I married into a Southern family and quickly learned the midday meal is “dinner” and the evening meal is “supper”. And this morning I taught a class on some of my favorite summer suppers using salmon. Fish seems to intimidate some folks, so I really hope I’m living up to my motto and teaching how to cook with a little more abandon and a little less worry. Today we focused on two different techniques that can apply to several different types of fish.
First up, we pan seared it to get a nice crispy skin. (Thanks to years in restaurant kitchens I have to refrain from referring to crispy skin as “sexy” when in the company of non-restaurant folk. I get strange looks, but it’s a good description if you ask me!) Grouper, striped bass, or red snapper are other good choices for pan searing with the skin on. I know a lot of people will still peel back the skin and leave it on the side, but I would put crispy fish skin up there with perfectly roasted crispy, chicken skin any day. We served it with haricots verts and an herbed coucous with a lemon dill sauce to pull it all together. We blanched the green beans ahead of time, but the remaining components – couscous, sauce, and sauteing the vegetables were all prepared in the time it took to cook the fish.
Next, we worked on a baking technique that would also work well for halibut, grouper, or haddock. We created parchments packets and filled them with the fish, julienned vegetables, fresh thyme, lemon, white wine, and butter. All are classic flavor pairings that will allow the fish to shine. It was done in about 12 minutes and created its own beautiful sauce all in one step.
I hope you will put fish on the menu this summer and enjoy some light and easy summer suppers.