If you have ever been nervous about cooking fish, this is the recipe to help you overcome your fear.
Despite popular belief, cooking fish is probably one of the easiest kitchen skills. When armed with a few basic facts, you will be cooking fish like a pro.
When buying fish, ask to smell it. The fish should smell more like the ocean than dead fish. If it smells overly fishy, that means it is past its prime and will taste overly fishy too.
Don’t overcook it!
Fish should be treated like red meat. It is best served at medium-temperature. Overcooking will give your fish a strong fishy taste and odor.
I like to remove my fish from the heat (whether oven, stove-top, or grill) just before I think it’s done and let it finishing cooking in the hot pan.
Marinating fish will add moisture and flavor. However, keep in mind that fishes are delicate. Fish should never be marinated no longer than 1 hour.
In this recipe, baking the salmon in the marinade helps the fish stay tender and moist.
Ready, Set, Fish!
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 boneless salmon filets (4 to 6 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a shallow non-reactive baking dish whisk together the lemon juice, white wine, and oil. Scatter the shallots, lemon slices, and thyme sprigs evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the salmon filets, flesh side down, into the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 385 degrees.
Remove the pan from the fridge, and let it stand until the fish is to room temperature, about 10 minutes on your kitchen counter. Turn the fish over, so the flesh side is up and the skin side is down, and place it back in the marinade. Generously season the fish with salt and pepper. Bake the fish in the marinade for 30 minutes, or until cooked to desired temperature. Serve immediately.
This lemony marinade is also delicious with other types of light and flaky fish (such as tilapia, orange roughy, and halibut) as well as shellfish (scallops and shrimp). The cooking times may vary slightly depending on thickness.
When marinating anything in an acid such as lemon juice, wine, or vinegar be sure to use a non-reactive container. Cookware made from glass, ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel are all non-reactive and safe to use. (Plastic storage bags are also a great, mess-free option.) Avoid cookware made from aluminum or copper when marinating because those metals will react with the marinade and give your food a metallic taste.