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Posts tagged ‘fish recipes’

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!

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HUMP MONTH is just around the corner!

Winter is hanging on… and if Wednesday is HUMP DAY, then March is the same – a month with still a lot of winter left and just a month we have to get through to find the warmer weather. Some people head south, but for those of us who stay here, the challenge is to make it fun so that it goes by quickly!

Luckily we live in a global economy, so getting fresh food is still relatively easy.  However, to pair with those vegetables and starches, Michigan still offers wonderful smoked fish – a delicious respite during this cold, winter month. Here are two of my favorites – an entrée and an appetizer. I know you will love them both and both are as easy as can be.

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APPETIZER: SMOKED WHITE FISH (OR SMOKED SALMON) MOUSSE

(Enough for a large party)

¼ Cup Shallots, Cut into rough pieces

1 Pound Smoked Whitefish (OR Smoked Salmon), Boned and Flaked

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

½ cup Cream Cheese

3 Tablespoons lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Vodka

½ Cup Whipping Cream, Whipped to Soft Peaks

White Pepper and Salt, to taste

Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Place the shallots in a food processor and chop them finely, scraping down the side of the bowl and running it a little bit more. Then add the fish and pulse a few times to blend it. Add the next 5 ingredients and process until smooth.  Remove to a bowl.
  2. Whip the cream and fold it in by hand. Season to taste with white pepper, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Pack into one large mold or smaller molds.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  4. Serve with toast points or sliced baguette. Or serve with rice crackers and it’s gluten free!


MAIN COURSE: FISH PARMESAN
(Serves four)

4 Fish Filets (4 to 6 ounces each)
2 eggs, beaten
1 to 2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
Baking Spray

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400⁰F.
  2. Put the egg in one bowl and the Parmesan in another. Spray an oven proof casserole dish with baking spray or lightly rub it with olive oil.
  3. Dip the fish in the egg (on both sides). Then press it onto the Parmesan (both sides again) and place it in the casserole Press more Parmesan into the fish to cover it well.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the fish just flakes.

 NOTE: You can prepare the fish ahead and then just pop it into the oven when you are ready. If it’s cold, allow a few more minutes cooking time.

 It doesn’t get any easier than this! Enjoy!

Think like a chef.

You’re sitting in a restaurant and your dinner entrée has just been delivered. Your plate is simple but beautiful. Why? Because back in the kitchen, the chef has bins of many different items to choose from for your plate. A little bit of this and a little bit of that are what provide color and taste and make that plate special – not to mention economical and the fact that if you eat several different little things, it’s more interesting than if you eat a lot of one thing (even if it’s good). With more variety, your plate looks full, but if you think about it, in restaurants, often there is not that much on it. It just looks like it. So never forget that you eat with your eyes first. Especially when you are in diet mode, you want to present a plate that looks loaded so you feel like you are eating a lot and filling up. Making a plate that looks inviting and has interest is also really simple at home. Just learn to use your leftovers wisely. 

Here’s a perfect example. Yesterday, I picked up a fresh trout filet for dinner. At the moment, my husband doesn’t want any starch, so I headed for the vegetable bin. I found one ripe tomato, one baby cucumber, four baked cipollini onions, one scallion, and one cooked corn on the cob. These are all things I could easily have thrown out, but didn’t. And that’s what you see in the photo – all sliced thinly and set on two plates in a matter of ten minutes. The fish? Split in two, dipped in a whisked egg, sprinkled with a couple of Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and baked at 425º F just until it flaked – about 10 minutes in this case. Verdict? Easy. Colorful. Delicious. Filling. What more could anyone ask for? Ahhhh… One more thing. Something like 1/3 the price of the same meal in a restaurant and without any butter. Now that’s a winner.

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