Dining In

Quick Fix Fabulous Fish
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist

Fabulous FishFall means busy. Fall, for many families, means cooking on the run. So, since October is National Seafood Month, it’s a good time to remember one of the fastest and easiest foods — fish. Nutritional value is high, calories and fat grams low and preparation time is often only minutes.

While some types of fish have become expensive, there are plenty available that aren’t. Watch for specials and try varieties that you may not have experimented with before. Fillets and steaks are usually preferred by children and those who have problems with boning at the table. So, shop at a market where there is someone to bone your fish for you rather than buying the often costly pre-packaged fish in meat counters. Here are some tips for purchasing and storing fish:

bulletAllow 4 to 6 ounces per person.
bulletStore freshly thawed or fresh seafood in the refrigerator one to three days.
bulletDefrost, covered, in the refrigerator eight to 10 hours or overnight.
bulletTo preserve quality, avoid re-freezing.
bulletAllow 10 minutes cooking time per inch of thickness for steak or fillet.
bulletTest for doneness (easily flakes) with a fork.

We tried a recipe that was created for halibut, but because it is often shipped from Alaska, halibut is rarely available in our area. On the recommendation of the fish vendor, I tried Chilean Sea Bass, a handsome white-fleshed fish. Bluefish, croaker fillets, cod or pollock can be used. The seasoning mix required for Cajun-Style Broiled Fish complimented the fish very nicely and makes plenty for a number of uses. The Pan-Poached Salmon Piccata was fast, fancy enough for guests, and requires only minutes in the kitchen. Besides, capers do wonders for fish!



bullet4 steaks or fillets, 4 to 6 ounces each (halibut, bluefish, croaker, cod)
bullet1 T olive oil

Seasoning Mix:

bullet1 T paprika
bullet1 1/2 t dried oregano, crushed
bullet1 1/2 t dried thyme
bullet1 t garlic powder
bullet1 t onion powder
bulletBlack pepper, to taste
bullet1/2 t salt
bullet1/4 t cayenne pepper

Directions: In a small container or zip-lock bag, combine and mix ingredients. Place fish on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush fish fillets or steaks with oil. Sprinkle seasoning mix evenly over each steak. Broil until fish tests done with a fork. Do not overcook. Makes 4 servings. Save remaining mix, stored in airtight container, for future use.



bullet1 c water
bullet1 T lemon juice
bullet1/4 t granulated chicken bouillon
bullet4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon steaks or fillets
bullet2 T butter
bullet2 T capers
bulletCoarsely ground black pepper
bulletChopped parsley for garnish
bulletCooked pasta, optional

Directions: In medium skillet (with lid), bring water, lemon juice and bouillon to a boil. Place salmon in pan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork. Remove salmon from pan. Keep warm. Bring remaining liquid in pan to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in butter, stir in capers and season with pepper. Garnish with parsley. Serve over pasta, if desired.


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