by Jon Alexis
We eat with all 5 of our senses. Here are some easy ways to dress up your fish meals at home that appeal to all our senses. Tips we’ve learned over the years from restaurant chefs to our own customers.
One Extra Step – No Extra Dishes
Baking is great for fish. But it’s never a bad idea to sear your fish first. This one extra step is the BIGGEST difference between home cooking and restaurant cooking. Searing carmelizes sugars and locks in moisture. But moreover, it gives you a contrast of textures. which is the same reason the sandwich tastes better slightly toasted.
For any baked fish, preheat the oven and get an oven-safe skillet HOT. Add a little butter or oil (we prefer grapeseed over olive) and sear on 1 side 1-3 min. Don’t touch. Flip and put the skillet in the oven. Take however long you seared the fish off the baking time.
Make Your Bed – Of Veggies
Doesn’t it look nice at a restaurant when your fish (or chicken or pork) comes on a bed of veggies? Adds color and depth to the plate. And TJ’s has delicious healthy sides already made.
Oil-Free Sauteed Julienned Vegetables
Quinoa Salad With Feta & Spinach
Couscous With Almonds & Cranberries
Just put in the middle of the plate, and place fish on top.
Add A Little Zest To Your Dinner
Lemon + Fish = Good. Why? The acid in citrus makes your mouth salivate, creating more enzymes that break down food. So it literally brings out the natural flavor.
Squeezing lemon is always good. Try zesting a lemon over your finished fish. You’ll get the bright citrus flavor and a touch of bitterness from the skin. Plus powerful lemon smell. We taste with our noses! And we love lemon zest over scallops. Add lemon zest to your marinades for lots of flavor, too.
Parsley – Not Just For Restaurants
Does it take 2 minutes-tops? Keep a little fresh parsley at home. Fine dice and finish your fish dishes with a sprinkle. Dice up and keep sealed in the fridge and you’ll have garnish for a week. Even easier – a sprig on the plate looks pretty and smells good too. Do one plate with and the same plate without… look at the difference!
Jon Alexis is the owner of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market and one of the very few fishmongers in Dallas. He is also a contributor to craveDFW. Jon owns both locations of TJ’s, numerous Malibu Poke’s, Escondido and Ramble Room.