Some of us take a long time to work up the bravado to try new cooking techniques. Fir the longest time I have been playing around with different pans and pre-heat versus no rpe-heat with no real success. I really had gotten desperate because my fish consistently came out of the oven either too dry or undercooked, started the loop of back in the oven for another 5 minutes and another 5 minutes, etc.
Add the frustration of working with Trader Joe cooking instructions on their frozen fish, and you can imagine how hopeless it all seems after a while (yes, I do love Trader Joe’s, but I think that their ovens must operate on another planet’s rules). And I won’t get into the ridiculous priced for “fresh” fish that end up smelling up the joint and not really tasting so fresh – hence the reliance on the flash-frozen versions. With that said, after seeing cooking program after cooking program using the “sear on top of the stove, cook in the oven” method for steaks, I realized after having that wonderful fish at the Arizona Culinary School that “pan seared” might refer to the same technique.
So tonight I preheated the oven to 375. I warmed my All Clad sauté pan (with the double handles, I don’t have a cast iron pan – yet) on the stovetop, added EVO, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. When that was warm, I slapped on the towel dried, thawed haddock and “seared” it on both sides, 2 minutes each. I squeezed some fresh lemon juice on each piece (there were two fillets), then into the heated oven for 4 minutes. It came out so buttery and flaky (but firm) and juicy I couldn’t believe I did it!
Simple does it, for sure. Record cooking time and a healthy meal to boot. Sometimes it takes forever, but eventually we get there….