At EVOO, we take care that the wonderful local seafood that comes to us right off our shores is handled in a way to preserve its greatness. Because some people have had bad experiences with fish, or believe all fish is fishy,  they often omit fish altogether. When they choose to try it at our place, we take that very seriously, and we share with you the technique that seems to work whether serving 22 guests or 2.

When ordering or buying fish, order block cut for the larger fish like halibut and salmon. This helps with more even thickness, thus even cooking. Smaller fish filets, can be quite uneven, A filet responds well to bending the small end under onto itself before placing into the prepared pan. When heat is applied, the turned under portion will remain folded and help even out the cut.

Next, season the fish to your taste. We typically choose one of our  signature salt free spice blends which can be purchased or blended using our recipes in our online cookbook.  Season and salt only one side. Set aside and heat the pan.

Then, over high or med-high, heat the heavy bottom skillet. When hot (about 2 minutes on high heat) add some oil to cover the bottom of the pan; heat 30 seconds.  Place the sated and seasoned fish seasoned side down (*) into the hot pan.  As it begins to get aromatic, check to see if the fish moves easily and pick it up to check color. Be careful that the herb rub isn’t over browning; reduce heat if need be. This browning step takes up to 2 minutes. When ready, remove with turner and place seasoned side up onto awaiting oven pan.

We recommend setting the fish aside for up to 15 minutes, while you complete preparing the rest of the meal. That way you may give all your attention to the fish.

To finish: Place pan of seared fish into 400°F (convection if available) oven for 3-4 minutes to finish; fish should reach 138°F at it’s thickest part. Note the fish will flake at the thinnest part but remain firm in middle at this temperature. Have your plates ready to serve so when done, the fish is last on the plate.  Serve immediately.  Avoid cutting into the fish center to check doneness, because you will loose the needed carry-over cooking, which brings the fish to its finished serving temperature about 3-4 degrees more.

(*)Chef Notes:   Dry seasoning blends applied to fish must be heated face down into enough heated oiled to cover the spice in the skillet. This ensures the essential oils in the spice blend are released without burning. If not enough oil, or too long on that side, the dry spice may burn or taste raw. Remember to also salt the seasoned side if using blends without salt. The reason we season only one side of the filets is because we don’t want the spice to dominate the fish flavor.


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