Love to cook? Read on for professional tips on building flavor without all the calories!

Archive for September, 2014

Fish Baked in Salt

Finished Dish

Finished Dish

If you want to make a dish that’s a little exotic and impressive yet very easy, fish baked in salt might be your answer! This absolutely delicious preparation has a very lightly seasoned taste. Contrary to popular belief, the meat is not extremely salty. The salt bakes into a crust that is easily removed and outside the skin. The meat itself is delicate and moist because it basically steams inside the salt crust.

For starters, you will need a very large roasting pan and a lot of salt. It’s difficult to say how much because it depends on the size of your pan and the size of your fish. Generally, for one large fish you will need two boxes of kosher salt and 4 egg whites. (You can get kosher salt at Kroger or any grocery store for a few dollars a box.)

The fish should be completely whole with the skin on – and yes, also with the head on. Snapper, salmon and other larger fish work best, but you can also use trout or other smaller fish like mackerel. Smaller fish can be cooked together in the same crust – as many as will fit in your pan. You can cut off the heads and peel the skin away before you serve it. Just as an aside, when you are shopping for your fish, make sure it will fit in your pan and that your pan will fit in your oven. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Fish in salt

If you want to get really fancy, you can crack the crust and serve the fish at the table. I don’t recommend that though because salt tends to fly around and it – well – it makes a mess. But anyway, back to the basics.

To bake fish in salt, first clean your fish (no guts), wash it and pat it dry. Measure the thickest part of the fish. Then mix the salt with the egg whites. Use enough egg whites so the salt is slightly moist. Put 1/2” salt in the bottom of your pan. Put the fish on top of that. Cover the fish with ½” of the salt/egg white mixture. Make sure that the fish is completely buried. Bake in a preheated 425 F oven, 10 minutes per inch of fish.

Fish covered in salt

Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Then crack the crust and serve the deliciously tender and moist fish meat that you find inside. (I often do this in or near the sink to catch flying salt.) Enjoy!

Advertisements

A Dozen Great Kitchen Tools!

Here are my favorite dozen kitchen gadgets with their approximate prices… It’s a great shopping list for gifts for your favorite cooks or for yourself. In parentheses, I have noted where I got mine, but search Amazon, check out your local cooking stores and you should be able to find everything at a good price. These make great gifts for yourself or other cooks! Have fun!

Pastry Scraper

 

1. A pastry scraper can be used for more than just cleaning the bench (counter). It’s also great for picking up vegetables from the cutting board and transferring them into a pot or bowl. Price: $10.00 (Williams Sonoma)

 

Mandolin

Mandolin

2. A mandolin is essential for a really professional presentation. You can use the type pictured or visit a Japanese grocery store to find a small, plastic, dishwasher safe one. Both are efficient, easy to carry around and to use. Use it for making very thin slices and perfect matchsticks for salads and other dishes. Price: Pictured: $90 at restaurant supply stores, Japanese: $23.00 (One World Market in Novi)

Julienne Tool

Julienne Tool

3. A julienne tool quickly cuts a vegetable or fruit into perfect small strips. It’s great when you want to cut just a few or want to carry it somewhere else because it’s as small as a potato peeler and easy to clean. It’s also safer than a mandolin. I use both for different occasions. Price: $10.00 (Williams Sonoma)

 

Flat Whisk

Flat Whisk

4. A flat whisk has a flat, circular head that allows you to whisk in a frying or other low sided pan. This is absolutely great for making gravies and sauces in a frying pan because it won’t splash.  Remember that whisking means a back and forth motion, whereas stirring is moving your tool around in a circle. Price: $14.00 (Check out Amazon or take a trip to Germany! J )

 

Heat Resistant Spatula

Heat Resistant Spatula

5. A heat resistant spatula by Rubbermaid can be used in hot pans for sautéing and stirring. It’s wonderful to use because you can also scrape down the sides of the pan. BUT NOTE: All heat proof spatulas have red handles but not all spatulas with red handles are heat proof due to the kitchen color explosion! To find real heat proof spatulas and other fabulous chef’s tools, visit http://www.jbprince.com. Price: $16 – $20. (JB Prince)

Meat Thermometer

Meat Thermometer

6. A remote meat thermometer allows you to keep an eye on the temperature of the meat in your oven while doing something else – even in another room or directly outside in the garden! Simply sync up the remote piece with its base and hook it on your belt. Price: $50. (Williams Sonoma)

 

Collapsible Strainer

Collapsible Strainer

7. A collapsible strainer is the latest, greatest tool. Why didn’t I think of this? Made of a combination of stainless steel and rubber, it collapses after use to save space in a cupboard or drawer or hang on the wall. They even come in cool colors. I chose red! Price: $12 – $30. (Williams Sonoma)

 

Immersion Blender

Immersion Blender

8. An immersion blender is an indispensable tool for people who like to make soups and purées. You don’t have to transfer hot liquid into a blender or kitchen processor. Instead, you can put the rod of the immersion blender right in the cooking pan to blend. Don’t skimp on this one though. Get one that is sturdy or it won’t last long. Price: $100. (Lowe’s Hardware Store)

Omelet Pan

Omelet Pan

9. Non-stick omelet pans. I always keep four around! They are great for omelets and individual portions of chicken, fish, meat and other things so you can keep an eye on each one. NOTE: Throw away scratched non-stick pans because the coating will flake and that is clearly not good for you. That’s why the heat proof spatulas are so great! Price: $15. (Gordon Foods)

 

Steamer Basket

Steamer Basket

 

10. A steamer basket turns any sauce pan with a lid into a steamer! Price: $10. (Amazon)

 

 

 

11-rings

Ring Molds

 

 

11. Stainless steel ring molds in different sizes to build beautiful stacked salads and vegetables. Price: $8. (J.B. Prince)

 

 

Food Scale

Food Scale

 

12. . Food Scale. The key here is to make sure that it’s easy to change from metric to American measurements. A food scale is essential in measuring exact ingredients! Price: $25 – $50.    (Williams Sonoma)

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: