|From Drop Box|
Fish cookery is deceptively difficult. It’s a texture thing, really. If your fillet still has the skin on, and it’s the right kind of fish, what you’d really like is perfectly textured fish with fried skin. This is actually difficult to pull off, and I continue to struggle with it. A way around this is to skin the fish and make cracklins by frying them separately while you’re cooking the fish. And that takes practice…and a really sharp knife.
However you can add heat or acid to fish, you can cook it. Boil, poach, grill, smoke, fry, sautee, steam, lemon/lime juice (like ceviche). You get the picture. Grilling is one of the hardest because it can stick to the grill and get shredded, leaving you with a mess. While you can steam fish, you won’t get the brown changes of the proteins with Maillard reaction/caramelization which equals taste. Try poaching (submersing in temperature ~180 or so) or lightly sauteeing in the fat of your choice. My favorites are butter (both clarified and not), olive oil, and safflower oil (because of its higher smoke point.)
Here’s where you can get creative. From complex sauces, to complementary soup flavors, veggies, fruits, citrus zest, or just plain butter or olive oil. Do what you want.
Salmon fillets steam-sauteed and garnished with fried shallots, lime zest, and olive oil.
Seasoned with salt, pepper, and slowly sauteed with the lid on my pan (which effectively steams it), making the other garnishes simultaneously.
There’s so much more to fish cookery than what I’ve talked about here, I’ll save it for future posts.