by Ellen Laing
Pan Seared Rockfish
Rockfish (Rock Cod or Pacific Snapper) is a common Pacific Northwest fish that is firm and lean with a delicate flavor. Fillets tend to be fairly thin, cook quickly and have a nice flake to them.
1 or 2 Rockfish fillets, cut into playing card size servings (Linda Brand Crab)
1 tsp.(ish) canola oil
finishing salt (i.e. Maldon)
Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron is great) to med-hot. Have a pre-heated plate on hand to serve the fish.
Drizzle in your skillet just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom – it should quickly spread and shimmer, but not smoke. Gently place the fish serving side down in the skillet. For very thin fillets, cook on only one side – remove when the fillet is almost entirely opaque, but not very firm.
Flip the fish as you move it from the skillet to the warm plate. The combination of the warm plate and a little rest will continue to cook the fish. If the fillets are a little thicker, you may want to flip and cook it on the second side. Flip when the white has extended about halfway up the thickest part of the fillet.
Be careful not to overcook the fish – watch it turn color, and press on it with your finger from the edge to the middle as it cooks. It’s easy to tell when the fish is done by the resistance – compare the thinner edges (much more firm, more well done) to the middle (softer, more sponge-y).
Remove it when the middle of the fillet still has a little give to it and rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle with finishing salt. Salting after cooking emphasizes the delicate flavor of the fish.