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In poaching, the fish is submerged in simmering liquid. The best pan for poaching is broad and shallow, so the fish pieces can lie flat in an even layer.
For poaching a few small fish steaks or fillets, a large skillet or saut pan with 2«-inch sides may be sufficient, but for large whole fish, there are long, slender fish poachers made just for that purpose.
Be sure you have enough liquid in the pan so that when you add the fish or fish pieces, they will be fully submerged.
It is important to remember that poaching is not the same as boiling.
Rapid boiling will damage the fish as it cooks, breaking it into pieces and cooking it unevenly. The poaching liquid should be brought to a boil before the fish is added, then the heat is reduce so that the water is just simmering ÄÄ the surface of the liquid quivering, with the occasional bubble breaking the surface. Add the fish to the simmering liquid and begin. Any remaining cooking liquids, especially if they include wine, fish stock or herbs, are delicious and can be strained to use as a soup base, or boiled and reduced to use for a sauce.
Almost any fish can be poached. For best results, choose fish pieces that are at least «-inch thick. Poaching tends not to be suitable for meaty fish such as tuna, swordfish or shark.
1. Combine the water and other ingredients in a broad, shallow pan.
2. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers and add the fish.
3. Simmer until the fish is opaque through the thickest part (cut to test). Transfer the fish to a plate, cover to keep warm and set aside.
4. Ladle a portion of the cooking liquid through a strainer into a small pan and boil to reduce by half. Add flavorings according to recipe.
5. Arrange the fish on individual plates, spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.
Simply Seafood Spring 1994
Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 01-13-95