Fish + Seafood = Brain Food
For as long as I can recall, I’ve heard the saying that fish and seafood are “brain food”. I have to admit that I did not give much thought to what that really meant, even after professionally getting into the culinary arts. But over the last few years, as I have learned much more about foods that support brain function and overall health and wellbeing, that saying takes on deeper, more relevant meaning.
Lean plant and animal proteins are essential ingredients in health and brain-boosting meals. Fish and seafood top the list, as they are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help boost memory, concentration, mood, and general brain health. They are also are great for our hearts and support our immune systems.
WHY I LIKE COOKING WITH FISH AND SEAFOOD
Fish and seafood rate highly on my ingredient choice list because they:
Note: Those with fish, shellfish, or crustacean allergies should avoid handling and consuming fish and seafood.
The key to enjoying great tasting fish or seafood is to start with fresh products. Here are a few tips for selecting fish and seafood.
1. BUY FROM A REPUTABLE DEALER OR MARKET.
2. SMELL BEFORE YOU BUY.
3. FOR WHOLE FISH, CHECK THE EYES, GILLS, AND SCALES.
4. FOR FROZEN FISH, CHECK FOR SIGNS OF THAWING AND RE-FREEZING.
5. KEEP IT COOL.
For further information on selecting fish and seafood and sustainability, check out these links –
FRESH FISH may be stored in the refrigerator in its original wrapper for up to 2 days after purchase. If it will be longer than that before it is prepared wrap it tightly in a moisture-proof bag and store it in the freezer.
Fish that has been “previously frozen” and thawed at the market should not be refrozen. Prepare it within 2 days of purchase.
FRESH SHELLFISH purchased in their shells can be stored in a shallow container covered with a moist paper towel (not airtight) and refrigerated. Use mussels and clams within 2 days, and oysters within 7 days of purchase. Discard any shellfish with broken or cracked shells, or those that die during storage.
Shellfish without shells can be placed in a tightly sealed container and frozen for up to 3 months.
FROZEN FISH AND SEAFOOD should be kept frozen until ready to use. Prior to cooking, thaw frozen fish or seafood gradually in the refrigerator overnight. To thaw it more quickly, place the fish or seafood in a sealed plastic bag, then immersing the bag in a large bowl of cold water. Change the water often to keep it cold.
Do not thaw and refreeze fish or seafood.
One stellar advantage of cooking with fish and seafood is that they cook up quickly, which is great for busy weeknights as well as for special events. Choose from a wide array of cooking methods – grilling, roasting, broiling, pan frying, sautéing, and poaching.
Want a few simple preparation ideas? Try these –
NOTE: When marinating any fish or seafood, remember to discard the marinade after use. Do not save it to use as a sauce on the cooked fish or seafood
COOKING BASICS – FISH AND SEAFOOD
Additional fish and seafood recipes that you may enjoy:
Have a favorite fish or seafood dish? Share it in the comments section.
Photos: Love + Craft Kitchen, LLC
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