1. Food

Five Quick Fixes for Fish

Terrific Techniques for Fast and Easy Meals

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Texas Style Smothered Catfish with Rotel Tomatoes and Posole

Texas Style Smothered Catfish

Doug DuCap

One of the best things about fish is that it starts off tender and flavorful, so it doesn’t require long cooking or intense marinades to be wonderful. In fact, less is definitely more when it comes to cooking fish.

Fish is the perfect starting point for fast and easy meals. The techniques below (and the accompanying recipes) are ideal for getting dinner on the table in a hurry – without sacrificing flavor.

  1. GRILLING:
  2. What’s Great About Grilling? Fun, fast, and won’t heat up the house. Grilled fish and side dishes like grilled vegetables are healthy and delicious.
    What Do I Need? A gas grill is convenient (charcoal takes time to start); long/wide metal turners; grilling baskets for skinless fillets; spray bottle of water to quell flare-up.
    Dos and Don’ts:
    DO choose firm fish like Pacific halibut and barramundi; choose thicker cuts and steaks, or use a grilling basket; brush lean fish with oil to help retain moisture.
    DON’T walk away: the difference between ‘done’ and ‘dried out’ can be as little as a minute. Don’t use sweet glazes that can burn and become bitter.
    Get Grilling! Spicy Mojito Mahi Mahi Recipe

  3. STEAMING:
  4. What’s Great About Steaming? Bathes your fish in moisture as it cooks; helps retain natural color and flavor; naturally low fat.
    What Do I Need? A multi-level bamboo steamer (lets you steam fish and other foods simultaneously) with a wok or equivalent; or a stovetop or electric steamer.
    Dos and Don’ts:
    DO use lettuce leaves or squares of oiled parchment to prevent sticking; use flavored liquids (like stock) and aromatics (like bay leaf or citrus peel)
    DON’T let the liquid come in contact with the food or allow it to boil away; add more as needed.
    Get Steaming! Flounder Rolls with Caponata & Arugula Recipe

  5. STIR FRYING:
  6. What’s Great About Stir-Frying? One-pan meals that come together in a flash and retain their color and nutritional value.
    What Do I Need? A good wok with a lid; wood or metal spatulas and spoons (plastics may melt at high heat.)
    Dos and Don’ts:
    DO have all your ingredients pre-cut, measured, and close at hand (small bowls are excellent for this); use firm fish cut into cubes or thick strips for fast cooking.
    DON’T cook the fish with the other ingredients. Cook it first, remove it while you cook the rest, and add it in at the very end. Otherwise, it will break up.
    Get Stir-Frying! Orange Tuna with Snow Peas Recipe

  7. BROILING:
  8. What’s Great About Broiling? Fastest indoor method; food develops great color; fish doesn’t require turning (good for delicate fillets); cleanup can be easy.
    What Do I Need? A good quality, low-sided broiler pan, or a heavy duty baking pan (disposable aluminum broiler pans are too thin); aluminum foil for lining pans; top-grade oven mitts; a wide spatula called a ‘fish slice’ for lifting fillets.
    Dos and Don’ts:
    DO preheat broiler pan; wipe or spray pans lightly with oil or cooking spray (too much oil can burn and smoke); use the low-heat setting (electric) or place pan in the lowest part of the broiler (gas)
    DON’T take your eyes off your fish: the difference between ‘perfect’ and ‘on fire’ can literally be a matter of seconds.
    Get Broiling! Peanut-Crusted Sweet Chili Tilapia Recipe

  9. MICROWAVING:
  10. What’s Great About Microwaving? Fast, efficient, and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Gives your stovetop a well-deserved rest.
    What Do I Need? A carousel-type microwave oven with power adjustment; quality microwave cookware with covers (a microwave steamer is handy); good pot holders.
    Dos and Don’ts:
    DO choose recipes that use liquids to help fish retain moisture; place thicker pieces along the outer edge of dish; check fish often and after brief intervals for doneness; allow dish to stand after cooking to equalize heat.
    DON’T microwave fish on full power: it will dry out very quickly or cook unevenly.
    Get Microwaving! Texas Style Smothered Catfish Recipe

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