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    Post #1 - October 12th, 2004, 5:24 pm
    Post #1 - October 12th, 2004, 5:24 pm Post #1 - October 12th, 2004, 5:24 pm
    Hi,

    I was looking for something entirely different today when I bumped into this school of Fish Cookery in lovely Cornwall.

    Did you know Cornwall is one of the saffron epicenters of the world?
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - June 17th, 2020, 11:57 am
    Post #2 - June 17th, 2020, 11:57 am Post #2 - June 17th, 2020, 11:57 am
    Hi,

    When hunting for a thread to add some recent experience, I came upon one I originated back 16 years ago.

    Last weekend at Joong Boo Market at Pulaski just south of Peterson, I bought a whole flounder. There are six options on how the fishmonger will process it:

    1. Whole with head, gutted and scaled
    2. Whole without head, gutted and scaled
    3. Deep slits cut into sides
    4. Cut into steaks
    5. Whole with head, butterflied, gutted and scaled
    6. Whole without head, butterflied, gutted and scaled
    Unspoken 7. Take it home as-is

    I went with option one: whole with head, gutted and scaled.

    Twenty minutes before cooking, I wiped the flounder dry, spread a scant amount of shaoxing wine and salt to rub over the surface. After this time, I sprinkled corn starch using a sieve to distribute evenly.

    I fried it in a 12-inch pan fill with a cup of hot oil preheated to 350. This pan did not quite fit the fish. I have a larger pan, but decided to give this one a shot. One article advised to use the tail to manipulate the fish, tilt the pan and scoop hot oil over it. At one point, I manipulated the tail to cook and tilted the pan to cover it with oil. When I grabbed the tail next, it fell off.

    Before flipping the fish, I turned off the gas. I flipped it the best I could without have a long broad spatula. I used a paddle spatula and a skimmer for their wide surfaces, but it wasn't quite enough. I gave a quick wipe of the outer edge, then resumed the gas.

    When the fish was done after no more than 12 minutes, I put it on a heated platter. I poured most of the oil away except for three tablespoons. I threw in some minced garlic and ginger, the later some shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, white pepper and not much else. It quickly came to a boil, poured it over the fish and served.

    The flounder was terrific, but I need more practice on cooking it. The best part: the fins were all crunchy delicious.

    I forgot to take a picture of this first effort, though it did look a bit mangled.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - June 18th, 2020, 3:35 am
    Post #3 - June 18th, 2020, 3:35 am Post #3 - June 18th, 2020, 3:35 am
    Fish generally come in two shapes, round such as your Flounder and oblong such as Salmon/Mackerel. For oblong we have two sizes of pans with loop handles at both ends. You can get pans with a regular handle at one end but this makes the pan harder to get into an oven.
    For round such as your Flounder, I have a shears designed for fins and trim off all the fins.
    The spines in the fins are quite tough and you need a specially designed shears such as the one Wusthof makes.
    A looooong sturdy turner is next to completely get under your fish.
    Turning with fat in the pan is always problematic but a helper fork to slow the flip can be used.
    Lastly, the presentation of a whole fish cooked is thing of beauty.
    -Richard
  • Post #4 - June 18th, 2020, 7:54 am
    Post #4 - June 18th, 2020, 7:54 am Post #4 - June 18th, 2020, 7:54 am
    budrichard wrote:Fish generally come in two shapes, round such as your Flounder and oblong such as Salmon/Mackerel. For oblong we have two sizes of pans with loop handles at both ends. You can get pans with a regular handle at one end but this makes the pan harder to get into an oven.

    I have one that is maybe 18 inches long, which I have yet to use. I made sure it did not get lost when I moved. Until now, what ever fish I poached I made sure could fit in whatever pots I have.

    For round such as your Flounder, I have a shears designed for fins and trim off all the fins.
    The spines in the fins are quite tough and you need a specially designed shears such as the one Wusthof makes.

    The fried fins on the Flounder were spectacular, the fishmonger was asked specifically not to touch them. If I was steaming or simmering, I would get rid of them.

    I turned off the gas before flipping. I have had near incidents with oil and fire. I really don't want that runaway situation. A fork as support, I will try that next time.

    ***
    What I really want to do sometime very soon is make a Carp West Lake style, a classic Chinese fish preparation.

    In my other life when I had five carp swimming in the bathtub in Moscow, I cooked our fish West Lake or Brown sauce style.

    I have a duplicate copy of the cookbook I used buried somewhere. By buried, books are two deep with no idea what is behind that first layer. Its a huge job to sort out and one once I start will keep me occupied for a while.

    What I was trying to emulate at the time was a whole fish we had enjoyed at a Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. Except I was not going to make it as searingly spicy as that fish. I wanted the crispness, but at the time I was not willing to work with as much oil as suggested. I recall improvising the frying with spooning hot oil over the fish that was not yet in contact with the pan. I also had no fresh ginger available, though I chopped up some candied. Whatever I did at the time was really enjoyed, though it was quite exotic approach to what Moscovites might have done.

    Whatever I did back then, it has come back as something I need to revisit.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - June 18th, 2020, 9:22 am
    Post #5 - June 18th, 2020, 9:22 am Post #5 - June 18th, 2020, 9:22 am
    Cathy2 wrote:The flounder was terrific, but I need more practice on cooking it. The best part: the fins were all crunchy delicious.

    In addition to specially designed Wusthof shears to lop off your prized fins, you clearly need a turbotiere. I wouldn't dream of cooking a flounder without one. Here's a nice one for just under two grand.

    For years I've considered buying the US-made Victorinox fish turner, one of the spatulas recommended by The Wirecutter. I'm sure you can find cheaper fish spatulas, but The Wirecutter has rarely let me down.
  • Post #6 - June 18th, 2020, 9:32 am
    Post #6 - June 18th, 2020, 9:32 am Post #6 - June 18th, 2020, 9:32 am
    Rene G wrote:In addition to specially designed Wusthof shears to lop off your prized fins, you clearly need a turbotiere. I wouldn't dream of cooking a flounder without one. Here's a nice one for just under two grand.

    Maybe I could improvise one with a restaurant pan and a cookie sheet?

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - June 19th, 2020, 3:57 am
    Post #7 - June 19th, 2020, 3:57 am Post #7 - June 19th, 2020, 3:57 am
    The turner we use is pictured alongside of a Wusthof 6”.
    The 6” is clearly inadequate for a large fish.
    We have purchased and returned two Turbotiere, one of which was from Williams Sonoma.
    They are formed out of bent copper sheet and hand braised with a tin coating.
    Because of the unique shape, the tinning is imprecise, leaving holes and other defects.
    These will later in the life corrode leading to holes in your expensive copper pan.
    If you look on eBay, there are two for sale, one from WS.
    You can view the defects in the tinning and corrosion.
    I suspect if you order from WS, you will get the one I returned!
    Alas, I have given up in obtaining one.
    I use a large flat roasting pan with about 2” lip and put a wire rack in the pan for lifting out a large whole flounder, Dover Sole or Halibut,
    -Richard
    A6686C51-1B44-4BC4-93A4-ACF7060FD8FE.jpeg
  • Post #8 - June 19th, 2020, 4:49 am
    Post #8 - June 19th, 2020, 4:49 am Post #8 - June 19th, 2020, 4:49 am
    My go-to fish spat is a Mercer Hell’s Handle ™ 6-inch. It’s small, appropriate for a single filet, and branded to appeal to the nihilistic young line cook in everyone. There is a larger 9-inch version which may work well for flipping a whole fish in hot oil—Webstaurant Store: 9x4 inch fish and egg turner
  • Post #9 - June 19th, 2020, 10:05 am
    Post #9 - June 19th, 2020, 10:05 am Post #9 - June 19th, 2020, 10:05 am
    budrichard wrote:I use a large flat roasting pan with about 2” lip and put a wire rack in the pan for lifting out a large whole flounder, Dover Sole or Halibut,
    -Richard

    That sounds about right, especially using stuff you already have sitting around.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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