The best way to store fish is over ice. Remove the fish from its original packaging, rinse under cold water, and dry with paper towels. Set fish on a cooling rack and place inside a container filled with crushed ice. The ice should reach just beneath the fish, but shouldn’t touch it. Cover the container, rack, and fish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge. If the fish is stored longer than 24 hours, be sure to swap out the melted ice with a new batch. Ideally, any fresh fish should not be stored for more than two days.
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Some fish can be frozen for up to year (with three months as the standard), but its freshness depends entirely on its exposure to air. To limit this from taking place, you should first clean the fish, wrap it in aluminum foil or freezer paper, and place it in a freezer bag. Press down on the bag before closing to eliminate any excess air.
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Thawing frozen fish is quite an easy process. Simply leave it in the refrigerator overnight or place the wrapped fish in a bowl of cold water. Don’t microwave the fish, as some sections will cook while others are continuing to thaw.
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Fish pie is a favorite of home cooks in the UK, where it’s usually made with smoked haddock. We’ve approximated the flavor for American cooks, using hot-smoked salmon and fresh white fish, under a comforting mash of Yukon Gold potatoes, shepherd’s pie–style.
What to buy: In contrast to cold-smoked salmon—the kind you’d drape over a bagel—hot-smoked salmon is firm, a bit dry, and very smoky-tasting. Choose a white fish that’s thick and meaty, so it’ll stand up to baking (halibut and cod are excellent choices). Needless to say, make sure it’s impeccably fresh.
Try our tomato pie recipe for more easy, filling, savory pies.