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Myhrvold's Fish Technique

Pappy | Feb 14, 201106:08 AM

Saturday's Wall Street Journal had an article about Nathan Myhrvold's new cookbook series Modernist Cuisine. If you haven't heard about it, I would encourage you to read about it. They also had a brief Q and A. See part of it below. Has anyone tried this? Did it work? How long did it take?

PROBLEM #4: You can't make perfect fish.

SOLUTION: Broil it in wine.

In an oven-proof pan, lay a piece of fish on a bed of onions, fennel or another aromatic. Pour wine to nearly cover the fish, leaving only the skin uncovered. Place the pan under a hot top-heated broiler and cook until the skin is crisp; the exact timing will vary widely depending on the thickness of the fish and other factors. Remove from broiler, insert a digital thermometer and wait until the fish reaches the desired temperature (somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees is often optimal). If the fish does not reach temperature, heat the pan gently on the stove top until it does. The fish will be tender, with crispy skin.

WHAT'S GOING ON: "Evaporative cooling" is at work here. The alcohol in the wine evaporates so rapidly that it cools the wine, keeping it from getting too hot and overcooking the fish. Meanwhile, the broiler crisps the skin to perfection.

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