Fish is something everyone should eat more of. If trying to cut out the red meat, you’d be surprised how filling a “fish steak” meal can be. There are many ways to make fish but there are certain tips I will try to share here with you because you’re always asking me for recipes for my various fishy creations. It’s hard for me to give exact recipes by the book, but I will give you my best advice on how to do it my way.
1. Find a local fish store , get to know them, ask what is good and local. It is always best to get the best fish the season has to offer. Atlantic vs Pacific gets to your fish store the fastest if you’re on the east coast, and vice versa. Different times of year you will find fish caught closer to home. Right now you can get the sweetest scallops from Barnegat bay NJ, rather than previously frozen from ‘who knows where’ ones from your grocery store. Also, local Atlantic Long Island sea bass, flounder, tuna etc. Ask your fish guy, he will tell you what to try. If you like steak, go for tuna steak, swordfish, grouper, mahi mahi, or any other thick cut piece of cod or similar.
2. Depending on the season you can cook it differently. In winter I like to sear in a cast iron skillet, simply brush with olive oil or grapeseed oil (neutral oil i like for asian etc style cooking), or simple broil, or roast. Before I sear in a very hot skillet i add some Old Bay seasoning with the oil, salt, pepper and lightly dredge in rice flour. Then i quickly sear 2-3 minutes on each side, then comes the braising part, simply lower the flame, add a liquid such as dry white wine or water, parsley, lemon and my secret ingredient instead of butter, stir in a teapoon or so of dijon mustard. Add additional herbs, like fresh basil , parsley, then go for some chopped fresh tomatoes, capers and cover and let braise a few minutes till done. Drizzle of your best aged balsamic kicks it up. Also simple grill pan fish, just make a marinate of dijon mustard, crushed garlic, lemon and low salt soy or tamari marinate a few hours and grill a few minutes on each side (fish steaks)
3. Fish filets…can be done so many ways, but cast iron is my fave see above way. Or just broil under the flame with seasoning of choice. Get creative, look at my pics and try it my way. Practice makes perfect
4. Do not turn the fish until you feel it’s ready and you don’t have to fight it to turn , if its ready it will flip easily with 1 or 2 spatulas.
5. Spring Summer I grill my fish outside on my Weber Gas Grill. I bought one of those Cuisinart covers to put on the grill so the fish doesn’t fall through the grates, this one has holes , so the direct flame hits it and makes it simple to cook, grilling but steaming when you close the cover. Simple, just make sure to oil the surface, and marinate the fish with a combo of herbs, basil, parsley. lemon, zest, garlic , dijon , balsamic , tamari…whatever there’s many seasoning combo’s to do, but its basically an olive oil based vinagrette. Or if cooking asian style that changes to miso, tamari, mirin combo with ginger and garlic
6. Shrimp, scallops and calamari are simple on the grill and cook in minutes. Again, marinate.
7. Fish is good for you, eat it more, add lots of good for you veggies, grains, black rice, beans and have yourself a wonderful dinner. Create. Make fish taco’s, make homemade salsas or if time is an issue buy whatever salsas you like. Serve over all kinds of salads.