What outdoor grilling does for summer fish cookery a heavy skillet can do for winter fish dishes. Grilling fish eliminates the heavy sauces, the tricky preparation and much of the guesswork required to turn out a succulent product.
Use a heavy-bottomed skillet and high heat to briefly sear fish, locking in its juices and giving it an almost caramelized flavor. It takes only one minute to brown the fish and about 10 minutes to cook it.
Skillet cooking is excellent for small households since it doesn't require a major investment in equipment or ingredients. Buy a good-quality large skillet with a lid, preferably enamel-surfaced.
It's too easy to overcook delicate fish varieties such as sole or flounder fillets, so beginning cooks might want to choose a durable, full-flavored salmon fillet or steak.
SALMON WITH GINGER
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets or steaks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1/4 cup minced green onions (green and white parts)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
Dust salmon with cornstarch and set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet. Add salmon and brown over high heat 1 minute per side. Remove from skillet.
Heat ginger root, green onions, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chicken broth in skillet. Return salmon to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until salmon is done, turning over after 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 2 servings.
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
Freshly ground white pepper
Heat broth to boiling in medium pan. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 18 to 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in butter, lemon zest, cilantro and parsley. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Stir gently, but well before serving. Makes 2 servings.