Thursday, August 23, 2012
A while ago I learned how to properly cook in a stainless steel pan without the food sticking or the kitchen filling up with smoke. The trick is using a "naked" stainless steel pan and heating it on Medium High heat until you can pour a half teaspoon of water on it and the water turns into a ball and rolls around the pan. Then the pan is hot enough to cook on. Also, you don't oil the pan before heating it up, you oil your meat or fish before putting it in the pan. You also have to be patient and wait for the first side to cook enough so when you flip it, the meat or fish doesn't stick. Also, to clean the pan after cooking in it, just put a little water in the pan while it is still on the heat and use a metal spatula or wooden spoon to scrape it clean. FYI, that "cleaning" method can yield some fantastic sauce to pour over your meat or fish!
Rockfish is a great fish to pair with lemon. It's a little like tuna in texture, but has a more mild flavor. Cooking it in the stainless steel pan assures that the fish cooks perfectly, nicely browned, and the high heat seals in the great lemon flavor. If you don't have a stainless steel pan, no worries, you can use any skillet or grill pan to cook this fish. This recipe is a favorite fish dish in my house.
Rockfish with Lemon (in a Stainless Steel Pan) Recipe
2 rockfish fillets (3/4 to 1 lb total)
1 large lemon
Salt and pepper
First, remove any pin bones left in the fish. Lay the fish side-by-side in a rectangular baking pan. Cut the lemon in half and remove any seeds you see. Squeeze one lemon half over the fish then drizzle a little olive oil over the fillets. Turn over the fillets to the other side and repeat by squeezing the lemon half over the fish followed by a drizzle of olive oil. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking the fish.
When you're ready to cook the fish, generously salt and pepper the top side of the fillets. Heat your large "naked" stainless steel pan over Medium High heat for about 6 minutes, then try the water test. If the water turns into a ball and rolls around the pan, you're ready to add the fish. If the water dissipates and sizzles, the pan isn't hot enough, so wait a little longer and try it again in a few minutes.
When the pan is ready, lay the fish side-by-side, salt and pepper side down, in the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Use a metal spatula to scrape underneath and turn the fish. Cook the fish for 3 minutes on the second side. When the time is up, remove the fish to a serving dish. Add a little water to the hot pan and use your metal spatula or a wooden spoon to scrape the pan clean. Serves 2 adults (and one small child) as a main course.