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Jul 1, 2009 06:56 PM

Please help me cook fish at home

I am usually a really good cook. My husband says most of my dishes are good restaurant quality. But I have never been able to cook fish very well. My husband hates salmon, and I don't like tilapia. Cod and catfish are good, and I'm willing to experiment with tuna steak. Do I need parchment paper to keep moisture in? I've always used foil, is that bad? Please help! Also, what can I do to minimize the smell after cooking?

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  1. I just cooked cod for the first time the other night. I think it was smtucker or cassoulady who recommended to put some evoo in a nonskillet and then add the fish. Cook maybe 2-3 minutes, turn it over, cook the same amount of time. GREAT. Made fish tacoe and then fish salad for sandwiches the next day. Terrific.

    1. I cook fish 1-2 times a week, sometimes more. Everything from tilapia, salmon, tuna, grouper, flounder, whiting, cos, you name it.

      First I'll ask what you don't like about tilapia? And what flavors do you like. I can give you many recipes. From just pan seared to a bit more unique.

      I grill with foil pouches, I do parchment pouches in the oven, I grill outside, inside, grill pan, cast iron, bake or just broil. Anything goes.

      Tell me a bit about what you would enjoy and I can easily help you. There are many great simple non work recipes that take minutes with no clean up.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kchurchill5

        I don't exactly remember what I didn't like about tilapia. It's been years since I had it. Maybe it just wasn't a good piece I had.

        1. re: starbucksbrew

          I was just curious many don't. It is very milk. Almost too mild for me, I enjoy the flavor or fish. It is very bland and does need a little flavor unlike some fresh grouper, Cod, flounder, snapper, etc.

          I enjoy all fish, doesn't matter but even frozen is ok but they all should have a fresh smell. Shouldn't smell like bad fish or too fishy. Not everyone can get fresh fish all the time, so frozen is ok at times.

          You have many good recipes. Enjoy, I eat fish so often I can't count. 3-4 times per week at times. But remember, it is also great in quesadillas, tacos, pitas, on top of salads, tuna especially in salads and in pasta. Many baked dishes over layers of fresh sliced potatoes and tomatoes with fresh herbs and even a light drizzle of a cheese sauce. For me I like it with as little other ingredients but I really not everyone does so there are great recipes out there.

          And for me if there is a smell in the house it is probably fried and you do get some oder but with a fan not much and if the fresh is fresh you shouldn't get hardly any.

      2. I rarely fry fresh fish in my home b/c t he lingering smell as well. Ventilate really well!

        I grill ahi, swordfish & Mahi Mahi after being marinated in olive oil, s&p, some lemon peel, maybe a dried spice blend, in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Top any of them with a fruit or tomato & olive salsa.

        We eat a lot of frozen cod since it's widely available here and it's already battered and fried. Easy to make crispy fish tacos or tostadas.

        I also found a great microwave sole recipe from Martha stewart that was tasty, super easy and didn't leave a lingering fish odor.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          I remember now that recently Sam gave some instructions for MW fish. Myabe he'll remind us of what he does. I'm now all hot to trot to cook fish more after 10 days on Cape Cod :)

          1. re: c oliver

            c.o: Sam's recipe is in the link that Old Spice referenced below.....

            1. re: Gio

              Thanks, Gio. I want to try that.

        2. Whole fish or fillets? It'll make a difference.

          I cook game fish, usually striped bass, by scaling it, removing the head and dorsal fin, removing the inards, washing and rinsing it well, filling the cavity with a mixture of chopped garlic/butter/fresh rosemary sprigs, laying it in a baking dish with about a 1/4 inch depth of soy sauce and white wine, and baking it at 350 degrees for as long as it take for the flesh to flake easily.

          Fillets at our house are cooked in a variety of ways. One of our favorites is to brush the center portion of a piece of foil that's large enough to wrap the fish with veg. oil, place the fish on top of the oil, drizzle on enough lemon juice to lightly wet the piece of fish, cover the fish with chopped celery tops (including the leaves) and chopped onion mixed with a little S&P, the sprinkle oil over all of the ingredients on the foil and wrap the fish up nice and tight to seal it in. Those packages of fish go onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 375 - 400 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Be careful opening the packets; they're full of steam. Good idea to poke a few holes in the tops to let some of the steam out before opening.
          Oh, and open them on a plate. The juices will be abundant and you don't want a flood on your kitchen counter.
          A variation on this recipe is to use chopped garlic cloves (to taste) and oregano or basil and to use butter in place of the veg. oil.

          1. Along with what everyone else has mentioned, have heard that soaking a white fish in milk for a little while in the fridge (covered please!) helps remove a fishy smell.

            But really, the fish cooking best starts with the fish shopping - ideally you're finding a fish source so fresh that there's not really any fishy smell. There are some good vac-pac frozen fish filets out there also. (Frozen at sea.)