Cooking Methods

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On the Grill

Fish fillets are meant to be grilled. The intense heat cooks the fish quickly and thoroughly. And, it’s easy and preserves the moisture in the fish. Grilling actually makes the fish both very flavourful and juicy.

The first important rule about grilling fish is to ensure it doesn't stick. Whether you oil the cooking surface or brush the fillet with oil, ensure the surface is non-stick prior to placing the fish on the grill. In addition, place the fillet near the edge of the grill, away from the hottest part of the fire.

The most asked question regarding grilling fish is; “When will I know the fillet is cooked through?” When fish are cooked the meat will flake easily with a fork and will appear opaque all the way through. If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent, then it's not done. To make this easy, always start out with a steak or fillet that is evenly cut. If one part of the fillet is thicker, it will make it difficult to cook the entire fillet evenly before the thinner part dries out. If you have a fillet that is uneven consider cutting it in two. Put the thick half on first and when it's about halfway done, put the thinner half on. This is a simple way to avoid burnt and uneven cooking.

Steaks and whole fish hold together better but take longer to grill. If you are grilling whole fish, fill the cleaned cavity with lemon wedges and your favourite spices. This not only adds to the flavour, but allows the heat to move back through the fish evenly.

Poaching

Poaching works best when dealing with firm-fleshed fish fillets or steaks. Place the fish fillets in a saucepan or deep skillet with enough fish stock, water or wine to barely cover the fish. Add your favourite spices and seasonings to the pan, and then bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the fish for approximately 10 minutes (depending on thickness), or until the center of the fillet is opaque. Remove from the oven and serve hot. You may also use the mixture remaining in the pan as a sauce to cover the fillets.

Sauté

Sautéing works well with any type of fish fillet. Marinate the fish fillet with your favourite spices and seasonings. Lightly oil a pan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Heat the skillet over low-medium heat. Place the fillets in the pre-heated pan, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cooking times will vary depending on fillet thickness; fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and appears opaque all the way through. Serve fish fillets while hot.

Baking

Preheat oven to 350oF (177oC). Marinate fillets in your favourite mixture of spices and seasonings. Remove fillets from marinate and place skin-side down on oiled baking sheet. Another option is to cook fillets in foil. Wrapping in foil preserves the fish fillets moisture, versus the crispy finish of non-wrapped fillets. Cook until the thickest part of the fillet flakes easily – approximately 15-20 minutes in the oven. Cooking times will vary depending on fillet thickness, fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and appears opaque all the way through. It may not be necessary to turn the fillets while cooking. Serve while hot.