Tips for cooking seafood
Published 6:18 am Saturday, October 26, 2019
Methods of Preparation
By Joyce Taylor
Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas
Published Aug. 6, 2010
“The keys to good frying are proper temperature and fast cooking. The ideal temperature for frying fish is 375 F. With cooler oil, the food absorbs too much fat and the fish becomes soggy. If the oil is too hot, the fish may brown too quickly and burn. Also, most oils begin to smoke when they reach 400 F.
“Oil, a combination of oil and margarine (or butter), or clarified butter can be used for frying. Most vegetable oils work fine. We almost always use oil and butter combined. If you try it, you’ll notice a significant increase in flavor.”
Seafood Frying Tips:
“Oil should reach 375 F before adding fish. If using a deep-fryer, check the thermostat for accuracy with a cooking thermometer. Or drop a one-inch cube of bread into the oil. It should brown in 30 to 45 seconds.
“Fry only a small amount of fish at a time so that the temperature remains constant. If it drops, allow it to return to 375 F before adding the next batch.
“The high temperature will quickly form a crust that will seal in the juices and prevent the food from soaking up oil.
“Seafood is done when golden brown. Remove from the oil immediately and drain on paper towels. Be careful not to overcook or the food will dry out. A minute can make a difference. It’s like that steak on the grill — give it just a few more seconds and it’s overdone.
“Lean, firm fish such as flounder are more suitable for frying than fatty ones. Oily fish such as salmon are too rich in flavor to fry; they will probably taste too strong.
“Thin fillets and dressed fish no more than three-fourths of an inch fry better than large or thick pieces.
“The term ‘frying’ includes pan-frying, deep-frying, sautéing and stir-frying. The methods are different for each.
“Almost all seafood can be fried. If you enjoy fried seafood — and most of us do — it can be part of a healthy diet. By regularly limiting the amount of fat and calories in our diet, we can occasionally select and enjoy fried fish and shellfish. As with many other things in life, moderation is the key.”
However, if you are looking for an alternative to fried, try this one.
Fillets Baked in Sour Cream
By Ethel Pierce
The Kitchen Connection (1968)
St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Nags Head
2 pounds fish filets
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
What to Do
Grease a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
Blend seasonings and cheese into sour cream. Spread over fish in buttered dish.
Top with bread crumbs and dot with remaining three tablespoons of butter.
Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes.
Serve with lemon slices. Serves 5 or 6.
Pecan-Herb Panko Flounder with Chili Sauce Glaze
From NC: Flounder, Egg, Pecans, Chives, Parsley, Honey
2 Flounder fillets
¼ cup Flour
¼ cup Pecans, chopped very fine
½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Chives, chopped
1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian Chili sauce such as Sriracha
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
What to Do
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl; beat until smooth. Combine the flour and pecans on a medium plate. Combine the Panko, chives and parsley on another plate. Season all plates with salt and pepper.
Pat the flounder dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Working with one piece, thoroughly coat fillets in the flour/pecan mixture (pressing to adhere), then in the egg (letting any excess drip off), then in the herb/breadcrumbs (pressing to adhere). Transfer to a plate.
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a few breadcrumbs sizzle immediately when add to the pan, add the breaded flounder fillets and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate; and serve with the Chili Sauce.
Chili Sauce: Combine all ingredients and serve with the flounder.
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