WRITTEN ON October 6th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Dinner, Fish and Shellfish

I can never figure out why so many people are afraid of fish.  They’re healthy, tasty, and unless you’re cage diving, they usually aren’t that scary.  What I’ve concluded is this: people don’t like that “fishy” smell. I get it.  Especially if you’re living in a small, enclosed space. Here’s the thing: fish shouldn’t smell fishy.  When you cook it there will be a briny smell, of course, but when you purchase fresh fish it should smell like nothing but the ocean.  In fact, if fresh fish does smell fishy, leave it where you found it and back away slowly.  Buy fish from someone you trust (my fishmonger loves me.  What can I say, I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Nice customers are hard to come by in these parts), and ask questions.  When did the sowrdfish come in? Can I see/smell it? How would the fishmonger best prepare it?  The better relationship you have with your purveyors, whether fisherman or farmer, the more you’ll know about what you’re putting into your body.  And that’s never a bad thing.  As for this preparation…it simply could not be easier. It works with pretty much any kind of flaky white fish. Here I’ve used talapia but flounder, mahimahi, snapper and codfish all work well too. I love to use it in fish tacos (hence the seasoning choices here), but a quick switch to lemon from lime, parsley from cilantro, and you have a completely different meal.  I also love to serve it over rice or roasted fingerling potatoes, so that all the yummy juices get soaked up.  It’s pretty much a blank canvas.  Steam the fish wrapped tightly in the foil (either on the grill or in the oven) and you won’t even get that fishy smell. It’s virtually foolproof.  There is so much moisture in the packet that it’s next to impossible to dry it out.  Try it tonight.  Go on, be brave!

Weeknight delight

Weeknight delight

Foil Wrapped Fish (serves 4)
1 lb white flaky fish (talapia, flounder, sole, mahimahi)
3 healthy glugs of olive oil
3 tbsp white wine
2 healthy pinches of salt
5 cracks of the pepper grinder
Garnish: lime slices and cilantro, lemon and parsley, olives and tomatoes, the sky’s the limit!
Season fish well with salt and pepper.  Place large piece of foil big enough to wrap fish in a shallow baking dish.  Lay fish on foil, in center, and pour olive oil and wine over it. Wrap foil tightly.  Place on hot grill or in 375 degree oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Unwrap, garnish with citrus and fresh herbs or whatever else you’ve chosen.

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