For Baking: Look for cuts of denser, bigger fish such as Arctic char, sablefish, and Pacific halibut. Seaver says to cook filets 40 to 50 minutes at 250 degrees with a pat of butter; the low-and-slow method yields smooth, soft filets.
For Deep-frying: Pick a fish that’s either neutral (tilapia, Alaskan cod, hake, halibut) or oily (smelts, anchovies), says BlackSalt’s Jeff Black.
For Pan searing: Seaver and Black agree that cast-iron pans are best for searing fish—the seasoned pans keep the filets from falling apart. Add a little bit of oil, and put the fish (Seaver likes farm-raised Arctic char; Black prefers fluke, flounder, or halibut) skin side down to get a crisp outside and creamy center.
This article appears in the May 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.
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