My Recipe Box

Quick Fish

by Leslie Pendleton

fromFine Cooking
Issue 90

When it comes to cooking seafood, I live by three key rules:

First, don’t limit yourself to the fish mentioned in a recipe. If it calls for cod and your market doesn’t have any (or if it’s not great quality), substitute an alternative like haddock, halibut, or mahi mahi. Your fish seller can offer you some options.

Next, treat cooking times as a guideline, not as gospel. Stoves, ovens, and pans vary; so does the thickness of each piece of fish. To determine the doneness of fish steaks and fillets, I use a paring knife to peek inside the fish, and I cook it just until it no longer appears raw. (Tuna is the exception—it’s best seared on the outside but still raw on the inside).

And finally, I love fish skin, especially when it’s crisp, as in the recipe for Salmon Seared on Bacon with Balsamic Vinegar, Honey & Rosemary. For this recipe, make sure the fish is scaled. But if you prefer your fish skinless, your seafood seller can easily remove it for you.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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