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   Methods of cooking fish:

Poaching: a perfect method for gently cooking lean fish. Poaching can also add flavor to fatty fish such as salmon. Be sure that you pan is large enough. If you don't have a removable poaching rack, wrap the fish in cheesecloth co that it doesn't break apart when you remove it form the poaching liquid after cooking.

If you must, you can cut the fish in half and reassemble it on a platter for serving. (Disguise the "seam" with a row of thin lemon slices or a sauce.)

Steaming: steamed fish is similar to poached fish, but when steamed the fish is held above the cooking liquid rather than immersed in it. Time your cooking from the first emergence of steam from between pan and lid.

Baking: Fatty fish are the best bakers, but lean fish can be baked, provided it is intermittently basted and not overcooked. Leaving head and tail intact keeps the juices in the fish for a moister result. Any fish will benefit from being baked, wrapped in parchment or foil.

Broiling: In the oven or on the grill, broiling is quick and convenient for small whole fish, steaks or fillets. Brush lean fish with oil or melted butter first. Hinged baskets make turning fish on the frill a foolproof procedure. Be sure to oil grills (and baskets) before using.

Pan frying or sautéing: another quick-cooking method, pan frying is especially suited for small fish and billets. Coat the fish in flour or bread crumbs and fry it in a mixture of butter and oil or butter alone, if you prefer.

Deep- frying: successful deep-frying depends on the temperature of the oil Fry only a few pieces at a time - don't crowd the pan - or the oil will cool, causing the fish to absorb oil and become greasy and sodden instead of crisp and crunchy. A frying thermometer will help you maintain an accurate temperature for best results.


Shellfish: Lobster, clams, crabs, shrimp and oysters can be boiled, steamed, broiled or fried, and also lend themselves to luxurious stews, chowders and bisques enhanced with vegetables, seasoning.

Seasonings - fresh herbs have a natural affinity for fish, as do many spices, wine, cream, mushrooms and onions and their relatives*.

*excerpt from: Best recipes for fish and shellfish by Betty Crocer

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