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Do you have a "sure fire" fresh fish recipe for a someone who has never cooked fish?

We just moved to the east coast where fresh, from the sea, fish is in abundance. I have never cooked fish (other than from frozen box style). I have friends, from away, coming for the weekend and I want to cook them a fish dinner. The only requirement is that the fish does not taste "fishy" or be heavy with batter. And I wouldn't mind some tips on how to buy fresh fish too.

asked by Currli about 2 years ago
11 answers 991 views
Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

It really depends on the type of fish, what's coming in fresh off the boats. Are you cooking sole, or striped bass, or monkfish? it makes a big difference. I always cook fish either in a pan on the cooktop or outside on the grill. The only time I use the oven is to poach in a fume or else individual portions in their own packages (en papillote). But it's difficult to answer the question without knowing what your fish options are.

Face
added about 2 years ago

I agree with Jestei. I am not one to cook a lot of fish, and this is the only method I use. It never fails to turn out, just keep your eyes on it!

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

In addition, buy your fish from a serious fish market. The fish should smell like the ocean (as should the whole damn fish counter). If you get an ammonia smell, well that's what happens with fish well past its peak.

Sarah_chef
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I'm from Iowa and now on the west coast so I know exactly where you're coming from!

I was going to suggest en papillote like Pierino - create a foil or parchment package and put in some nice aromatics (fresh herbs, citrus) and a sauce (mix garlic/dijon/white wine, or go Thai-style?). The cooking time will depend on the type of fish. Perhaps experiment before your guests come?

You can also buy a more "forgiving" fish - with an oilier texture, it will take a bit of overcooking and still be ok. Chilean sea bass, mackerel, sardines, trout, etc. There are also fish that are best rare to medium, like salmon or tuna.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

Actually I must politely disagree on chilean sea bass. First it's not a fresh caught East Coast fish, it comes from Chile where it used to be known as Patagonian toothfish---well, given a fancy marketing name and what happens, now the fishery is almost destroyed. But the East Coast has plenty of great choices that don't have to travel thousands of miles to get to your kitchen.

Sarah_chef
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

Very true, Pierino and completely agree. An attempt to come up with examples of forgiving fish!

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added about 2 years ago

My favorite is to lightly blacken using any commercial blackening seasoning. I use an iron skillet with a little butter medium high heat. Grouper mahi mahi etc

Photo-1
added about 2 years ago

Even easier I think, is to get a whole fish (your fishmonger will clean it for you). Stuff the cavity with a couple slices of lemon and/or orange,salt and pepper, and a couple sprigs of your herb of choice (thyme, rosemary, marjoram, etc). Place in a roasting pan (or you can do it on a grill but it takes more patience and watching). Drizzle with some olive oil and roast at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until it looks done. Don't worry about fancy filleting and presentation, we usually just attack the fish directly on the table.

Photo-1
added about 2 years ago

Oh, and if you buy a whole fish, look for clear (not cloudy) eyes and I generally think the body should look somewhat firm--when they sit around a bit, I tend to think they start looking a little soft.