Friday is a big day for fresh fish in New England, especially during the the Season of Lent! Charlie gives a few pointers for buying fresh fish. Fresh Fish should:
1. Smell fresh like a mild sea breeze, not fishy.
2. Have no bruises in the flesh.
3. Have shiny, not slimy scales.
4. Have bright, clear eyes, bright pink or red gills (whole fish).
5. Have no dry or browning edges .
Many fish are excellent for broiling, either indoors or out. Whole fish, fish steak and even fillets can be broiled successfully with a little care.
Always oil the broiler pan or lay a sheet of foil over it. Broil fish 3-4′ from heat. Whole fish and fish steaks should be turned once during cooking. Do not turn fillets. Brush fish well with melted butter or oil: fillets need more lubrication than whole fish or fish steaks. Broil fillets 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness. Steaks will take from 6-12 minutes and whole fish 10-20 minutes, depending on size. Do not overcook.Fish is done when it flakes easily when tested with a fork. If checking with a thermometer, fish is usually ready when the internal temperature reaches 145 °F.
To charcoal broil: place fish in a greased hinged grill as it will be easier to turn. Make sure coals are white hot. Turn fish once or twice during cooking. A whole fish will take about 8 minutes each side, while fish fillets take only 1 1/2–2 minutes per side.
Serve broiled fish plain, or with lemon butter, parsley butter or your favorite herb butter.