Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Olive Oil Poached Fish


Stone
 Share

Recommended Posts

Bring the olive oil to a gentle simmer. Put in fish. Poach. Quite lovely, really. Toss a few sprigs of fresh herbs in. How long and what herbs depend upon the fish.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More than lovely; sublime. The fish remains tender, since its little protein coils are not shocked and denatured by overbearing heat. It is infused with the flavors that have joined the oil. Yet it does not grasp the oil molecules to its heart.

To come back down to earth, there was a piece on cooking tuna that way in Fine Cooking several issues ago. Believe me, IT WORKS! (I've also cooked gravlax-style-marinated trout fillets that way, and you can't imagine how wonderful they were.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recommend using a thermometer for this, and shooting for about 160 degrees on the oil.

I also recommend replacing the olive oil with duck fat. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And is this much different than the quasi-Peruvian techniqe espoused by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he puts a layer of aromatics on fish and then pours very hot oil over the fish? This only partially cooks the fish, and just on the outside, but it's quite good.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"New Style Sashimi" it's called.

And yes, Balic, I was talking F.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pierre Koffmann was the first chef to poach salmon in duck fat I believe. It's a great way to treat the fish.

I nicked the idea for a dish I cooked in the 1997 Masterchef semi final : salmon poached in duck fat, served on a potato pancake (a la Georges Blanc) with anchovy dressing. I covered the cooked fish with a strip of smoked salmon for contrast and finished it with some cucumber pickle. It was lovely, even if I do say so myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.k. everyone, but pardon my ignorance.

"Bring the olive oil to a simmer." You can do that? When I heard of boiling cauldrons of oil, usually I next heard that they were being poured over the ramparts onto the nasty English pig-dogs attacking the castle below.

I've heated olive oil pretty hot in a skillet, and I don't recall noticing a simmer or a boil. I thought oil just gets hot. Do you add something to the oil?

And when you drop in the fish, isn't it going to fry?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry.

When you slide the fish in, instead of a rushing sweep of bubbles (as at 350) there is a slight wisp which vanishes. That's what I use instead of a thermometer.

Thermometers are for candy makers. :raz:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dstone: No flour (you don't want a barrier as you would when frying). Good oil; not necessarily the finest. Any thickness -- thicker fish will just take longer. And keep the flame very low, so the oil simmers but doesn't boil/fry.

I couldn't find it online, but the article by Lisa Hanauer on "tuna confit" was in the August/September 2001 issue of Fine Cooking. There was also a recipe from David Pasternack when he was doing "The Chef" column in the NY Times, 6/19/02: "Ventresca Tuna Salad." Either one gives good instructions. Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I nicked the idea for a dish I cooked in the 1997 Masterchef semi final : salmon poached in duck fat, served on a potato pancake (a la Georges Blanc) with anchovy dressing. I covered the cooked fish with a strip of smoked salmon for contrast and finished it with some cucumber pickle.

Wow Andy this sounds sososo good. Won't mind if I half-inch your idea sometime, for personal use, will you? (Ongoing exploration of the rich-upon-rich concept.) It was the strip of smoked salmon that sent it right over the top, I bet.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I nicked the idea for a dish I cooked in the 1997 Masterchef semi final : salmon poached in duck fat, served on a potato pancake (a la Georges Blanc) with anchovy dressing. I covered the cooked fish with a strip of smoked salmon for contrast and finished it with some cucumber pickle.

Wow Andy this sounds sososo good. Won't mind if I half-inch your idea sometime, for personal use, will you? (Ongoing exploration of the rich-upon-rich concept.) It was the strip of smoked salmon that sent it right over the top, I bet.

Please, go ahead.

The final result was quite rich, but it was a small portion so not stomach churningly so, and the pickle helped to lighten the dish a little. The smoked salmon looked quite pretty against the light pink of the poached fish, which was another reason for using it. They published my less than fully reliable recipe in a book so I could scan it and let you have it if you are really interested.

Adam - it was duck fat simply because I always render the fat from my ducks for confiting the legs (also a Pierre Koffman recipe). I'm sure goose would do just as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The final result was quite rich, but it was a small portion so not stomach churningly so, and the pickle helped to lighten the dish a little. The smoked salmon looked quite pretty against the light pink of the poached fish, which was another reason for using it.  They published my less than fully reliable recipe in a book so I could scan it and let you have it if you are really interested.

Andy, thank you, I'd appreciate your recipe. And yes, I can see the color contrast's importance, but the ideas making up the flavor profile are what grabbed my imagination!

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dstone: No flour (you don't want a barrier as you would when frying).  Good oil; not necessarily the finest.  Any thickness -- thicker fish will just take longer.  And keep the flame very low, so the oil simmers but doesn't boil/fry.

Exactly.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dstone: No flour (you don't want a barrier as you would when frying).  Good oil; not necessarily the finest.  Any thickness -- thicker fish will just take longer.  And keep the flame very low, so the oil simmers but doesn't boil/fry.

Exactly.

Should the oil come about 1/2 up the sides of the fish?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No no, make sure the fish is completely covered. Otherwise it will cook unevenly and dry out on top.

The neat thing I discovered is that after the fish is cooked and cooled, you can use some of the oil, strained, to make a mayonnaise to go with it. You might need to cut it with a very mild-flavored oil if it's on the bitter side. And you want to still have enough oil so that the fish is covered when you refrigerate it. (I did this with the oil in which I had cooked trout that I first marinated like gravlax with sugar, salt, grated citrus zests, and vodka. Yum.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would a peanut oil be too light for poaching? We have nice farm-raised catfish, Tilapia, and trout here in local grocery stores. Of course the best is finding some fresh caught Walleye. Oh, My!! I like the idea of poaching in butter. I just wish I could afford or find fresh lobster in Sioux City, IA. The specimens I've seen in the past look very travel weary and scrawny. :laugh:

A different type of batter tip for your next frying session: Try you favorite hard preztels ground in a blender or food processor. This makes a good general flour seasoning for any meat. I recently saw this from a show by Sarah Moulton and it was quite good. One can also use mustard in the egg wash - if going for a dry/wet/dry type of battering.

My pretzel recommendation: Rold Gold Parmasean nuggets. The seasoing on these things is just divine!!! Just opening the bag for smelling purposes is pure joy. Sometimes the ordinary company's test kitchens can produce an extraordinary product. They also have other pretzel flavorings soaked into big pieces like oils, Making for a very efficent way to use their broken pretzels from other bake-runs, I imagine. Very ingenious.

Part of the trick may be getting the freshest bag possible. The crisp crunch and yeasty odor of those Parmaseans.....well I digress. My apologies. :smile:

One last tip: Ground pork rinds [original or spicy] for a low carbohydrate alternative coating. This is very good for cutlets.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had read the Pasternak article (he says it's how the Sicilians cook tuna), but didn't have it with me when I found some nice Oregon albacore at the fish counter. All I remembered was that he said to cook it slowly, so here's how I did it....

I loosely packed the fish (filets, and be sure to take the skin off tuna or you get a nasty fishy flavor) into a saucepan, added oil (I used a Sicilian oil, but I've got a bottomless supply...a cheap extra virgin such as Trader Joe's would've been fine), and heated slowly until it started to make a little noise. Kept the heat low for about 10 minutes, then turned it off and covered it for another 20 or so. The fish was very good, almost like the high-priced canned tuna you get from Spain or Italy.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...