And remember, any of the folks behind the seafood counter will be happy to answer any questions you have. Fish and customer service are their specialties!
1. Look at all these options! What different cuts are available?
There are four basic cuts of fish in our seafood cases.
Steaks: Cut across the fish, usually 1 to 1.5 inches thick.
Fillets: Cut away from the backbone of the fish into long pieces. Cut crosswise into several servings if the fish is large.
Rolled Fillets: Smaller fish fillets that can be rolled around in herbs and poached or steamed.
Whole Fish: Gutted, with head and tail left on.
2. My in-laws are coming for dinner. How much do I need to buy?
Shrimp: 6 oz (Or closer to 8 oz if your guests are anything like my cousins
who think shrimp is its own food group.)
Fillets or Steaks: 6 oz
Whole Fish: 1 lb
Bottles of Wine: Hey, your in-laws are coming. You might need a couple bottles. For you. But if you really are counting, our best suggestion is to figure roughly three drinks per person over the course of the evening. Keep in mind there are just more than four glasses of wine in a bottle, and do the math from there.
3. What kitchen tools will I need?
A few key items will get your dinner prep off on the right foot. (Or is that fin?)
Hinged Wire Grill Basket: Holds the flaky fish firmly in place so you can turn it quickly without it falling apart.
Tongs: Essential for turning smaller fish during cooking. Avoid piercing fish with a fork when possible.
Shears: The easiest tool for cutting small fish.
Extra Wide Metal Spatula: Sliding a really big spatula under a fish and steadying it with a pair of tongs is the sure-fire way to turn a fish without breaking it.
Pliers: Use to pull out small bones. (Your Central Market fishmonger will do this for you before packing your fish in ice for the ride home, but it’s important to always double check.)
Deep-frying Thermometer: If you’re frying fish, this is an inexpensive must-have, because the temperature of the oil is your key to success. If you don’t have one, test the oil temperature by dropping in a small bit of batter. If it sinks halfway down, then bubbles back to the top, your oil is hot enough to use.
See? It’s not so scary. Well, at least the seafood isn’t. As for dinner with your in-laws, you’re on your own. Just remember to swing through our wine department after you pick up your seafood and everything will be fine!