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Fish & Seafood ideas for a newbie

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all :D

My recent encounters with flour, water yeast and salt have led to a new area of interest for me. Fish and Seafood. I always enjoy various fish and seafood dishes when they're done well at restaurants, but I rarely cook fish and seafood at home. Well...my bread escapades have led me to think I need to lay off the bread making a little bit and focus on something lighter...and less calories.

I've looked in various cookbooks and online at a bunch of recipes and am left a bit uninspired. I've found alot of recipes that involve fish but they don't seem to focus on the fish.

I have little experience cooking fish and seafood so my goal is to learn to cook...and learn the natural flavors and textures.

Last night I made my first attempt with no game plan, an idea I don't like doing until I'm more comfortable with the ingredient.

I ended up sautéing some wild caught Black Sea Bass seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in a lightly oiled pan skin side down until nearly cooked through. Then placed in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish it. I sliced some leeks and shredded a little bit of a carrot then deglazed the pan with white wine, added some seafood stock and a bit of lemon grass reduced and then strained. Butter was whisked in and flat parsley added for the sauce. It was served over a very simple Basmati rice made with seafood stock, salt, pepper and a small bit of lemon grass. Sauced, then it was topped with some crisp S&P&flour seasoned leek rings. ( I sometimes can't help but think when I cook, what would BDL's virtual palette have to say? LOL)

I was concerned cooking fish without much seasoning would be bland, but it was actually quite tasty. The black sea bass was so tender light and buttery but had such a nice flavor with good sweetness. I cooked it until just barely done.

The meal turned out good in spite of me. But I'd like to continue my fish-capades (and seafood) with some more meals. However...the black sea bass did cost a pretty penny. So, even though I'm not opposed to spending some money once in a while, I don't want to spend that kind of dough all the time.

Which brings me full circle. Wouldn't homemade bread go great with all this fish and seafood? DOH!

I would love to listen to any advice or recipes that you would like to share.


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post #2 of 6
My most memorable experiences with fish were when it was prepared simply. The flavor of fish should stand on its own without being hindered by competing flavors. The mediterraneans do this best I think. Salt, pepper, and a squirt of lemon is the way my Mom usually prepared fish for us, then at the table we would top with fresh chopped parsley and raw chopped scallions.

Poaching and steaming is one of my favorite ways to prepare fish at home. I've done the following dish with various recipes and it usually consists of making a stew and laying fish filets on top near the end of cooking.

Veggie Stew w/ Steamed Fish
-4 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
-2 zucchinis cut into chunks (same size as potatoes)
-1 onion chopped
-1 clove of garlic chopped
-2 small tomatoes chopped
-1 bunch of dandelion greens
- flaky white fish filets (sea bass, snapper, flounder, cod, etc)
-olive oil
-fresh chopped parsley and dill

1. In a large pot sweat the onions and garlic until translucent.
2. Add the potatoes, zucchini, and tomato and sautee for 5 minutes.
3. Add a cup of water, season with s/p, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add water as needed
4. Lay the dandelion greens into the pot and cover again. Do not stir. Allow to steam until almost tender. Season.
5. When the dandelions are tender lay the seasoned fish filets on top of the greens and sprinkle in the parsley and dill. Cover and allow to steam until desired doneness.

To plate: Arrange the fish filets on a plate, with dandelion greens. Serve with the potatoes and zucchini. Drizzle the inevidable sauce over the fish. :bounce:

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #3 of 6
My daughter's, 8 and 5, love broiled salmon filet, and so do I. With a little lemon beurre blanc it is great. I love how on the thin side of the filet the salmon gets crusty and crispy.
post #4 of 6
I agree with Mapiva, less is more. Fish is delicate in flavor and it's easy to overwhelm it. I usually season lightly with salt and pepper lemon, and sometimes garlic. I usually pan fry or nuke it at home. The sauce is melted butter or brown butter. Overcooking is the main enemy of fish. It shouldn't get above 140 deg,.less for tuna. Tuna can take more agressive seasoning than other fish, as can salmon. Tuna can be marinated in olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and a little basalmic vinegar before cooking. Salmon can be glazed with any number of things. Teriyaki sauce mixed with orange juice and ginger is one simple one. There is a recipe I like though that is designed for the grill although you can make it in the oven. It's chopped tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and a little basil. Lay a fish fillet (any kind works) on a piece of foil large enough to wrap it in. Top with sauce, fold up and crimp to seal. Cook about 1/2 hour on grill or in oven. You can add anyting else you like to the sauce, such as green pepper or mushrooms. I will probably catch heat for saying this, but fish is the ultimate fast food in that it responds very well to microwaving. Season your fish as desired, top with a glob of butter, hit the switch and voila, in 2-3 min., dinner is served.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll be sure to give these a try!

post #6 of 6
Try the cioppino in the recipe section here. You can vary the type of seafood to your tastes if you prefer to and that bread you've been baking will go great with it. If you like fish stews or Manhattan clam chowder you'll like this one.


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