Best Recipes Ever: Easy Fish
Crusted Hake with Radishes and Turnips
To create an insanely crisp crust for delicate hake fillets, Food & Wine's Justin Chapple uses Cream of Wheat cereal, an idea inspired by NYC chef Floyd Cardoz.
Curry Crab Rundown
Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab, mackerel or lobster in coconut milk. (The word rundown refers to the simmering down of the coconut milk.) Bradford Thompson, who loves the whole crab he eats along Jamaica’s southern coast, near the town of Black River, uses chunks of lump crabmeat in this spicy, rich coconut-curry stew. Curry, which is popular in Jamaica, was introduced there in the 17th century by East Indian slaves who were brought to the island (then an English colony) by the British.
Pan-Fried Flounder with Poblano-Corn Relish
Brian Talley, who says he “cooks as much fish as everyone in the family will tolerate,” pairs sweet flounder (a great source of lean protein) with a slightly smoky, healthy relish of homegrown chile peppers, corn and avocado.
From Tamara Murphy, a 1994 Best New Chef, now at Brasa in Seattle.
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Garlic-Herb Butter
The best way to eat these shrimp in the shell is to peel them at the table and lick the garlicky butter off your fingers.
Snapper in Chile-Lime Sauce (Pescado en Chile-Limón)
Pan-frying is a fabulous way to cook fish. This preparation is the signature dish for the area around Lake Catemaco, which boasts some of the best freshwater and saltwater fish and shellfish in the world. In this version, the fried fish simmers briefly in the sauce before serving.
Tuscan Grilled Trout
A simple garlic-and-herb-infused oil combined with wine vinegar acts as both a basting liquid and a sauce for the fish. The trout skin protects the flesh and turns an appealing golden brown during grilling.
Steamed Salmon with Watercress and Lemon Butter
Steaming keeps fish moist and couldn't be quicker. Here watercress is steamed with the salmon, and both benefit from a spoonful of lemon butter. You could use olive oil instead of the butter, however, or just serve lemon wedges.
Cod with Tomato Ginger Sauce
Though you can put this simple tomato sauce together in a matter of minutes, it has a surprisingly complex flavor. The sauce will seem thick, but the juices that come from the fish during cooking will thin it to just the right consistency.
Grilled Halibut with Orange Rémoulade
The only part of this simple supper that requires any effort is the rémoulade sauce—and that just calls for a little chopping and stirring. Dried tarragon works surprisingly well here, but use fresh, of course, if you have it on hand.
Arctic Char with Charmoula
This roasted garlic charmoula—a classic North African marinade and sauce packed with fresh herbs and spices—is excellent with a rich fish, such as arctic char or salmon.
Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn and Watercress Salad
Quinn Hatfield stuffs pickled ginger into slits in the salmon to infuse it with flavor. To keep the sliced fish intact and the ginger in place, he cleverly skewers the fillets before cooking.
Ten-Minute Salt Cod with Corn and Littleneck Clams
Instead of using salt cod, a classic Portuguese ingredient that takes days to soak, chef George Mendes quick-cures fresh cod by standing it in kosher salt for only 10 minutes. He says cod is naturally soft and flaky (“as well as bland,” he adds), so salting gives it a firmer texture and a more pronounced flavor.
Grilled Swordfish with Lima-Bean-and-Herb Butter
Lee Woolver uses lima beans to make a green butter for fish. For a neat presentation, roll the herbed butter in plastic wrap into a cylinder and refrigerate until firm. Slice off rounds of butter as you need them.