Fish in Louisiana are a great
staple and almost as much so as rice. Fish dishes in South
Louisiana are fried, broiled, courtbullion, stuffed and sauce piquant. See
"Seafood" for further discussion on Fish...
Fish, as most seafood, takes little time to cook. Depending on the
thickness, a few minutes on each side and it's ready to gobble up. Try not to overcook fish
when frying because it will dry out quickly.
There is nothing worse than leather fish, and, if you
overcook fish in a sauce it most likely will fall apart and you'll have a
fish dish in name and taste only!
When cooking fish gravies like courtbullion put a few pieces of fish
in early and let them cook until they fall apart. Doing this adds more
fish flavor and gives the dish a little more body. The remaining pieces
will go in almost last, cook for a few minutes according to thickness then the fire is
turned off. Stir the pot gently so the fish doesn't fall to pieces.
In the olden days (I love that saying!) it wouldn't be unusual to find a
few fish heads in the courtbullion to add body and flavor.
Baking fish is pretty easy and with this method you can really season
them perfectly. Use real butter if you can have it, a little lemon and
other seasonings as you like them. If you have a large fish make 1"
slits in it lengthways in several spots (not the whole length) along the
spine and to the bone. Put your seasonings in these slits. You want to
season the fish from the bone outward. Slitting the fish perpendicular to
the spine (the traditional method) leaves a fish that tastes good in one
spot and not the next.
Tarter and rémoulade sauce go well with fish as does lemon and basil.
Seasoning fish is for the most part done externally in that the cooking
process is so quick the seasonings don't penetrate the meat well. The
external seasoning is generally what determines the type of dish.
When seasoning fish watch the salt. Fish will not pick up pepper like
it will salt, just be careful.
Always serve fish right out the pan or oven; it's at it's best
Check out the Methods page also...