With regards to pan searing proteins, fish in particular, what is the ideal amount of oil. I always thought you should have a thin film of oil covering the entire pan bottom so the oil will be able to reach parts of the protein that aren't in direct contact with the pan and therefore more even searing. Thomas Keller in ad hoc (p.40) and I think the TFL cookbook he mentions to use more rather than too little for the same reason and others. On the other I've been told I should only have small puddles of oil in the pan-not enough to cover the entire bottom. The reasoning behind this I'm told is you don't want the fish to taste/feel like it's been deep fried. With that method-using very little oil-I had trouble getting crispy skin-edges cooked faster and middle not crspy. I guess this way just takes more skill and constant observation? We weren't using non-stick pans so I guess it makes a huge difference? Maybe I'm focusing too much on perfect crispy skin (I admit I don't know exactly what is a perfectly cooked fish...)?
On the same subject when the fish curls up upon entering the pan, I just leave it alone until it relaxes slightly after a few minutes and then weigh it down gently until it holds its shape. Is that okay? Even so I'll still get softs spots where the skin didn't get crispy-this goes back to the amount of oil.
Also in prepping the fish I made sure to use the knife to run along the skin and remove xs moisture, seasoned the fish just before it goes in the pan and I was not using any wondra flour.
Can everyone comment on how much oil they use and why and any other tips/pointers? Thanks!