One of the most frequently recommended foods to people who are trying to get in shape or trying to shed unwanted pounds is fish. However, many people find themselves intimidated by this food selection. Even those individuals, who are likely to order it in a restaurant, can find themselves overwhelmed at the idea of having to prepare it. However, cooking fish doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, there are many different ways that the many varieties of fish can be prepared that will make you fall in love with this ingredient all over again. Here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind as you make those first attempts.
First and foremost, always buy fish fresh. Many people who believe that they don’t like fish, only believe that because they haven’t had fresh fish. Even frozen varieties, though safe to prepare and eat, tend to have a more ‘fishy’ aroma and taste, which can turn many people off. For a smoother, lighter flavor, buy your fish from behind the counter. Another great thing about doing this is that the people working there are likely to offer suggestions about preparation for each kind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is why they are there. For first time fish buyers, it might be best to stick with a white, flaky fish. These tend to be better received than thicker, steak-style fish, which are denser and tend to have a more unique flavor. Most white fish adapt very quickly to the tastes of the ingredients added to them.
Seasoning fish is another matter that many people find daunting, but it certainly shouldn’t be. Store often sell spice rubs that are specially blended for seafood seasoning. If you don’t have one of those on hand, citrus is also the next best bet. Combined with a sprinkling or oregano, dill or parsley, lemon or lime can give just enough flavor to make the fish shine. It is best to avoid creamy sauces that are sold to serve over fish. These are often high in fat and will therefore negate some of the goodness of your meal choice.
Once you have the fish at home, it is time to prepare it. There is one very important lesson to have in mind as you get ready to cook. Fish should always be cooked at high heat and it should never be left for too long. Fish cooks very quickly. Though the oven represents one of the slowest methods of cooking, a thin piece can still bake in fifteen minutes or less (thicker cuts might take up to half an hour). In the pan, under the broiler, or on the grill, the cook time will be very short. Use the internet to your advantage to find appropriate times based on the cooking method and the type of fish.
Grilling fish is often among the favorite methods of cooking. This is best done with the use of wood planks. You don’t have to run to a gourmet cooking store to find the supplies you need. Wood planks are as simple as their name suggests. They are simply thin pieces of wood and can even be purchased from a home supply store. It is best to choose a piece of untreated cedar, hickory, or maple that is about half an inch thick. You will want a section small enough to fit on your grill, but long enough to hold the fish filet. Before firing up the grill, it is very important to remember to soak the wood in a bucket of clean water for at least one hour. You might consider adding one cup of citrus (lemon or lime juice) to the water for added flavor. This will amplify the wood aroma given off during grilling as well. Once on the grill, you do not need to turn the fish. Just lie flat on the plank, season as desired and put the grill cover down. Check on the fish periodically, just to be sure there are no flames. A water bottle nearby will help to extinguish them should this occur. It won’t take long to get that fish done and you will likely be amazed at how truly delicious it is.
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