Fish & seafood
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FISH AND SEAFOOD
Fish & seafood
Categories of Seafood:1 Fish2 Shellfish 3 Invertebrates Fish can be divided into various sub categories according to habitat, shape and flesh type.
FishTrue fish have an internal skeleton and a backbone. Most fish have a bony skeleton but some fish like sharks have a skeleton made up of pieces of cartilage (hard connective tissue).
SaltwaterTrout, Redfin, Carp, Murray Cod, EelShark, Herring, Snapper, Mackerel, MullowayHabitatrefers to where the fish lives and is divided into two categories: freshwater and saltwater. Shaperefers to the general shape and appearance of the fish. There are two broad categories, round and flat.
RoundFlatMackerel, Mullet, Taylor, Atlantic Salmon Sole, Flounder, Halibut, Brill, Plaice, Turbot, SkateFleshrefers to the colour and texture of flesh of the fish. There are two categories, white or dark.
WhiteDark Flounder, Sole, Snapper, WhitingHerring, Atlantic Salmon, Tuna, Mullet, Skate
ShellfishThe main difference between fish and shellfish is their skeleton. Shellfish have an external skeleton or shell. There are two main categories of shellfish, crustaceans and molluscs.
CrustaceansMolluscs Crabs, Moreton Bay Bugs, Crayfish, Marron, Yabbies, Prawns and ScampiMussels, Clams, Pipis, Oysters, Scallops, Abalone and Cockles
InvertebratesInvertebrates are spineless marine animals with no outer shell. They include the squid and octopus family.
Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish and Sea-Cucumbers
Selecting SeafoodSeafood has a very limited shelf life and is at it's best when served fresh. So it is very important that you check seafood for freshness and quality before use. The following information is a good guide to selecting seafood.(Please do refer a table)WHOLE FISHIS BEST WHENDO NOT USE FISH WHENAppearance:Wet, lustrous sheen, fresh shiny mucous, any blood in the cavity should be bright.Looks dry, dull, damaged or soiled. The blood in cavity is dark, dull, brown or black.Colour:Very bright, distinct, varied colouring.Dull, little variation in colour, washed-outGills:Bright red, moist with mucous.Dull red brown or grey, dry, broken.Eyes:Shiny and full, with black pupils.Dull, dry, sunken cloudy or grey.Odour:Like fresh seaweed, pleasant and not overpowering.Strong or off odours, ammonia smell.Texture:Very firm, elastic and springy.Dry, sticky, soft, doesn't spring back when touched.Scales:Lying flat and shiny, with no signs of physical damage.Standing up, curled or fall out easily when handled.FILLETED FISHIS BEST WHEN...DO NOT USE FISH WHEN...Appearance:Shiny and bright, free of any pieces of gut, scales and blood.Flesh is dull and discoloured. Dark blood or clinging pieces of gut, dirt or soil, scales. Has a rough or spongy appearance.Colour:Very bright, translucent or white (depending on species).Flesh is dull, yellowish (depending on species) or discoloured.Odour:A pleasant sea odour.Strong or off odours, ammonia smell.Texture:Very firm, moist, elastic and springy.When pressed with a finger leaves a hole which fills with juice rather than springing back (this indicates refreezing).CRUSTACEANSARE BEST WHENDO NOT USE WHENAppearance:Clean, free of mud or soiling, fresh looking shells with no signs of shell damage.Dirty or damaged with missing legs and/or claws. Shells are soft.Odour:A fresh clean smell.Strong or off odours, ammonia smell.General:If purchasing live they should be active and lively.They are inactive or appear to be dead.MOLLUSCSARE BEST WHEN...DO NOT USE WHEN...AppearanceClean, free of mud or soiling, fresh looking shells, with no signs of shell damage.Dirty or damaged with cracked and/or soft shells.OdourA fresh, clean smell.Strong or off odours, ammonia smell.GeneralIf purchasing live the shells should be tightly closed.Open shells that do not close when tapped or do not open when cooked.Preparing SeafoodFish needs to be properly prepared before it can be used. This may include gutting (removal of the fish intestines), scaling (removal of the fishes outer scales) and de-heading (removing the head).Gutting and scaling should be completed in an area set aside for this purpose and which can be thoroughly cleaned after use. Running water and a sink with a suitable trap (for scales) are essential.Once the fish has been cleaned it can then be prepared further into smaller fillets or cuts. Some fish preparations require the skin and or scales to be left on.
Fish CutsFilletsThe flesh is completely removed from the bone in long flat pieces. Round fish produce two fillets, flat fish produce four.DeliceA folded fillet, usually of a flat fish. It is a menu term synonymous with fillet.PaupietteA rolled and stuffed fillet, usually of a flat fish. The stuffing would generally be a fine fish farce.Goujon/GoujonetteA fish "finger" or baton approximately 80 x 10 x 10mm, a Goujonette is smaller and may be used as a garnish.SupremeA portioned piece of fish cut on the slant from the fillet of a large round or flat fish.DarneAlso called a steak. This is a section across a round fish cut across the backbone approximately 25 mm thick. This cut is well suited to large dark fish such as Mackerel and Swordfish.TronconThis is similar to the Darne. It is a section of a large flat fish such as Turbot or Brill after being split down the backbone, approximately 45 mm thick.
How to Store SeafoodWell managed frozen prawns can be every bit as delightful as fresh prawns and in some cases they can even be fresher - as larger vessels catch-cook-and freeze onboard. To keep that locked-in delicious sea taste when thawing your frozen prawns (both cooked & green) it is recommended to swim the product in a light brine (salty iced water). Add sea salt to a tub of icy water, taste it, and when you think it tastes like the sea toss in your frozen prawns to thaw.
(1) KEEPING YOUR SEAFOOD IN THE FRIDGEMost importantly 'fresh is best' and seafood where possible should be consumed immediately where possible. It is not always practical for us to eat our seafood straight away so here are some tips to help you keep the seafood in prime condition.There are a couple of important factors to keeping seafood in the fridge:
ContinueAlways make surethe seafood is covered appropriately, see below (this stops the seafood odour effecting your open dairy products).Never allow it to sit in its own juice, make sure you have the seafood draining (and tip out the drained juices frequently).Cover with ice and place in the coldest part of your fridge - which is usually the bottom shelf, seafood is best refrigeratedat 0 - 4 degrees centigrade.
It is not a good practice to allow any seafood to sit in its own juices for any length of time.
ContinueWhole FishIf the fish is in the fridge for a very short time (eg; waiting for the oven to heat up) then it is ok to store iton a dinner plate covered with a sheet of glad bake.If you are keeping it in the fridge for a little longer then:Fill a plastic container or oven tray with ice (break the cube ice up a little bit by bashing it in a tea towel) put the whole fish in the tray propped up (like it was swimming in the sea), doing this allows the juices to drain through the fish to the bottom of the tray. Laying it down in the tray creates a pond of juices on one side of the fish flesh. Cover with a sheet of silicone paper (glad bake) - not glad wrap.The paper can just be loosely over the fish you don't need to wrap it. The paper creates both an odour barrier to stop the seafood odour leeching into your open dairy products and barrier to stop the fridge from drying out your fish.
ContinueFish FilletsIdeally it should be stored in a container that allows drainage. You will need a small bread & butter plate, an extra large dinner plate and silicone paper (glad bake). Place the B&B plate upside down on top of the dinner plate, lay the fillets over the B&B plate. This method allows you to easily drain off the juices that have collected around the rim of the dinner plate.
ContinuePrawns, crabsPlace the prawns in a large colander (large strainer) put a plastic container / bowl or tray underneath to catch the juicesand coverthe prawns / crab with a little ice and a sheet of glad bake.
(2) FREEZING SEAFOODThe most important thing when freezing seafood is to make sure the seafood is as fresh as possible. Before freezing, prepare fish as for use. If you want to serve it in fillet form, then it is best filleted before freezing.
ContinueWhole FishMust be gilled and gutted first. Scales can be left on as these act as an insulator retaining flavour and moisture.However, if scaling is done beforehand it is one less step of preparation before cooking the fish. Whole fish can be trimmed and wrapped in plastic wrap, (put extra plastic wrap over the fins that may have potential to puncture the freezer bag), then place in a freezer bag. Remove air from the bag (a freezer pump is ideal) and seal. This will help prevent the fish from dying out and excess ice forming inside the bag. Lay flat in freezer. Label and date.ContinuePrawnsThe ideal way to freeze prawns is in frozen block form. Prawns can be frozen raw (green) or cooked.Best is to leave the shell and head on, as this acts as an insulator. Place prawns in a freezer proof container i.e. plastic freezer ware, filling the container to three quarters with product and leaving room for water to be added. Cover with water, seal with lid and tape around lid. Label and date.
(3) THAWING SEAFOODHere are a couple of ways for you to thaw seafood quickly and safely.
ContinueWhole FishThaw in the refrigerator (preferably the top shelf / the warmest part of the fridge). Make sure the draining water is caught in a container and the product is not sitting in its own juice