Ovens are great tools in the kitchen. When it comes to fish, you can use them to make all sorts of good tasting recipes. Ovens can be used to bake, broil, oven-fry or make fish in pouches. They really are very versatile when it comes to fish.
Baking is a healthy way to cook fish. You want to figure that each inch of thickness in the fish will require 10 minutes of baking time. Lean fish like cod need a little protection in the oven, unlike oily fish like salmon. You can keep white fish from drying out by adding liquid to the tray it bakes in or by adding sauce.
The liquid could be wine, water, citrus juice, milk, butter, oil, or broth. You can also add in vegetables, tomatoes, herbs or other ingredients if you wish. Oily fish can just be put on a baking tray and seasoned. Check your individual recipe for oven temperature settings.
You can also bake fish in a foil or parchment pouch. This keeps the fish moist and tender. You can season it and add other ingredients to make a complete meal inside the pouch.
Whole fish can also be baked with terrific results. A whole fish wrapped in foil may take 40 to 50 minutes to cook. Whole fish with round body types like sea bass bake best if you make several diagonal cuts into the side of the fish.
This helps the fish cook more evenly and quickly. Season whole fish inside and outside before baking. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with lemon juice and herbs. You can stuff the body cavity if you wish with more herbs and lemon slices to add flavor or you can even use stuffing.
Many types of fish work nicely under the broiler. As long as the fish is flat and thin, it should broil well. Always preheat your broiler for 7 to 10 minutes before putting the food underneath it for the best results. Line the bottom half of your broiler pan with foil and lay out your fish.
Oil both sides of your fillet, even if you plan to use butter during cooking. If there is skin on the fish, prick it with a skewer to keep it from curling. Broil them skin side up. You can also slash the skin a couple times to keep the skin from shrinking. Whole fish should not be larger than 2 pounds. Set the fish 2 inches away from the broiler for every 1/2 inch thickness of fish.
This is a healthy alternative to pan-frying. You can season and bread your fish with breadcrumbs, corn flakes or any other crispy coating you like. Oil your baking pan before arranging the fish on it. Bake at high heat until the fish is tender and opaque. The time will differ depending on the thickness of the fish.
As you can see, you can prepare fish many ways in an oven. By changing seasonings, type of fish, sauces and other things, you can create quite a variety of recipes just using your oven.
Photo Credit: Trouts ready for the oven. by WordRidden, on Flickr
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