Saturday, June 12, 2010

If You Can Boil Water, You Can Poach Fish - Simple Saturday

In the time it takes you to make rice, you could have a nice piece of poached fish to go on top of it. Poaching is one of those cooking terms that send the new or non-cook running to a take-out joint. Even if you cook a lot, it may be a technique you've forgotten about.
Here's how easy it is:
in a
1) Choose a liquid and pour about 1-2 inches of it in a skillet (add flavors that you make you hungry), including something with a tang (acid), like white wine, lemon juice, or light vinegar.
2) Bring it to boil, then turn down a little to just barely simmer
3) Put in your fish
4) Cover the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on size or amount of fish).
Ta Da! You've poached! Now just a few great things about poaching, besides how easy it is:

1) This is a light and healthy way to prepare fish, no extra oils or fats are required in cooking.

2) Poaching is excellent for firm white fish, ie. Tilapia, Red Snapper, Halibut.
3) Infusing the liquid adds lots of flavor to the fish without processed additives.
4) The cooking liquid can be used as a sauce or base for fish soup at another time.
5) Poached fish is delicious served warm or chilled (makes an excellent light summer meal).

RECIPE: Lemon and Caper Poached Tilapia

1) In a skillet, add water (about 2 inches for fillets), lemon slices, fresh thyme, basil, a few peppercorns, dash of salt, few sprigs of fresh parsley. (*You can also add even more flavor by cooking a handful of chopped onions in a bit of olive oil before adding the water)
2) Cooking on Med. High, bring the liquid just to a boil and then turn in down to Low/Med.
3) Add your fish to the liquid (it should come about half way up the fish, not over the fish)
4) Cover the skillet and just simmer (not boiling) for 10 minutes.
5) Remove the fish and hold warm while you make a sauce with the remaining liquid.
6) Cook the liquid on Med/High until it has reduced (cooked down) about half-way.
7) Strain out the lemons and spices, etc.. and return the liquid to the skillet again.
8) Continue to cook on low, adding 1 tbls cold butter and whisking continuously.
9) Finally add 1 Tbls. capers, stir and serve the sauce spooned over the fish.
Now here's the most fun part - OPTIONS!

The liquid is up to you and your culinary imagination: fish stock, soup stock, orange juice, coconut milk, tea - go for it. Just remember that it does balance better with a touch of tang, something with acid like a drizzle of white wine, or citrus or a vinegar.

The flavors (aromatics) are up to you, think about what would go together and try it: spices, herbs, rubs, sauces, condiments, seeds and juices.

Let me know what you try, it's always fun for me too!


Anonymous said...

I will try it. It looks delicious even before trying. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

great recipe .. and suggestions