Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Broiling Seafood - You Know, That Other Knob on Your Oven
I stole that title line from Emiril, it's in reference to the fact that many people never use the broiler, or know how to for that matter.
To me, broiling is just grilling inside your oven, the same basic principles apply, and you get a similar result with your seafood.
It is best to use cuts of fish that are 3/4 to one inch in thickness, as thinner cuts are easily over cooked. Fish steaks work great as they will have an even thickness. Steaks are cross section cuts of the fish and therefore will contain the backbone and some rib bones of the fish. The bone in adds extra flavor to the fish, kind of like a bone in roast, and the meat easily separates from the bone after cooking. If you are shy of bones in your fish, a nice thick fillet will work fine.
A marinade is always a good idea for broiling or grilling especially with more delicate fish. I use a simple one of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh lime juice, and a fresh herb like thyme. You could use lemon or orange juice, and most any fragrant herb works. Do not marinade for more than 40 minutes as the citrus will start cooking the fish, I usually go about 15 minutes and it works well.
Place the fish on the broiler rack so that it is 3 to 4 inches below the heat source. Follow the 10 minutes per inch rule turning about halfway through the cooking time. Once you turn the fish, brush, dab or squirt with a little of the marinade to keep moist while it finishes up. I would under cook salmon slightly, and of course Ahi tuna requires only 1 to 2 minutes a side.
This should produce a nice moist flavorful fish. Always have your sides ready to go as seafood will over cook or dry out if you try and keep it warm while you finish up.
The next time you feel like grilling and the weather isn't cooperating, don't forget about the other knob on your oven. Broiling is a great way to prepare your seafood.