Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes a Technique is Better Than a Recipe

Sorry, no time for any amusing tales of poverty or anecdotes this morning.

Crispy Fish.  Sounds good already doesn't it?  Even better, it's not deep fried.  I learned this technique from my brother and have used it with several varieties of fish and it has always been delicious.  It's quick, easy and delicious.  What's not to love about that?

Start with skinless fillets of whatever fish you like, no more than about 1" thick.  Around 3/4" thick is ideal, but even a thin 1/2" fillet can be used.  Brush both sides of the fillet with oil and season with salt & pepper.  A coarse kosher or sea salt is best, and as always you should be grinding your own pepper.  Cut a lemon in half length wise.  Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half for finishing the fish in the pan.

Place your skillet on medium-high heat, add a little oil.  When the pan is hot, place the fish in the pan.  If you can identify the skin side of your skinless fillet, place that side down.  If you're working with a fillet from a larger fish and can't identify the skin side, don't worry about it.

DO NOT FLIP THE FISH.  You will be able to watch the fish cook from the bottom, and you won't want to flip it at all unless you absolutely have to.  It won't take any more than a few minutes for the fish to cook.  If you're using a particularly thick piece of fish and it's going to burn before it's done, flip it as late as possible.

When the fish is done, finish it in the pan with the juice of the reserved half-lemon.  Remove the fillets and place them crispy side up on plates.  Serve with a lemon wedge or two.

This fish is as comfortable next to mac & cheese and red beets as it would be with roasted garlic smashed potatoes and peeled asparagus.

I've used local Rockfish, cheap frozen Tilapia, fresh caught Salmon and Steelhead and even Pacific Cod.  They all turned out great, and I honestly think that any fish will be delicious when done this way.

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