Fisherboy loves to go fishing. That is fairly obvious from his nickname.But this is not just a normal hobby that a boy likes to do. I mean, he REALLY loves to go fishing.
He gets up at 5am, while on vacation, to spend all day catching, or not catching, because the fish aren't always biting. We do love eating fresh fish...but 5am? Not for me. Or Baby Girl. But when our friend Matthew the Fisherboy goes off to fish, Baby Girl and I get ready for some cooking. And now that we know the foolproof secret to fish on the stove, the cooking is simple and the results are delicious.
I used to try and cook fish...I really did...because Baby Girl is a lover of fish. But more times than not, my lovely fish would get all stuck to the bottom of the pan or grill and I would end up with a dry and unattractive offering. One simple cooking tip from chef extraordinaire Maili Halme (click here for Maili's blog) has changed my world when it comes to fish.
Fisherboy showed up recently with fish to feed the family and Baby Girl asked me how we should cook it. Just the week before, I had cooked with Maili and she showed me the method of cooking fish she learned long ago from a chef in Hawaii. This was to be the trial run. Maili taught me to coat the fish in oil and use a dry pan. I have seen her use grapeseed oil and I have used olive oil or safflower oil but the key is to put the oil on the fish, NOT in the pan. A nonstick pan works best and it must be dry. No oil in the pan. Not a drop!
Baby Girl mastered the fish on the first try. She was proud. I am happy. I have a fish source and I have a fish cook. We are having a tasty summer!
"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." -John Buchan
Fisherboy's Fresh Fish
2-3 pounds fresh fish (sea bass, yellowtail, shark, red snapper) 2-3 T grapeseed, olive or safflower oil 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper Lemon zest and olive oil to serve
Cut fish into portions 6-8 oz each. Pour oil, salt and pepper over fish and rub all over both sides of each portion. Heat pan to medium high heat and place fish in dry, hot pan. Leave for at least a minute or two depending on thickness of fish. Wait until you see the bottom 1/3 of the fish turning white and the corners getting a little browned before you check. This could take up to 5 minutes if the fish is really thick. Turn the heat down if it seems to be getting too brown. Slide a thin spatula under the fish and it should easily release from the pan so you can flip it over. It should have a nice light brown crust. Cook for about the same time on the second side as you did the first. Remove the fish from the pan to a plate to rest. Drizzle olive oil over each piece and sprinkle lemon zest on top.