Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hook, line & Dinner

One of the things I'm working on this year is television.  Specifically, watching every episode of GOOD EATS ever produced.  

In order.

I'll be following up with episode-by-episode synopsis as the year unfolds.  Yesterday, I watched the classic fish episode HOOK, LINE & DINNER.  Tonight, on  a whim, deicided to try out AB's simple yet succulent pan fried fish technique.  Recipe is very simple - it's all about the technique:

1 large or two small skin-on fish fillets, about 8 ounces (rainbow trout, small salmon, brown trout)Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
2 tablespoon Canola oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons capers, drained
1 lemon, juiced

Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat.
Season fish on meat side with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess. When pan is good and hot, add Canola oil followed immediately by 1 tablespoon butter. As soon as foaming subsides, place fish in pan with the skin side down. Jiggle pan for the first 10 seconds to keep the fish from sticking. Cook until golden crust forms on meat. Carefully turn fish away from you and again jiggle pan for the first few seconds. Cook until skin turns golden brown. Remove to a warm plate.
Pour out the cooking fat, add remaining butter and quickly fry the capers. Remove pan from the heat, add lemon juice to pan and swirl. Pour sauce over the fish and serve.

Started off with a trip to the local fish market, which I've driven by a thousand times but never frequented.    Given it's proximity to a MAJOR fish importer, I expected that it was an offshoot  of the mothership.  Not the case.  When the fish on ice is sold in vacuum-sealed packs, you're not really in the right place.  Had about five varieties of fish, only one of which was whole, and a  bunch of great looking shrimp, including some of the largest jumbo's I've ever seen.  Given the condition of the outfit, I decided to stick to the fare at the local mega-mart.

Dish is amazingly simple.  Fish cost $5.86 for four mid-sized Tilapia fillets.  $2 for the capers, and about $0.50 for a lemon.  Did have to spring for a block of actual butter, which is not traditionally kept in my fridge.  Given my recent health kick, and the fact that it's needed for flavor, I figure what the hell.

Fish turned out really well.  Only tip I would recommend is using a non-non-stick pan and keeping the heat down.  First two fillets got a little extra crispy, due to the TV-advertised time of 4 minutes per side (book says two minutes - use that instead.)

Threw some Haricot verts in the skillet when I was done with a little butter and cooked them right up.  Fed my family for about $7 tonight, and it was delicious.  Can't beat that.

Maybe someday I'll have the stones to attempt the Salt Dome.  As an avid IRON CHEF fan, always wanted to try that.... but not tonight.

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