We were treated last evening to a wonderful get together – it was great company and equally great food at a very good friend’s house.  I was asked for an easy to do poached fish recipe.  I love poached fish.  It can be served hot or cold and with a number of different sides – rice, vegetables, salad greens etc.  You can use almost any type – salmon is always my favorite, of firm fish.  I’ve listed ingredients for the Basic Poaching Liquid and an Optional Ingredients section. It looks like a lot of ingredients below but it really isn’t – I’m just letting you know you can be creative in making a flavorful poaching liquid, mix and match, go crazy, just taste it before you poach in it!

4 Pieces of Fish – salmon, swordfish, sole, trout etc.  If there is skin, make slits in the skin to avoid curling during cooking.

Basic Poaching Liquid
1 cup Water (or more depending on the thickness of the fish – it should just cover the fish)
1 Lemon juiced
8 – 10 Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
2 Parsley stems (save the leaves for garnish)
2 Shallots – halved
Salt (taste the liquid, it should be flavorful with the right amount of salt)

Optional – Go through your fridge and see what you have, the idea is to create a flavorful liquid that the fish will poach in – there I’ve said it three times and have now given away the secret of poaching fish –  a flavorful liquid.
Garlic cloves – halved, Capers
Carrot, celery, parsnip, fennel – roughly chopped
½ cup White Wine, drinking quality only

In a saucepan, bring the Basic Poaching Liquid ingredients plus any Optional Ingredients you found in your fridge from the list above to a simmer – you want to initially simmer this liquid to ensure it is flavored taste it to make sure it is balanced with salt and flavorful ingredients) – about 8 to 10 minutes – reduce the heat.

Place the fish into the barely simmering liquid (between 160f and 180f) and poach for 4 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish pieces – the fish should just be covered in the poaching liquid.

Test for doneness by separating with a fork or the tip of the knife – it should flake – do not overcook it, remember some cooking will continue due to residual heat.

That’s it – serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, chopped parsley etc.

As always, enjoy!