Jennifer Davick / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling: Kristi Michele Crowe
How to Choose the Perfect Fillet
Truly fresh fish smells only faintly of the sea. A little salt and coarsely ground pepper along with a drizzle of olive oil are the only things needed to bring out the fabulous flavor. A sprinkling of fresh herbs is purely optional.
- Rather than shop for a specific type of fish, see what looks the freshest.
Similar types of fish can usually be substituted in a recipe. If the ingredient list calls for a mild-flavored white fish such as cod, for example, you can easily substitute orange roughy or snapper. Bolder-flavored fish, such as tuna and swordfish, are often interchangeable.
- Fresh fish should be stored on ice in the display counter and well drained so that water doesn’t pool around it.
Fillets should look moist and firm, with no discoloration or dryness around the edges. Whole fish should have clear, shiny eyes; moist red gills; and scales that cling tightly to the skin.
- High-tech methods of freezing lock in fresh flavor, providing a quality selection of fish year-round.
Look for packages that are clean and tightly sealed, with no signs of freezer burn. Allow 24 hours to thaw a 1-pound package of frozen fish in the refrigerator. Speeding up the process by thawing at room temperature or under running water drains the moisture and breaks down the texture of the fish.