The kind of fish recipes you choose to make depends on your personal preference. Do you want to make something fast and easy or do you want to spend a bit more time and cook something more elaborate (yet still simple enough for beginners)? If you are making a family meal, you might like to make something in the oven, such as a fish casserole, especially if you do not usually cook fish.
If your family are carnivores who do not often get fish, adding some fish to a stew or soup might be preferable to serving a fillet of fish or a whole small fish. A lot of people are unsure about fish recipes and kids are notoriously picky eaters, so make a flavorful fish casserole or chowder first and, if they enjoy that, you can experiment with other easy fish recipes.
Sautéed Fish Recipes
Sautéed fish is a nice idea if you want to keep a close eye on the fish as it cooks. Cook fillets in butter or oil (one tablespoon each of butter and oil is especially flavorful) for a few minutes, shaking the pan gently so it does not stick. If the fish has skin, you should put it skin side-down. Flip the fish and do the other side. Thin fillets such as tilapia or sole will only need one to three minutes per side and thicker ones like halibut might need four to six minutes per side.
You might find the second side cooks faster so keep an eye on it. As soon as the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, it is done. Actually, it is better if you remove it from the pan when the thickest part is still ever so slightly translucent. The fish will keep cooking for a minute because it is so hot. This ensures you do not overcook it. The skin will peel off easily.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, capers, garlic, shallots, or similar ingredients to the drippings in the pan after cooking the fish. Cook the mixture over a moderate heat and this will form a wonderful sauce to serve over the fish. You can serve a sautéed fish recipe with mashed or boiled potatoes or perhaps rice.
If you are gradually introducing your family to the delights of fish, perhaps you would prefer to serve a favorite side dish or two, such as fries and corn on the cob or whatever you know the family likes. Then they will be happier to try the new fish recipe because they will like everything else on the plate.
How to Make Planked Fish
If you are looking for unusual fish recipes, you might like to try planked fish. The fish is cooked in a gas, coal or oil oven, on a one inch thick, hard wooden plank, perhaps ash, hickory or oak. This plant fits in the oven like a shelf. Any white-fleshed fish is nice planked, although shad is especially good. Rub the plank with salt and heat it.
Clean the fish and baste it with butter. Add salt and pepper and put it skin side-down on the plank. Cook the fish over a high heat until it has a good color, then turn the heat down, and cook it slowly for half an hour. Serve it on the plank, garnished with lemon and parsley.
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