Cooking Fish with Premium Virgin Olive Oil Gives Seafood a Fine Twist

How should you grill whole fish? San Francisco Chronicle reporter Janet Fletcher gets the insights and recommendations of Erik Cosselmon, the executive chef of a Greek restaurant in Bay Area. Serving around 3,000 grilled fish monthly, Cosselmon surely knows how to create mouthwatering masterpieces from snappers, sea basses, halibuts, and the like. The highly skilled chef shared a lot of advice on choosing and cooking fish in the SF Gate article.

Interestingly, the expert recommended to rub olive oil all over the fish before grilling it, so the meat wouldn’t stick to the grill. Using premium virgin olive oil, this step can amplify the taste of your dish, as well. The fine flavor from the organic oil can complement the fresh herbs and spices you’ll incorporate into the fish preparation.

The article also featured a recipe for an ambrosial dressing that goes well with grilled fish. Here’s how you can make the savory sauce:

Kokkari Dressing

Makes about ½ cup

You can make the dressing several hours ahead, but for best flavor, whisk the lemon juice in just before serving. Adapted from “Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors,” by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books, 2010).

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons brined or salted capers, rinsed and minced

2 teaspoons minced shallot

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced Italian parsley

½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

¼ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, finely crumbled

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. (If made ahead, whisk in lemon juice just before serving.)

Retailers of fine ingredients, such as Olive Oil and Beyond, can provide you fine-quality oils and gourmet vinegars in Orange County for tangy dressings or vinaigrettes.

Aside from the chef’s favorite way of cooking fish, you can also use olive oil in other types of fish preparations. Although you can’t sear meat with olive oil because of its low smoke point, you can still fry with it for golden brown, slightly crispy fish. You can also roast fillets or bake Mediterranean-style seafood.

Alternatively, you can poach fish by submerging it into a warm olive oil bath (up to 120º F). Transfer the pan in the oven to finish the cooking process for about 25 minutes. With this technique, you can produce light, flaky, and incredibly tasty seafood entrees.

(Source: Fish for compliments: Kokkari chef’s deep secrets for grilling, SF Gate, August 29, 2014)

Categories: Info Articles

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