy Golden Baked Tilapia and Rice (also pretty foolproof - it has to be, as a recipe of my own creation!):
2 lbs tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2C long grain rice, uncooked
2 1/2C water
1/4 C white wine (or water)
1 t chicken boullion granules or chicken soup base
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp Old Bay ™ Seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (optional)
3 T butter, softened
1/4 c mayonnaise
4 T butter, softened
3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C Panko bread crumbs, divided
1/4 tsp Old Bay ™ Seasoning
1/4 tsp dried dill weed
lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.
Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray, or 2tsp.olive oil. Mix rice, herbs and seasonings, place in pan. Cover with water & wine, carefully, so that the rice remains in an even layer, and dot with softened butter. Place tilapia fillets in pan. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay ™ Seasoning, if desired.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until rice is done*, and tilapia flakes easily with a fork.
Turn your oven's broiler on high.
Mix topping ingredients (less 1/4 C of the panko breadcrumbs) and spread evenly over filets. Sprinkle remaining panko crumbs over filets and return to oven to broil until browned, watching carefully to avoid over-browning.
Serve with lemon wedges.
This is for 8 servings.
this is the only way i can get my son to eat salmon:
salmon fillets w/ or w/ith out skin or a thin to medium cut salmon steak
season salmon w/ s&p .If using salmon with skin, brush flesh side with honey mustard, if no skin then select 1 side to brush with honey mustard.
press pecans into honey mustard
put salmon, pecan side down into an oven proof skillet with a touch of oil that has been heated over med to med-high heat.
sear till pecans become toasted (be careful not to burn the pecans), flip fish over then put into a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes or so to continue cooking.
super easy and super delicious - i have dinner on the table in 15 minutes with this recipe
Crushed pistachios, dried bread crumbs, and dried cranberries on the salmon spread with apple butter is amazing.
A great dish. Salmon or white fish either or. Just spread with the butter then top with the nut and cranberry and crumb mixture. Just ground the cranberries, nuts and bread crumbs together and then spread on the apple butter. Makes a great dish.
One of my new favorite ways to cook salmon is actually a coq au vin inspired braise adapted from Molly Steven's book "All About Braising". I would NEVER have thought to braise salmon (it just sounds wrong) but this is an incredible recipe that even non-fish lovers enjoy. I also made salmon last night using a variation on a dijon cream sauce that I will write up next week. I think we have you beat on how hard it is to find fresh fish - right now I have to drive 100 miles to get it! (Which explains why I had it twice in one week!)
Moroccan Fish with Chickpeas
(adapted from Jewish Holiday Cooking, Jayne Cohen p.74)
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup water
8 large garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
4 to 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. tilapia fillets (any firm white fish will work)
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine in pan on the stove: chickpeas, water, red pepper, 2 tbsp oil, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Arrange half the chickpeas in oven-safe dish just large enough to fit the fish. Cover chickpeas with the fish. Sprinkle the fish with lemon juice, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with the 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. Then cover the fish with the remaining chickpeas. Drizzle everything with remaining oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
KingsKez, I've been playing around with oven temps to try to figure out the most effective crustage technique these past few days. I like this one: turn the broiler on for a few minutes until oven is hot (about 350 or so). Put fish (about an inch thick in my case), brushed with olive oil or melted butter and uncovered, in oven and broil until top is browned to the desired state. Turn off the oven and let sit 5-10 more minutes until inside of fish is cooked through. It helps avoid overcooking any part of the fish if you run the fish under warm water right before cooking or otherwise let it warm up to room temperature, so that the inside cooks at nearly the same speed as the outside. Play around a bit and I'm sure it won't take you long to figure out how to get what you like. If you're still not getting the crust you want, you could always resort to topping the fish with strips of bacon...
re: Sam Fujisaka
re: Sam Fujisaka
I have done the micro too. Well a necessity when my oven was broken and it was too cold out to do the grill. I used oregano and a little olive oil, s/p and then I made a simple olive sauce, nothing more than some olive tapenade and just a little cream to help thin it out. 2 minutes tops in the micro. Heated the sauce as well in the micro, topped it and presto. The grill or oven would of been better. Even the couscous, hot water from the micro and instant couscous. Even the asparagus I did in it. Not bad for a 5 minute dinner. But nice idea Sam. It does work and so quick. I like the soy and sesame. I love to use that a lot. Can't go wrong
I know this is an old post but i figure i'll revive it a little.
i have been doing alot of foil packets with fish lately.
heat over to 425 - in a peice of foil put down a little olive oil/butter, white fish (prob any fish would work), a little salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic (fresh or powder), oregano, parsley, lemon juice, ribbons of spinach, bell pepper, black olives, tomato, capers (if you want them) and a small glug of white wine and wrap it up, in the over for 12-15 mins and you've got dinner!