So I guess I could throw in a fish to today’s extravagant show of my ability as a cook. (A little shabby, not too, but sort of frightening, when you think of maybe telling everyone how to like me.)
Besides heated from frozen fish filets, no one has ever eaten anything fish from my kitchen (when and if I ever have one that’s running), than me. So I have few sentiments to relate about it. I like trout, catfish, pike, whitefish, bass, snapper — all of some of the best fish around. For that matter, I haven’t trusted myself alone in the kitchen with anything else than catfish, trout, whitefish and once, a snapper; the pike and bass, never found their way home alone with me from the grocery store.
Choosing your fish is something I can’t even tell you how to do. Look for whatever taste in whole, but otherwise headless fish that you like in the store and try to choose something you think you can work with. How to tell that, I don’t know. Generally, a fish that is fatty and will pop with any cooking pressure, probably isn’t the best; which makes catfish rather ironic doesn’t it? (I have no experience with tilapia, but I have forgotten that filet of sole, especially from frozen stock, preferred to fresh for beginners, works well.)
For this post, I will suggest trout, since it’s the most basic fish you can bake without too much hassle for sophistication. snapper and pike are fatty, whitefish is dry and besides all this, I haven’t a clue how to use wine without instruction in a recipe, especially a white wine fish — though, if you can find some instruction, you might want to add it at any time to this here and use a snapper or bass or whitefish instead of trout.
I prefer plain trout without any wine. (Wine is not too great with trout besides, the trout tends to like to drink alone.)
Once again, prepare a small prep bowl with some seasons — like for instance, salt, pepper, parsley, onion and garlic powders. This is a basic cover for your fish. Some people prefer, actually, to have nothing on their fish — you can do that too.
Add some oleo margarine to the outside of the skin of the trout. First, of course, rinse the trout under ordinary temp sink water, pat it dry with paper towels on a plate, cut off the head with a butcher knife if it still has the head. Leave the tail on to make life simpler, or else, cut it off right at the base so you hear the bones go crunch and some are left tag on at the end to be a bigger problem with eating than just pulling off the tail at the end. You can set your oven to about 375 for this animal and let it cook for about a half hour in this warm temperature. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Don’t let a lot of margarine cover the top or bottom of the skin — this is just to keep it from burning. Then sprinkle your seasonings over the top and bottom of the fish. To get the flavor into the fish and not just on the skin, put a small knife incision under the skin to either side, while you work it side to side on the tin foil, using your hands and a metal fork to help turn it. Under the skin, you can add a little bit of the oleo margarine resin and try to spread on some of your seasons, not a lot so that it doesn’t dry out. (I have a great deal of problems trying to get those few seasons to pass out of the skin and onto the fish and still, I prefer not to remove the skin, which is only taking a sturdy paring knife and pulling it off with one hand while you gently cut.)
When the trout is prepared, put it in the oven of course and let it cook. You will be able to tell when it’s done and if it needs more time: there is a definite difference between raw looking which looks like it belongs back in the package somehow and done, when it looks like it’s on its way to something that’s been baked.
Remove it and let it cool on top of the stove; then take a serving knife or utensil and remove it (you might want to also help with your hands), onto a serving ceramic plate. (Remember that the plates and utensils that you use are those you’re going to get stuck cleaning and some materials wash more easily in animal and even vegetable grease and sugars, than others.)
You can of course, cover the plate and let it cool off in the refrigerator. Few people love baked trout enough to refrigerate it and then re-microwave it in order to suit some daily schedule, but if you have to, I wouldn’t worry — microwave time is short and it only tastes a little more dry, no worries.
I would like to remind everyone, there is nothing in my past which indicates I am a chef or even an accomplished cook and everyone once in a while, I just feel like I have to prove it.
I wish it could be more.
Summer Squash Pasta