Category: Fish

Roasted Fish Fillets

Roasted Fish Fillets

This is the final video in our Fish Master Class series: Roasted Fish Fillets topped with a couple of delicious compound butters.

Wild Alaskan Cod Tenderloin

The first fish is a wild Alaskan cod tenderloin. This is a mild-flavored, flaky fish. The texture and flavor of this fish is best when cooked through. It’s a forgiving fish; the natural cod oil keeps the fish moist and even if you happen to overcook it a little. I chose to top this with the Garlic Herb Compound Butter.

Wild Sockeye Salmon

Baked Salmon Filet with Lemon Dill Compound Butter

Our second fish is a wild sockeye salmon also from Alaska. This is a leaner salmon and shouldn’t be overcooked. This fish is medium rare to medium. The taste and texture are excellent at any temperature point. The lemon dill compound butter is perfect for this fish.

Roasting Method

Roasting fish fillets is simple. Cut the fillets into individual portions before cooking, it has a neater look. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with a little olive oil. Season both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Lay on the baking sheet, rub and turn to coat with the oil.

Roasted Fish Fillets

Baking time depends on the depth of the fish, at a minimum a thin fish like the sockeye no less than 6 minutes and the thicker cod could be 12-15 minutes.

Roasted Fish Fillets

Watch our video here.

How to Skin Fish Fillets

fish fillet

Removing the skin from fish is optional. You can certainly cook the fish skin on and serve it that way. You can also remove the skin after cooking, but it disturbs the delicate meat and doesn’t make a very nice presentation.  We demonstrate here how to skin fish fillets before cooking.

Remember, too, that any fish monger will do this for you, you just have to ask.

I also like to cut the fish into individual portions before cooking. It’s easier and much neater.

How to Skin a Fish Fillet

It’s always a great teaching moment when things don’t go smoothly. My knife didn’t stay the course (the knife, not me) and a strip of skin stayed in place. A mistake when teaching is always a golden opportunity to show how to correct it.

See how to fold the thin portion on a salmon fillet to cook evenly.

We roasted these beautiful cod and salmon fish fillets and used these compound butters to create a quick and easy sauce.

Watch the video here.

Check out our Fish Master Class on YouTube.

 

How to Select a Fresh Fish Fillet

fresh fish fillets

This is another segment in our Fish Master Class on how to select a fresh fish fillet.

A reputable fish monger keeps a very clean store, it’s odor free and has lots of fresh ice in the case with the fish on top and good drainage below. Look for a busy store, which means quick turnover and fresh fish.

Qualities of Fresh Fish

Good quality, fresh white meat fish is moist, no cracks in the flesh, somewhat opaque, and has a fresh clean smell. Avoid any fillets that appear dry, cracked, have pooling water, a funky/fishy smell or the flesh is turning a chalky white.

In a dark-fleshed fish, such as salmon or tuna, look for the same qualities as above, but with vibrant color, tuna is almost red and salmon a bright orange to somewhat of a melon color. Avoid any fillets that appear dry, cracked or the flesh is turning a dark color.

Purchase your fish fillets the day of or day before cooking. Keep wrapped in the back of the refrigerator on the bottom shelf.

See our post on roasting these beautiful cod and salmon fish filets.

Watch the video here.

Next week, we demonstrate how to remove the skin from a fresh fish fillet.

Identifying Fresh Fish

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

We had lots of fun making this Fresh Fish Master Class video. I had my first guest, Aust Martin
from thisishomesteady.com. Aust stopped on the way over, on a rainy, gray day, to catch a trout for the show. You can’t get any fresher than that!

It’s really important to purchase your fish from a pristine fish monger. The place should sparkle, have a very fresh smell, like seawater. The cases should be filled with lots and lots of ice, but the fish should not be in any water. Another important key to freshness is turnover, which means frequent purchases and replenishment

Fresh Fish Characteristics
Eyes

Yes: Crystal clear, plump, moist
No: sunken or cloudy

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

Gills

Yes: Clean, cold and bright color
No: Slimy and dark color

Fins

Yes: wet and whole
No: dried out, torn or broken

Flesh

Yes: cold, wet, slippery and resilient when poked
No: sticky, finger indentation remains when poked

Characteristics of Fresh Fish

Smell

Yes: Clean, fresh
No: funky, fishy

Watch the video here.

Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers Recipe

Saturday nights are a great time to ease back and have a leisurely dinner at home. This Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers recipe comes together in about an hour, is very flavorful and makes enough to easily serve six.

My family is not crazy about tomato sauce made with whole tomatoes; they prefer a smooth sauce. I used a combination of tomato puree and diced tomatoes (I like a little chunkiness and snuck it in!). Use whatever works best for you.

Bring a pot of salted cold water to a boil while making the sauce and cook the pasta, any shape will do, while the fish is roasting. Halibut is a mild-flavored fish with a firm texture and needs to be cooked through.

Method

Ingredients: olive oil, onions, bell peppers, garlic, Italian herb mix, crushed red pepper, tomatoes.

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Sauce

Thinly slice a medium onion (2 cups) lengthwise.

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Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and one teaspoon salt, cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes.

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Trim the ends and remove the seeds from a red, yellow and green bell pepper and thinly slice lengthwise.

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Add the bell peppers to the onions, stir, cover and sweat another five minutes.

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Mince four garlic cloves.

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Stir in one tablespoon Italian herb mix, the minced garlic and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes.

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Add the tomatoes, stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

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Finished sauce.

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Fish

Place the fish on the lined sheet tray and lightly brush with oil.

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Season each side with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and…

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and a couple of grinds of pepper.

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Slide into the oven and roast for 14 minutes; this filet was one inch thick. Adjust for more or less time depending on thickness.

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Remove to a warm plate and top each filet with 1/4 cup sauce and garnish with parsley and serve the sauced pasta on the side.

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Here’s what an alternative dish looks like when someone doesn’t want fish – grilled chicken with tomatoes and bell peppers.

Recipe freezes well.

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Roasted Halibut with Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce

roasted halibut
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Fish

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in thin slices lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 28-ounce cans tomatoes
  • Halibut:
  • 6 six-ounce halibut filets
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil for brushing the fish
  • optional garnish: freshly chopped parsley, about 3 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Set up:
  2. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  3. Line a 10- x 15-inch baking tray with parchment or foil.
  4. Method:
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and salt, cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes. Add the bell peppers, stir, cover and sweat another five minutes.
  6. Stir in the herb mix, garlic and pepper flakes. Add the tomatoes, stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  7. Halibut:
  8. Lightly brush both sides of each fish fillet with oil and season with a sprinkling of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.
  9. Slide into the oven and roast for 14minutes for a one-inch thick fillet. Adjust for others.
  10. Top each filet with 1/4 cup sauce and garnish with parsley.
  11. Serve the sauced pasta on the side.

 

 

 

 

Sautéed Cod in Sage-Infused Oil

Alaskan cod (aka Pacific cod) is in season! It’s a mild white fish with a flaky texture. The fish can be prepared in many ways: fried, baked, pan roasted or sautéed. This recipe, which I’ll call Sautéed Cod in Sage-Infused Oil is from  Julia Della Croce.

In 2013, we were at the Roger Smith Food Conference in NYC. Heritage Radio Network had a booth set up and asked to interview us (I spoke about biscotti). I sat in the outer area listening to Julia talk about Italian food and the importance of preserving traditional recipes and as she summed up, she gave a delightfully simple recipe for a fish dish. My mouth watered and I was hooked (no pun intended 🙂 )!

I had to wait until my husband went out-of-town, though. He’s not a big fish fan and really hates the fish smell in the house. This week I had that opportunity and found wild Alaskan cod. Not a Mediterranean fish, but in the US a very special catch for about six weeks this time of year. I made her recipe with the cod and served it over oven-roasted asparagus.

Recipe

Here’s Julia’s recipe: heat some olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add a few sage leaves and continue to cook to perfume the oil. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the sage leaves, raise the heat a bit, lay the seasoned fish in the perfumed oil and cook 4 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. The timing was perfect. The fish had a slightly herbaceous flavor, a crusty outside, was throughly cooked and very moist.

Thanks for a delicious dinner Julia!

 

Poached Salmon with Three Sauces

I love cold poached salmon and it’s the perfect vehicle for a variety of delicious sauces. I couldn’t decide between a cucumber dill, my favorite, a mustard or something with a bite like watercress. Since watercress isn’t in season, I substituted arugula and added some cucumber and a touch of lemon zest. That’s how I ended up with Poached Salmon with Three Sauces!

The irregular shape of salmon presents a challenge to even cooking. I removed the thin edge along the length of the salmon and poached it as a separate piece for four minutes and cut the rest of the salmon into six equal portions, which I poached for seven minutes.

A rich poaching liquid adds depth of flavor to the salmon. Place the wine in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to ½ cup. Add the aromatics and cold water, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and continue cooking for half an hour. Strain and thoroughly chill the poaching liquid.

Both the fish and the poaching liquid must be the same temperature at the start of cooking to cook the fish evenly. Use a gentle simmer  to prevent the vigorous bubbles of boiling liquid from breaking apart the salmon, it’s very fragile.

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Poached Salmon with Three Sauces

A delicious assortment of sauces to complement poached salmon.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Poaching

Ingredients

Poaching Liquid
2 cups dry white wine
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 whole garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
12 whole black peppercorns
2 1/2 quarts cold water

Poached Salmon
3 pounds center-cut salmon, skin removed, dark meat trimmed and cut into 6 even portions*

Place the wine in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to ½ cup.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and peppercorns and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Strain the poaching liquid and discard the vegetables. Chill the liquid thoroughly.

Place the prepared salmon in the bottom of a pan large enough to hold all pieces. Pour the cold poaching liquid over the fish to cover completely; if necessary add a little water to make sure the tops of the salmon are submerged.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer; cook for 7-8 minutes.

Mustard Sauce
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons coarse mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Watercress Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 cup tightly packed arugula or watercress
1/2 cup seeded, 1/2-inch dice cucumber
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Cucumber Dill Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 cup seeded, 1/2-inch dice cucumber
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Poaching Liquid

Place the wine in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to ½ cup.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and peppercorns and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Strain the poaching liquid and discard the vegetables. Chill the liquid thoroughly.

Poached Salmon

Place the prepared salmon in the bottom of a pan large enough to hold all pieces. Pour the cold poaching liquid over the fish to cover completely; if necessary add a little water to make sure the tops of the salmon are submerged.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer; cook for 7-8 minutes.

Mustard Sauce

Whisk all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Watercress Sauce

Place the ingredients in the base of a blender or food processor and puree. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Cucumber Dill Sauce

Place the ingredients in the base of a blender or food processor and puree. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

 

Notes

*Slice the thin edge that runs the length of the salmon. Poach for 3-4 minutes.

 

Broiled Rainbow Trout

My husband doesn’t care for most fish, so I rarely prepare it. On nights he works late I take advantage and make myself a fish dinner. Today I bought a scaled and deboned rainbow trout. I removed the head and cut away the side and back fins, rinsed it in cold water, patted it dry and laid it flat on a lined sheet tray.

To keep it moist in the broiler, I brushed a little melted butter over the flesh and seasoned it with kosher salt and  ground pepper.

While the fish cooked, I added a little minced shallot and garlic to melted butter and let it sweat for a minute or so. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some chopped chives and a dash of salt and pepper finished the sauce just as the trout came out of the oven.

I really enjoyed it and the quick cooking time, about 3 minutes, kept the dreaded fish smell to a minimum, so as not to offend the sensitive husband when he got home!

See the post on how to select fresh fish.

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Broiled Rainbow Trout

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Broil

Ingredients

4 boned, filleted rainbow trout
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions

Preheat the broiler and line a half-sheet tray (13 inches by 18 inches) with foil or parchment paper.

Rinse the trout and pat dry. Lay skin-side down on the prepared tray.

Brush each trout with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Pop the trout in the oven and broil for about 3-4 minutes. Trout should be flaky, but now dry or brown.

While the trout cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan, sweat the shallots and garlic for a minute. Stir in the lemon juice and chives.

Pour a little lemon sauce over each trout and serve immediately.