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How to Poach Fish

December 21st, 2011 Cooking

If you're trying to work more seafood into your diet, you may be searching for new dishes to prepare. After all, you can only eat so much salmon and tuna before starting to get tired of it! Use this as an opportunity to add poached fish - a simple and delicious dish that will breathe new life into your seafood - to your repertoire. Poaching preserves moisture inside the fish and adds a good amount of flavor without introducing any additional fat.

First, prepare a gallon of court bouillon. Simply fill a pot with a gallon of water and add some white wine as well as onion, carrot and celery, all peeled and finely chopped. You can also toss in a bay leaf and some parsley and thyme. Bring the ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, then strain out the veggies and herbs. Let it cool if you plan on poaching an entire fish, otherwise with a hot liquid.

Make a series of shallow diagonal cuts in the fish that you will be poaching so that it doesn't curl up in the sauce. If working with a whole fish, place the fish in the cold bouillon and slowly bring it to a gentle simmer (very few bubbles). For fillets, let the liquid simmer before adding the fish.

After five minutes or so, the fish should be cooked, but not overdone - allow more time for larger fish. Remove it from the liquid. It's ready to serve at this point.

Alternatively, you can make a simple sauce. Melt down some butter and mix in an equal amount (in weight) of flour. Once it becomes pasty, whisk the resulting roux into about four cups of poaching liquid. Pour this over the cooked fish and serve right away!