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Feb 13, 2009 08:44 AM

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!


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  1. 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!

    6 Replies
    1. re: shaebones

      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 or salsa, mango salsa is very good.

      These are also two favorites, I do the last one with thick pieces of ling cod

        1. re: BeefeaterRocks

          BeefeaterRocks, what types of fillets do you keep in your freezer? Do you thaw in the morning of or in water before cooking? Thanks. I need ideas to up our fish intake.

        2. re: shaebones

          That sounds delicious, thanks for sharing .

          1. re: shaebones

   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.

            1. 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.

              1 Reply
              1. 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.

              2. 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.

                1. 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:

                  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!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lesterj2

                    My husband just made this Arctic Char recipe using salmon a couple of weeks ago. It was wonderful!

                    1. re: lesterj2

                      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.

                      1. 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.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          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!

                    2. 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.