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How to Cook Fish the Right Way

Updated on January 4, 2010
Antonietta Terrigno
Antonietta Terrigno
Preparing Scampi
Preparing Scampi
Scampi in a pan
Scampi in a pan
Brandy applied to Scampi
Brandy applied to Scampi
Scampi with Ros Sauce final dish
Scampi with Ros Sauce final dish

Cooking tips for fish by Antonietta Terrigno, Osteria de Medici, Calgary, AB Canada

By Grace C. Visconti

Seafood is very delicate when cooking it. You must cook seafood no more than 15 – 20 minutes and that goes for any kind of seafood like lobster, shrimp etc. Fish with the shell on it is considered seafood whereas fish is sea bass, salmon, arctic char etc. Fish doesn’t have a shell casing.

One of the keys to cooking fish is not to over cook it otherwise the fish becomes too dry and is not very palatable.

Different ways to cook fish
It is best to use a special stainless steel spatula to turn fish around. The different ways to cook fish are:

  1. Sear it in the frying pan or BBQ
  2. Bake it
  3. You can boil and make it as a salad then add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and the juice of a fresh lemon.

    Tips when cooking fish:

• Don’t leave fresh fish in the fridge more than 2 days without cooking or it can cause food poisoning.

• You must defrost the fish overnight before cooking. Place it in a porcelain dish not a plastic one otherwise the plastic will collect bacteria and it is hard to get out. This doesn’t happen with porcelain.

• One reason why you don’t cook frozen fish without defrosting it is because of the mercury. You can get a fever or diarrhea because it doesn’t cook well enough from the frozen state.

• Make sure it is cooked properly. It’s done when the color is even throughout after cutting it with a knife. If there is a difference in color throughout, then it is not cooked.

• The other option is to put the frozen fish in warm water to defrost for 5-10 minutes then put it on a clean napkin paper towel and pat it dry after you take it out of the water. Cook it right away.

• Only have fish twice a week because of the high cholesterol and mercury.

Scampi with Rosé Sauce

This luxurious dish is rich and creamy. Sophisticated and easy to make, it is exceptional.

2 lbs (500 g) scampi, medium size, in shells

2 quarts (2 L) water


Creamy Tomato Sauce With Scampi & Brandy

2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter

5 medium shallots, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp. (15 mL) parsley

½ cup (125 mL) brandy

2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream

5 cups (1.25 L) tomato sauce

Split the scampi in half and remove the shells. Set the scampi aside. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add the salt and scampi shells; boil for 20 minutes.

Sauce: In a skillet,melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the scampi and stir well. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the brandy over the scampi. Remove the scampi and return the skillet to the heat.

Add the whipping cream, tomato sauce and stir well. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place in dish. Scampi with Rosé Sauce can also be served with rice.

Serves 6 to 8

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

The Italian Cooking, Classic Recipes by Antonietta Terrigno, is now available on CD for $20 + GST CDN. This CD features Classic Italian Recipes for every day use and special occasions.

Osteria de Medici is located at 201 – 10 Street NW, Calgary AB T2S 1V5, Canada
Reservations Recommended. PH: 403-283-5553 Web:, Email: For anyone visiting Osteria de Medici restaurant, Antonietta is available to teach cooking classes to small and large groups of people for $100 per person. In a class, Antonietta teaches how to cook a 3-course meal and at the end of the class, the group eats the 3-course meal. Also, each person receives one complimentary glass of wine with the meal.


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