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Old 02-15-2008, 11:41 AM   #21
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To be honest, when I sear salmon in a pan, it's done enough for me and doesn't need further cooking. Maybe try skipping the baking and go right to eating
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:33 PM   #22
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Cookee,

VeraBlue is right.

You have to do a quick sear of the outside flesh to seal in the juices long enough to bake.

So you're actually cooking the fish using two different processes, 1.) pan frying it, first, to sear the outside, then, 2.) baking it, to thoroughly cook the inside.

Okay, now here are some important tips:

1.) Season your fish before you sear it, then put a light coat of flour over the fish. You're not trying to make a batter, you just want to cover it with enough flour to soak-up all the juices that bleed out after you season it.

Remember, you need to sear it in a frying pan with about 1/4 inch of hot oil, and if neglect to cover the meat with flour, all those juice droplets will go directly into the hot oil causing it to spit and splatter in every direction, so cover with a light coat of flour.

2.) Bake your fish until it is just barely raw when you remove it from the oven.

Let it sit for a while so the residual heat will finish cooking the fish through. The fish should have absorbed enough heat where it will finish cooking outside the oven.

This technique works particularly well with MahiMahi.

You DON'T need to do this for ALL fish. It only works on fish that don't bake well, like the Mahi.

For what "GotGarlc" has wrote in the post above mine, you should either fry salmon, or bake it, but not both unless you've got a HUGE piece off a big fish.

Again, this doesn't work on ALL fish, but if baking causes your fish to dry out, then you might want to try it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:41 PM   #23
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You don't always have to pan sear it first. You can always wrap it in parchment paper with your favorite herbs and cook that way. Rachel Ray did one, some sort of white fish not sure what, with lemons, limes, parsley and olive oil wrapped in parchment paper and baked. Here are some others simular to that:
Fish in parchment Recipe Search Food Network

For me it just depends on the type of fish and the recipe. Some thicker cuts I bake, a lot I just pan fry and am done no baking, this summer I am trying a suggested recipe of wrapping the fish in horseradish leaves instead of the parchment paper.
Can't wait!
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:46 PM   #24
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One more thing...

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Originally Posted by cookee View Post
hi .... i am trying to bake fish fillet pieces salmon and pollock in the oven but it always turns out dry. Have tried searing it on both sides before baking but still not too good.

but maybe my searing isn't done well enough.....

will be trying out some of the suggestions here soon. Its a domestic situation.
You're probably cooking it too long.

I bake a salmon fillet (about 1 lb) at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
You should NOT need to sear it.

Try that!
But remember to allow it to sit for 4-5 minutes.

If it is still dry after that, then you're probably buying fish that was previously frozen. If that is the case, then there is nothing you can do about it.

That's why the best chefs always suggest buying FRESH fish.

IMO, frozen fish is only good in soup, stew, or puree into sauce; otherwise avoid it like the plague.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:09 PM   #25
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No, of course not. He's not the only one who has debunked this myth, though. I don't know what you would consider an authority, so here are a couple of sources:
Yep. Came as a surprise to me, too, when I learned about it being a myth several years ago.

Searing DOES enhance the flavor, texture and presentation, for sure!

Lee
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:48 PM   #26
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Bacon

If you want to bake medallions of fish bacon is your friend. You can wrap several thin fillets together and the hot fat really helps it retain the moisture.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:52 PM   #27
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If you want to bake medallions of fish bacon is your friend. You can wrap several thin fillets together and the hot fat really helps it retain the moisture.
Do you have a more specific recipe for that? It sounds like it could be really good!
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:15 AM   #28
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i'm right behind ya, mav.

lyman, a specific recipe would be appreciated.

i've had scallops, lobster, and shrimp wrapped in bacon, but a firm fleshed white fish (non fatty) sounds like it would work. i'm thinking monkfish, or swordfish.



hmm, so it seems there's three, no, four methods of cooking fish to delevop a crust and not be dry.

breading and frying. best for thinner filets.

pan searing in fat (oil butter, etc.) and baking. good for thicker filets and steaks.

rubbing or topping with a fat and broiling. also good for thicker pieces.

wrapping with bacon and frying/baking. sounds good on anything.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:01 AM   #29
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Pan Roasted Halibut with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Tomato Thyme Salsa

I posted a recipe for that on culipedia.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:09 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookee View Post
yes its confusing for me today too...before have heard from quite a few that searing before oven seals in the moisture.

how long do you usually put a fish pieces of say around 300grms to 400grms about 1.5cm to 2cm thick in an oven? And how hot in the oven? ( if there is searing and if there is no searing)
Most folks think 10 minutes of cooking per inch of thickness of your fish. But sometimes even that can result in overcooking. Like anything else, you'll get better at cooking fish -- "get the feel" as my Momma used to say -- the more you do it.

For thin fillets, the best way to cook them is searing them on both sides in a very hot skillet. That's all. anything more will be overcooking them. You can also broil them very close to the heat source for that same 2 to 3 minutes. You can get by with even no added fat, that way. (If that is your goal)

For fillets like salmon, cod tuna and other thicker fillets, I like to brown the top side in a sauté pan for a few minutes (You will see the "cooking" begin to take place if you look at it from the side). Then I turn it over, add a bit of water or dry white vermouth to the pan, put on a lid and let it cook for the remainder of the time, based upon the thickness of those fillets. You can also pop the pan into a 350 degree F heated oven to finish the cooking, but it works just as well on top the stove, and in the summer, you probably don't want to heat your kitchen up any more than necessary...
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:10 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrestLyman View Post
If you want to bake medallions of fish bacon is your friend. You can wrap several thin fillets together and the hot fat really helps it retain the moisture.
Lots of folks want to eat fish because it's NOT fat, and bacon defeats that purpose. As well, many folks have religious objections to eating bacon, so that won't work for everyone.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:10 AM   #32
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i'm curious: do any of the pros use a broiler or salamander? no one except me has recommended that. i prefer my thicker hunks of fish, topped with butter, this way.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #33
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i'm curious: do any of the pros use a broiler or salamander? no one except me has recommended that. i prefer my thicker hunks of fish, topped with butter, this way.
sure they do! Salamanders are great for cooking fish! wish they were available to the home cook. I tend to use my broiler more for the thin fillets, when I'm doing a "no fat thing."
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:20 AM   #34
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thanks chefjune.

hey, i just remembered a recipe of yours that'd help here. i still have it in my "to make soon" list.

what type of fish was that that you use in your falafel crusted fish? lemme go search for your post.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:27 AM   #35
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Another way - take a cookie sheet with sides and place in a preheated 350 degree oven and let heat for 30 minutes. Have your filets ready to "go" i.e., egged, floured, and bread crumbed, seasoning all, of course. Let fish rest for about 10 or so minutes. Once pan is hot remove carefully, give a couple swirls with olive oil to create a surface to "fry" on. Place fish on (it should sizzle) and place back in oven for about 30 minutes or so.

Now, depending on the thickness of your fish you'll have to take it from here.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:47 AM   #36
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yes its confusing for me today too...before have heard from quite a few that searing before oven seals in the moisture.
People repeat myths for eons - that doesn't make them true. Lots of people - probably most - still think mayonnaise makes food go bad faster, or that using a plastic cutting board is safer than using a wooden one, or that taking meat out to bring it to room temp makes it cook faster (does it make up for the time it takes to bring to room temp?). Ya gotta work those critical thinking skills
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:51 AM   #37
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umm, gg, mayo does go bad quickly. and plastic boards can be cleaned better.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
People repeat myths for eons - that doesn't make them true. Lots of people - probably most - still think mayonnaise makes food go bad faster, or that using a plastic cutting board is safer than using a wooden one, or that taking meat out to bring it to room temp makes it cook faster (does it make up for the time it takes to bring to room temp?). Ya gotta work those critical thinking skills
those aren't myths, GG! except that taking meat out to bring it to room temp doesnt make it cook faster, it makes it cook more evenly.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:03 AM   #39
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umm, gg, mayo does go bad quickly. and plastic boards can be cleaned better.
Umm, sorry, BT, those are myths. Please don't make me post these again, or I'll have to find a woodshed of my own.

Check out Myth #15: Food Myths

From UC-Davis Food Safety Laboratory: Cutting Board Research :

"We soon found that disease bacteria such as these were not recoverable from wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. New plastic surfaces allowed the bacteria to persist, but were easily cleaned and disinfected. However, wooden boards that had been used and had many knife cuts acted almost the same as new wood, whereas plastic surfaces that were knife-scarred were impossible to clean and disinfect manually, especially when food residues such as chicken fat were present. Scanning electron micrographs revealed highly significant damage to plastic surfaces from knife cuts."
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:09 AM   #40
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well, the problem with their myth busting lies in that they "manually cleaned" their boards. the beauty of plastic is that it can be put in a dishwasher and (mostly) disinfected, whereas a wooden board would swell and split under such harsh conditions and become useless. i've done both.
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