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SeafoodSuzy

Seafood Noob

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Hola, everybody! I really enjoy this site... probably too much. I can't go to work unless I've sneaked a peek at the "Dinner!" thread. OK, back to the subject of work. I am a seafood clerk at an "upscale" food market in North Carolina. (is it okay if I use the name?) My problem is, I have no idea how to prepare most of the fish that I sell to my customers. We have a very interesting variety of fresh seafood semi-weekly, but I frequently have to answer the question, "How do you cook it?" with a grin and "lemonsaltpepperbutter10minutesperinchofthickness" I feel like a fraud. I am sure that their are boundless possibilities on google, but I would really love it if some of you wonderful people could give me some of your most successful recipes for your favorite fishies. my goal is to try a new item weekly until I work my way through our inventory. ANY input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!!


Edited by SeafoodSuzy (log)

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Marinate diver scallops in 1:1 balsamic/light soy for 15 min.

Saute in butter.

Remove scallops when done and reduce pan juices with a splash of heavy cream, a 4 finger pinch of sugar, salt and pepper till the sauce coats a spoon.

Eat.

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Marinate diver scallops in 1:1 balsamic/light soy for 15 min.

Saute in butter.

Remove scallops when done and reduce pan juices with a splash of heavy cream, a 4 finger pinch of sugar, salt and pepper till the sauce coats a spoon.

Eat.

wonderful! we have fresh sea scallops this week, too! I've tried cooking them, and I always get a little confused as to how to tell when they are done.

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Hola, everybody! I really enjoy this site... probably too much. I can't go to work unless I've sneaked a peek at the "Dinner!" thread. OK, back to the subject of work. I am a seafood clerk at an "upscale" food market in North Carolina. (is it okay if I use the name?) My problem is, I have no idea how to prepare most of the fish that I sell to my customers. We have a very interesting variety of fresh seafood bi-weekly, but I frequently have to answer the question, "How do you cook it?" with a grin and "lemonsaltpepperbutter10minutesperinchofthickness" I feel like a fraud. I am sure that their are boundless possibilities on google, but I would really love it if some of you wonderful people could give me some of your most successful recipes for your favorite fishies. my goal is to try a new item weekly until I work my way through our inventory. ANY input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!!

Welcome to eGullet, Suzy!

Let me guess -- Harris Teeter? (My MIL lives in New Bern. Ms. Alex will be there for a visit in a couple of weeks. She often shops at HT when she's in town, so I'll ask her to stop by the seafood counter and say hi to you.)

First thought: Given that customers frequently ask you how to cook fish, they're knowledge is rather limited, so your standard response is probably a pretty good one. The keys, as it appears you already know, are, "Keep it simple" and "Don't overcook it."

Otherwise, you might suggest they season with herbs like dill or tarragon. For thicker fish like salmon or halibut, a dipping sauce of soy sauce, lime juice, and grated ginger is good.

Here's an interesting recipe from The Surreal Gourmet. Make sure it's real maple syrup and freshly ground pepper. I also cook this at 400, not 500; I'd probably recommend 350 to your customers.

Of course I can't locate the post that talked about this, even having used both search engines, but one of the best salmon preparations I've ever had involved (iirc) patting a mixture of lemon zest, sugar, and salt on the filet, covering it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerating it for a couple of hours, rinsing off the rub, then cooking the filet very slowly (150F, maybe). I hope someone else remembers where this was.

For a narrower search, you can take a look at RecipeGullet. Epicurious.com is worth a look, too.

BTW, I assume you meant that your seafood arrives semi-weekly (twice a week), not bi-weekly (every two weeks).


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Marinate diver scallops in 1:1 balsamic/light soy for 15 min.

Saute in butter.

Remove scallops when done and reduce pan juices with a splash of heavy cream, a 4 finger pinch of sugar, salt and pepper till the sauce coats a spoon.

Eat.

wonderful! we have fresh sea scallops this week, too! I've tried cooking them, and I always get a little confused as to how to tell when they are done.

Tips:

1) Pat them as dry as possible before sautéeing.

2) I use a 1:1 mixture of butter and oil over medium-high heat.

3) Cooking time depends on the size of the scallops. For large ones (e.g., U-8), I do about 2½ minutes on the first side and about 1½ minutes on the other side. Press on one with your finger before cooking so you'll have something for comparison. When they're done, there should be more resistance than when they're raw, but should still feel a little squishy.

4) After the scallops are done, and while you're preparing the sauce, place them on a wire cake rack or similar over a pan or a large piece of foil in a 200F oven. This allows the cloudy liquid to drip out and makes for a much, much nicer presentation. (This is a Paula Wolfert tip.)


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Marinate diver scallops in 1:1 balsamic/light soy for 15 min.

Saute in butter.

Remove scallops when done and reduce pan juices with a splash of heavy cream, a 4 finger pinch of sugar, salt and pepper till the sauce coats a spoon.

Eat.

wonderful! we have fresh sea scallops this week, too! I've tried cooking them, and I always get a little confused as to how to tell when they are done.

Tips:

1) Pat them as dry as possible before sautéeing.

2) I use a 1:1 mixture of butter and oil over medium-high heat.

3) Cooking time depends on the size of the scallops. For large ones (e.g., U-8), I do about 2½ minutes on the first side and about 1½ minutes on the other side. Press on one with your finger before cooking so you'll have something for comparison. When they're done, there should be more resistance than when they're raw, but should still feel a little squishy.

4) After the scallops are done, and while you're preparing the sauce, place them on a wire cake rack or similar over a pan or a large piece of foil in a 200F oven. This allows the cloudy liquid to drip out and makes for a much, much nicer presentation. (This is a Paula Wolfert tip.)

Tee Hee!! :wacko: Thanks for the bi-weekly correction. Yup, every Tuesday and Saturday. Also Thursdays for big sale items. And you are correct- I'm stationed at the Teeter. I'm a transplant from the Wal Mart seafood department. HUGE difference. I'll be on the look-out for your MIL. And thanks for the scallop tips. I use the fingertip resistance test with steak, and it works wonderfully. We are selling 10-20 count scallops right now, but we have as large as U-6 frozen. Do you have any experience with Cobia?

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Marinate diver scallops in 1:1 balsamic/light soy for 15 min.

Saute in butter.

Remove scallops when done and reduce pan juices with a splash of heavy cream, a 4 finger pinch of sugar, salt and pepper till the sauce coats a spoon.

Eat.

wonderful! we have fresh sea scallops this week, too! I've tried cooking them, and I always get a little confused as to how to tell when they are done.

Tips:

1) Pat them as dry as possible before sautéeing.

2) I use a 1:1 mixture of butter and oil over medium-high heat.

3) Cooking time depends on the size of the scallops. For large ones (e.g., U-8), I do about 2½ minutes on the first side and about 1½ minutes on the other side. Press on one with your finger before cooking so you'll have something for comparison. When they're done, there should be more resistance than when they're raw, but should still feel a little squishy.

4) After the scallops are done, and while you're preparing the sauce, place them on a wire cake rack or similar over a pan or a large piece of foil in a 200F oven. This allows the cloudy liquid to drip out and makes for a much, much nicer presentation. (This is a Paula Wolfert tip.)

Tee Hee!! :wacko: Thanks for the bi-weekly correction. Yup, every Tuesday and Saturday. Also Thursdays for big sale items. And you are correct- I'm stationed at the Teeter. I'm a transplant from the Wal Mart seafood department. HUGE difference. I'll be on the look-out for your MIL. And thanks for the scallop tips. I use the fingertip resistance test with steak, and it works wonderfully. We are selling 10-20 count scallops right now, but we have as large as U-6 frozen. Do you have any experience with Cobia?

Only eating it (at a restaurant).

My MIL isn't moving very well nowadays (hip replacement + arthritis), so it'll be just my wife stopping by.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver fought a cobia battle on Iron Chef America a week or so ago. The show details preparation of cobia from living to dinner plate. In the end, Mario wins, or rather REIGNS SUPREME!


Edited by Blamo (log)

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Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver fought a cobia battle on Iron Chef America a week or so ago.  The show details preparation of cobia from living to dinner plate.  In the end, Mario wins, or rather REIGNS SUPREME!

I saw that episode too! It was quite awesome. Cobia is a very, very firm fish. I was almost alarmed when I cut up some of the fillets. Maybe the flesh softens with cooking? It's farm raised, from Belize.

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Thanks for the replies, guys! :smile: This is so great! I'm committing the scallop recipes and cooking technique to memory. The new sale starts tomorrow. The highlights are frozen bay scallops (120-180ct) for $3.99lb, and fresh local catfish for $4.99lb. I'm rather intrigued by the catfish. It has such a soft, almost fluffy quality. And I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for them?

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Thanks for the replies, guys!  :smile:  This is so great! I'm committing the scallop recipes and cooking technique to memory. The new sale starts tomorrow. The highlights are frozen bay scallops (120-180ct) for $3.99lb, and fresh local catfish for $4.99lb. I'm rather intrigued by the catfish. It has such a soft, almost fluffy quality. And I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for them?

Catfish just begs to be fried. If that is not to someone's liking, they stand up to a Thai style curry great.

Since you are in NC, a great tip would be to turn some customers on to BBQ salmon. Whether homemade, favorite brand, grilled or broiled it is one of the best things in my opinion to happen to salmon. I can't say that for any other fish, but it holds up well.


Edited by Doodad (log)

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Thanks for the replies, guys!  :smile:  This is so great! I'm committing the scallop recipes and cooking technique to memory. The new sale starts tomorrow. The highlights are frozen bay scallops (120-180ct) for $3.99lb, and fresh local catfish for $4.99lb. I'm rather intrigued by the catfish. It has such a soft, almost fluffy quality. And I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for them?

Catfish just begs to be fried. If that is not to someone's liking, they stand up to a Thai style curry great.

Since you are in NC, a great tip would be to turn some customers on to BBQ salmon. Whether homemade, favorite brand, grilled or broiled it is one of the best things in my opinion to happen to salmon. I can't say that for any other fish, but it holds up well.

BBQ....mmm. How bout a recipe? :smile:

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Thanks for the replies, guys!  :smile:  This is so great! I'm committing the scallop recipes and cooking technique to memory. The new sale starts tomorrow. The highlights are frozen bay scallops (120-180ct) for $3.99lb, and fresh local catfish for $4.99lb. I'm rather intrigued by the catfish. It has such a soft, almost fluffy quality. And I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for them?

Catfish just begs to be fried. If that is not to someone's liking, they stand up to a Thai style curry great.

Since you are in NC, a great tip would be to turn some customers on to BBQ salmon. Whether homemade, favorite brand, grilled or broiled it is one of the best things in my opinion to happen to salmon. I can't say that for any other fish, but it holds up well.

BBQ....mmm. How bout a recipe? :smile:

No real recipe just as you would imagine. Take or make your favorite sauce and brush on the fish. Grill or broil to desired doneness. It sounds kind of ewwww, but it is delicious.


Edited by Doodad (log)

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My "go to" for salmon is to warm some apricot jam and mix in about half as much mustard...this usually happens in a coffee cup in the microwave

Salt and pepper the salmon and thickly spread with apricot mix

bake or broil...10 min per inch

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Suzy- this is good for 2 fillets, 6 - 8 oz. each:

For a simple, yet delicious fish fillet of virtually any kind, heat up a good 10" - 12" sautee pan over medium heat, add equal parts olive oil and butter, say 2TBS of each.

While the pan is heating, put about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour on a piece of parchment, or wax paper, or a plate, for that matter. Add a good pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper, maybe a pinch of paprika and mix it up.

WARNING! - this part sounds goofy: taste a small pinch of the flour. Adjust seasonings. If the flour is bland, most likely the fish will be.

Dry the fish on paper towel if necessary. Coat both sides of the fish lightly in the seasoned flour, gently shake off excess.

Lay fillets into pan, they should make a good sizzle sound. Cook for about 4 -5 minutes on the first side, it should be a LIGHT golden brown. Flip and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes.

Remove fillets to warmed plates. Squeeze a lemon into the pan and swirl it around.

Spoon the sauce over your fish, maybe add some parsley, and voila! You have a simple, delicious dish. The French call this "meuniere" - in the style of the miller's wife.

As you experiment with this concept, you can add additional seasonings to the flour for more fun and enjoyment!


"Tell your friends all around the world, ain't no companion like a blue - eyed merle" Robert Plant

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Suzy- this is good for 2 fillets, 6 - 8 oz. each:

For a simple, yet delicious fish fillet of virtually any kind, heat up a good 10" - 12" sautee pan over medium heat, add equal parts olive oil and butter, say 2TBS of each.

While the pan is heating, put about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour on a piece of parchment, or wax paper, or a plate, for that matter.  Add a good pinch of kosher salt, a few  grinds of pepper, maybe a pinch of paprika and mix it up.

WARNING! - this part sounds goofy: taste a small pinch of the flour.  Adjust seasonings. If the flour is bland, most likely the fish will be.

Dry the fish on paper towel if necessary.  Coat both sides of the fish lightly in the seasoned flour, gently shake off excess.

Lay fillets into pan, they should make a good sizzle sound. Cook for about 4 -5 minutes on the first side, it should be a LIGHT golden brown. Flip and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes.

Remove fillets to warmed plates.  Squeeze a lemon into the pan and swirl it around.

Spoon the sauce over your fish, maybe add some parsley, and voila!  You have a simple, delicious dish. The French call this "meuniere" - in the style of the miller's wife.

As you experiment with this concept, you can add additional seasonings to the flour for more fun and enjoyment!

I make virtually the same dish, only I usually stir in a little white wine, let it evaporate a little, then throw in a tespoon of capers. Made this two nights ago with catfish and have had success in the past with tilapia.


Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Suzy- this is good for 2 fillets, 6 - 8 oz. each:

For a simple, yet delicious fish fillet of virtually any kind, heat up a good 10" - 12" sautee pan over medium heat, add equal parts olive oil and butter, say 2TBS of each.

While the pan is heating, put about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour on a piece of parchment, or wax paper, or a plate, for that matter.  Add a good pinch of kosher salt, a few  grinds of pepper, maybe a pinch of paprika and mix it up.

WARNING! - this part sounds goofy: taste a small pinch of the flour.  Adjust seasonings. If the flour is bland, most likely the fish will be.

Dry the fish on paper towel if necessary.  Coat both sides of the fish lightly in the seasoned flour, gently shake off excess.

Lay fillets into pan, they should make a good sizzle sound. Cook for about 4 -5 minutes on the first side, it should be a LIGHT golden brown. Flip and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes.

Remove fillets to warmed plates.  Squeeze a lemon into the pan and swirl it around.

Spoon the sauce over your fish, maybe add some parsley, and voila!  You have a simple, delicious dish. The French call this "meuniere" - in the style of the miller's wife.

As you experiment with this concept, you can add additional seasonings to the flour for more fun and enjoyment!

This sounds awesome! It's very simple, and many of my customers are seniors.. they have a 5% discount on Thursdays. I can't wait to to try this experiment at home.

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My "go to" for salmon is to warm some apricot jam and mix in about half as much mustard...this usually happens in a coffee cup in the microwave

Salt and pepper the salmon and thickly spread with apricot mix

bake or broil...10 min per inch

tracey

dijon mustard? any special kind? or just your favorite? And this may sound strange, but does salmon have a strong fishy taste? Do you prefer farm raised or wild caught?

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My "go to" for salmon is to warm some apricot jam and mix in about half as much mustard...this usually happens in a coffee cup in the microwave

Salt and pepper the salmon and thickly spread with apricot mix

bake or broil...10 min per inch

tracey

dijon mustard? any special kind? or just your favorite? And this may sound strange, but does salmon have a strong fishy taste? Do you prefer farm raised or wild caught?

No, salmon isn't "fishy" it tastes like it smells, as long as it is fresh. Wild is, IMHO, always better than farmed.

I've just discovered Myer lemon juice for fish; WOW! I only just found Myer lemons in FL this past week, in a semi-gourmet Publix. They're YUMMY! I Micro-Planed the zest from the one I used tonight and stuck it in the freezer for future reference, and juiced the lemon over my baked stuffed clams for supper. Amazing! :wub:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Salmon is "medium fishy" to my taste. The dark bits are the fishiest tasting. I trim them.

My favorite salmon is poached in water which has had a mirepoix (shaved carrot, diced celery, chopped onion) cooked in it for 30 minutes along with a clove, bay leaf, & salt. Lay salmon fillets on the veg and simmer, covered, gently till done...about 5 to 10 min depending on thickness. There should be enough liquid to come up to near the top of the fish, but not cover the fish.

Poaching mavens may have better techniques, but this works well for me.

I serve over spinach with a lime vinaigrette and spiced pecans.

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My "go to" for salmon is to warm some apricot jam and mix in about half as much mustard...this usually happens in a coffee cup in the microwave

Salt and pepper the salmon and thickly spread with apricot mix

bake or broil...10 min per inch

tracey

dijon mustard? any special kind? or just your favorite? And this may sound strange, but does salmon have a strong fishy taste? Do you prefer farm raised or wild caught?

No, salmon isn't "fishy" it tastes like it smells, as long as it is fresh. Wild is, IMHO, always better than farmed.

I've just discovered Myer lemon juice for fish; WOW! I only just found Myer lemons in FL this past week, in a semi-gourmet Publix. They're YUMMY! I Micro-Planed the zest from the one I used tonight and stuck it in the freezer for future reference, and juiced the lemon over my baked stuffed clams for supper. Amazing! :wub:

:hmmm: I wish I could find some of those lemons here. no such luck. And what kind of flavor difference is there between the wild and farm raised?

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The wild salmon, to me, has a richer flavor and a better color. The farm raised salmon are fed a special diet to turn the flesh a brighter red. Hmmmm. Maybe it's only marigolds, like for chicken, but to me, that ain't fish food! :raz:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Question for Suzy...where do the golden trout that you have frequently, come from? I assume they are farmed?

I am afraid you have put me off cod for good! As you said, YUCK!!!!

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