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Poached Fish with
Thomas's Green Sauce

 

 

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Simple to Spectacular: How to Take One
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Poached Fish


Cooking for Mr. Latte:
A Food Lover's Courtship
with Recipes

Copyright 2003 by Amanda Hesser,
W. W. Norton & Co. Publisher

“Poaching is one of the least stressful ways to prepare fish. Even if you season the poaching water with nothing but a little salt, it will be good. The only way you
can go wrong is to boil it to death. But if you’re nervous about cooking it, this
will never happen because you’ll probably be staring over the edge of the pot
the entire time.

All you need is a long narrow pan. Stainless Steel Fish Poacher with Lid, 18 inches Fill it with just enough water so that once the fish goes in, it will be covered. You can test it out, then remove the fish. Bring the water to a simmer, season it with
salt, then lower the fish (whole or fillets) into it. The water temperature will drop,
so heat it up again, then adjust the flame so that bubbles rise lazily around the
edges. Simmer with the cover askew until the fish is almost done, about 8 minutes
for each inch of thickness. Then shut off the heat and carefully lift the fish from
the liquid. Pat it dry. Peel back the skin, fillet and bone the fish if you like, or if
it’s whole, serve it as is on a platter, and give it to someone to carve.
Rachel [Urquhart] shared a number of great tips with me: ‘I got the basics for poaching fish – buying a fillet from the middle of the fish to avoid skinny ends, timing the cooking, getting the skin off, etc. – from Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything ), but I think I have combined his mechanics for poaching a large
piece of salmon with my own idea of doing it in a fish broth with onions, carrots, celery, lemon rind and a ton of dill laid over the fish as it cooked. [A little white
wine would not hurt, either. Ed.]
I also laid the fillets on a large piece of cheesecloth as they soaked in the broth,
so that I could remove them more easily without the flesh breaking up. Messy,
but ultimately effective. One thing I was a little surprised by was the slight scum
that accumulates on the fish after it’s been poached. Doesn’t look great, so you
have to gently wipe it off. Also, I found it much prettier to serve the fish in pieces, garnished with sprigs of fresh dill and slices of lemon, rather than trying to lay
it out whole, like a piece of wedding salmon.’ “
 

Thomas’s Green Sauce for
Poached or Grilled Fish

“This recipe is from Rachel’s brother, Thomas Canfield. He said that
he likes to serve it on the side, rather than over the fish. ‘This can be
a powerful sauce,’ he writes in his recipe, ‘and people’s enthusiasm
varies.’ It would also be delicious with poached chicken.”

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
(use less if the garlic seems strong)
1 good-size bunch Italian parsley,
large stems removed (about
2 to 2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons capers
1/3 cup best-quality olive oil, and
perhaps a little more
Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes
A few drops of lemon juice
Sea salt

Scrape the onion and garlic into a food processor. Drop in the parsley,
capers, olive oil, pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Process in bursts, stir-
ring occasionally and adding more oil if the sauce is too dry. Do not overblend; it should not be too fine. Season with salt. If the garlic is overpowering [no way!], you can tame the sauce, as Rachel did the
night I was over, by adding a little bread soaked in milk..


Featured Archive Recipes:
Recipes from Amanda Hesser's
'The Cook and the Gardener'
 
Alain Ducasse's Halibut with
Parsley-Shellfish Sauce

Charlie Trotter's Olive-Oil Poached Cod
Daniel Boulud's Spiced Steamed Salmon with
Chutney and Chard

Maquereaux au Vin Blanc
Monkfish la Nage Gidleigh Park
Poached Halibut with Hot-and-Sour Sauce
Poached Red Snapper by Julia and Jacques
Rum-Braised Pompano with Celery,
Thyme and Allspice



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