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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poaching Fish

The technique of poaching has been all but forgotten. This gentle cooking method is perfect for seafood, because it imparts lots of moisture and will not mask the delicate flavor of the fish. Traditionally, fish is poached in a court-bouillon--broth made from simmering aromatic vegetables and herbs in water together with peppercorns and something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar or white wine. To poach fish, you can make your own court-bouillon or simply use vegetable or chicken stock.

* Use a pan big enough to lay each piece of fish down flat.
* Pour in enough liquid to just barely cover the fish.
* Bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it there.
* If you see any bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, it's too hot--the liquid should "shimmer" rather than bubble. The ideal poaching temperature is between 165 and 180 degrees F (74 to 82 degrees C).

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