Fish meal that can be prepared (not cooked) ahead?
June 7, 2017 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I have houseguests arriving at dinnertime Friday night. I have access to fantastic fish on Fridays. What can I make that can mostly be prepped ahead and popped into the oven, so I don't have to be busily cooking something fussy but rather can enjoy the visitors?

Marinated salmon is an obvious choice--suggest marinades! But I'm interested in other options too, especially if it's a whole meal. (If it's just marinated salmon, I still have to make a salad and rice or something.)
posted by kestrel251 to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Edit: the fish I have access to would be basically whatever's in season on the East Coast.
posted by kestrel251 at 8:55 AM on June 7, 2017

Fish pie (I use this recipe but don't add prawns and swap sweetcorn for the peas). You can make the whole thing then stick it in the fridge until it needs to go in the oven.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:55 AM on June 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've made this sheet pan salmon with veggies and it was phenomenal. You can season however you'd like; we did fennel fronds, lemon slices, and some maple syrup over everything. Scrub/peel/chop the veg beforehand and all you'll have to do is season and throw it in the oven.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:04 AM on June 7, 2017

I haven't tried this specific thing, but the deal with any fish and vegetable curry is that the fish is basically added for a five minute simmer at the end; it only takes that long to cook it through. So I think you can do everything it says - make the broth, cook the veg in it (use not-too-fragile veg) and refrigerate that; simmer fish into it at the end. You can make the rice ahead and reheat.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:06 AM on June 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some kind of whole fish roasted in foil with vegetables would be an easy thing to prep in advance and then just pop in the oven. This whole snapper with potatoes and fennel is really easy and great and has served me well at dinner parties. (There's sausage in the recipe, which adds a lot, but it can certainly be left out.)
posted by neroli at 9:07 AM on June 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I recently made a dill-icious herbed fish terrine from Gefilte Manifesto. It's supposed to be served at room temperature or cold. Very good with their mustard coleslaw and a some rye bread. Would also be nice with lemon-y asparagus and new potatoes. Definitely serve with horseradish.
posted by carrioncomfort at 9:29 AM on June 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

poaching filets of whatever fish you get would be my generic answer, but really does depend on what you're going to get. Poaching is a generic "put it in the oven" dish, but I've always done the sides as separate, not baked-in ( eg rice, veggie, bread)

Is wahoo in season ? I love wahoo - rinse/debone salt/pepper, put in dish with some lemon juice & sherry, bake 325-350 for 20-30 minutes/until flakes..

Flounder, cod, haddock and other whitefish aren't as conducive to poaching.
posted by k5.user at 9:31 AM on June 7, 2017

Fish en papillote! Take fish, add a bunch of aromatics, and put it into a pouch made of parchment paper or foil, and bake it.

Here's one recipe - there are many others. Each person gets their own pouch.
posted by hydra77 at 9:43 AM on June 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

If you want to do salmon with a dry rub instead of a marinade, this stuff is pretty great.
posted by neushoorn at 9:55 AM on June 7, 2017

I'd also suggest a coconut milk fish curry. Just do the pre-prep in advance and throw the fish in when you're ready to eat! This South Indian-esque recipe has worked well for me in the past. I've made it with pollock and dabs before, as well as salmon.
posted by faineg at 11:19 AM on June 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ceviche! No cooking required at all!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:27 AM on June 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Any of the white flatfish can be gotten ready ahead of time and quickly baked in a hot oven. Generally they are dipped in bread crumbs and have butter added. Fancy version would be sole rolled around some kind of stuffing. With enough butter, no other sauce is needed. Cooking time varies with how thick the fish is, but can be as short as 10 min. Oven temp is 400F or maybe higher.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:48 AM on June 7, 2017

Jamie Oliver's tray-baked salmon with green beans, olives and cherry tomatoes (I usually don't bother with the anchovies)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:00 PM on June 7, 2017

My favorite way to make and serve fish was to was to bake some nice fillets of haddock in a hot oven with some water in the pan and butter, salt, pepper (I used white but black is fine), paprika, a bit of garlic, and a slice of lemon on each piece. Foil on top if I feel I like there's a chance of it drying out. Only takes a few minutes.

Then, I'd eserve it with made-ahead side dishes like a hearty special salad (there was a great AskMe about solids with lots of interesting recipes) and crusty bread.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:09 PM on June 7, 2017

Fish chowder is also delicious and can be made ahead and reheated.

This is similar to the recipe I used to use, except:
  • I used a mixture of canned clam broth and chicken or vegetable stock instead of homemade fish stock,
  • I made my roux with clarified butter instead of bacon fat,
  • I added a little thyme and two bay leaves, and
  • I chucked in some carrots for color and vitamins.
The two major downsides, of course, are that it's not really a summer food, and that it doesn't show off the freshness of your fish.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:35 PM on June 7, 2017

Salmon in kir sauce! Marinate it in advance; come dinnertime, throw the fish in the oven, throw the sauce in a pan on the stovetop, put some pre-cut veggies in the steamer, and go have fun. Almost nothing to mix!

My recipe (sadly, not here with me) looks a lot like this:
but with slight changes:
- I don't use very much soy sauce (maybe 1/4 c) in the marinade step because if I'm putting the fish in at the start of the day (say, before work) it gets too salty for my taste. I add most of the soy sauce when I pull the fish out.
- I partially broil the salmon in the pan to get a nice exterior. Personal preference.
- If I have time, I partially reduce the kir + soy sauce mix in the pan because it brings out the caramel-y goodness and improves the consistency. This involves some stirring so not always worth it.

Since you'll have creme de cassis and a decent-enough white wine on hand, you can pour them together (4 parts wine to 1 part creme de cassis) and drink kir with your friends, too. :)

May your Friday dinner be awesome!
posted by introp at 6:16 AM on June 8, 2017

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