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Old 11-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mylegsbig View Post
Not sure what type of fish ill be cooking.
This is kind of important though to be able to answer your question. You don't necessarily need to know the exact kind of fish, but a general idea would be helpful. Are you looking for a white flaky fish? Are you looking for a heavier oily fish? It makes a difference in what suggestions you will get. Otherwise it is kind of like asking what herbs you should use with meat. You need to narrow it down a bit more.

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Old 11-03-2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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white flaky

3..2..1.. HUSTLE! HUSTLE!
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:55 AM   #13
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Do you have Julia Child's MAstering the Art of French Cooking? Her poached fish with buerre blanc recipe is wonderful.

IMO buerre blanc can be a bit too rich on fish that is fried or breaded and sauteed.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:47 AM   #14
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While I normally use just extra-virgin olive oil to quickly saute fish, many times I'll add butter, especially when sauteing white fish. In that case, my proportions of butter to oil are half & half. And sometimes, to make things particularly artery-hardening, with cod I'll use 100% butter. Especially when I'm making my breakfast special "Fish & Eggs" for breakfast, which is just butter-sauteed/poached cod with eggs. Fish cooks so very quickly that, if you keep a close eye on things, you can easily use all butter without it burning. When cooking "all butter" with fish, think "saute" rather than "fry".

As far as herbs & sides, that's really personal preference. You can use tarragon if you like it, but many don't because of the licorice flavor. I love it, but because of it's strong taste, I like to understate the seasonings of my sides. Thyme tends to pair better with stronger fish, like Bluefish, Mackerel, etc. - but again, personal preference. If I were you, I'd go with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley to top your white fish. It allows you more leeway with seasoning your sides & isn't obtrusive.

As far as sides go, the sky is your limit. A nicely dressed green salad & some buttered Orzo pasta is always nice - made even more so if you toss your orzo with some of that compound butter you're fond of, along with a little sauteed minced garlic. Just make sure that the ingredients of your compound butter don't clash with any strong herb you decide for your fish. (If you use parsley, it won't clash with anything.)
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:54 PM   #15
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With the butter and oil thing, the butter will burn quicker, so put the oil in first.

Pretty much I'm with GotGarlic on this one.

When I cook fillets, my norm is to go for a delicate fish like flathead or cobbler (catfish) or a redfin. Not sure if they are marketed under the same names in the US though. I make up a seasoned flour using sea salt, ground pepper, mustard powder, dried tarragon, dried parsley and dried chives. Put all in a freezer bag and toss in the fillets to coat. I never use anything but a low heat to pan fry the fillets and always use butter with garlic to fry them in. I turn the fillets over when they are opaque to the half way mark and perhaps add more butter to the pan. To serve, I will sometimes add a splash of verjuice, apple cider vinegar or sherry to deglaze the pan, and a splash of cream. The sauce is just a little touch for the dish but not necessary. Depends how I feel on the day. For a side salad, I tend to opt for either simple lettuce, tomato, beetroot and asparagus with a dressing or a mix of cherry bocconcini and cherry tomatoes with a balsamic vinegar dressing with some baby spinach leaves. Have on occasion been known to just serve with garlic mashed potatoes and caramelised asparagus too.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mylegsbig View Post
wow...that about sums it up no?


Can you elaborate on the mixing olive oil and butter procedure though friend?

Sure. Just heat the pan a bit, then put them both in together. Heat until the bubbling from the butter subsides, then dredge your fish and off you go
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mylegsbig View Post
Hey guys gonna cook up some fish tonight. filets. gonna just pan fry em for like 3 minutes a side in my SS calphalon

gonna use olive oil, salt, and lemon.

But - I would like to get a fresh herb i can mince and throw on top of the completed fish.

Do you have any ideas? The only thing that comes to mind instantly is dillweed, and i dont eat it.

How would fresh parsley do?
Parsley is great. Actually, almost any fresh herb you love blended with a little parsley, will add a lot to the flavor profile. Fennel tops are also a tasty choice.

Also, hmm. What type of a side dish could i whip up with said meal?

Something simple would be nice. Throw your ideas my way, i'd appreciate it.
A little rice pilau (sautéed onion and garlic, then rice, add stock or water, cover and cook 'til done) and a steamed green veggie finished with olive oil and capers or toasted pine nuts will produce a "gourmet" effect with minimum effort.

Also - Question.

Ive seen people in the past mix butter and olive oil together to get a higher smoke point to brown up their fish.

If im cooking like 3 6oz fish filets, About how much of each should i use?

What is the ratio of olive oil to butter? Should i cook them at medium high?

Also, Should i get the olive oil cooking first, then add the butter, or throw in the butter, then when it starts to smoke, throw in the olive oil?

Cheers guys.
I usually mix the two, 50/50. Depends upon how much fish is going in your pan. 2 teaspoons of each? into a HOT pan, swirl around to melt butter and blend the two, then your fillets, face DOWN to brown prettily for no more than 2 minutes, turn over for another 2 or 3. Sprinkle on fresh herbs when you turn them over.

Sorry I didn't see this in time for your dinner last night! this is a ritual we follow at Chez Julia at least 4 times a week.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:52 PM   #18
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parsley and lemon is fine.
my mum used to grill fish and on top used to put fresh garlic chunks (eww), lots of roughly chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt and olive oil in a jar and shake it HEAPS then just pour it over once it was cooked (she may have done this to kill the flavour of the fish hahaha - tasted good and i didn't eat the garlic or parsley just scraped it off hehehe, my dad like to catch this specific fish and well when u get sick of something....long live lemon juice parsley and garlic. :)
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:08 AM   #19
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I love dill on fish.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:47 AM   #20
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MLB -- we'd love a report on how your fish turned out! And will you be trying that again?

I forgot to mention that I don't usually even use flour on fish. I get the pan nice and hot, swirl in the evoo and butter, and add the fish, face down and brown it. Then turn it over and finish cooking on the skin side for a crispy skin. Sometimes I put a thin skim of good Dijon mustard (not GP) on the face before browning. When you turn the fish over, sprinkle some freshly chopped herb of your choice and a bit of salt and pepper. Sometimes a splash of white wine or vermouth to make a little sauce to pour over.

I have a whole section in my book on what I call "Everyday Fish." That's where these ideas are from. Needless to say, they are TNT."

Happy Cooking!

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