Fish for Dinner
Grilled Whole Trout with Lime and Coriander
When it comes to whole fish, the grill infuses it with smoky flavor, while the intense heat crisps the skin beautifully, lending contrast to the moist flesh beneath. And because the skin acts as a buffer during cooking, it helps ensure that the interior cooks through gently. So why don’t more people grill whole fish? One reason might be that the idea of cleaning and scaling it sounds like a chore; plus, they need to be boned at the table or before serving. But there’s an easy answer to those obstacles: Choose whole trout. Not only are whole trout almost always sold cleaned and scaled, but their backbones and pinbones are also removed. And they’re small, weighing about 10 ounces each, so one fish can serve one person—no need to fuss with portioning. For our recipe, we found that we needed to focus on making sure the fish released from the grill before the interior overcooked. By applying a mixture of honey and mayonnaise to its exterior, we were able to get the trout to brown more quickly. And when its skin was charred and crisp, it naturally released from the grill, allowing us to cook the fish just until it was cooked through.
The Prep Station
An organized, tidy food prep station creates a foundation for safe, clean, and successful cooking. In our test kitchen, “setting up your board” means setting up your cooking station before you begin to prep and cook. Setting up your board at home is just as important.
Our Favorite Carbon-Steel Knives
As serious cooks, we’ve always been intrigued by knives made from carbon steel. This alloy is considered superior to stainless steel by many chefs and knife enthusiasts because it is believed to be harder and stronger and able to take on—and retain—a keener edge. But as practical cooks, we’ve been a bit skeptical. Carbon steel is a high-maintenance metal that rusts if not kept dry, so the makers of carbon-steel knives recommend drying the blade immediately after washing it; some even suggest wiping the blade dry between cutting tasks or occasionally coating it with mineral oil to ward off excessive oxidation, which corrodes the metal. Given that our longtime favorite stainless-steel chef’s knife is virtually maintenance-free, that’s asking a lot. Still, we wanted to know if carbon steel was truly a cut above stainless. We singled out eight carbon-steel chef’s knives, a mixture of Western- and Japanese-made blades, priced from $72.99 to a staggering $299.95.
One-pan meals would be a great solution for busy weeknights, if they didn’t result in bland, mushy food. The test kitchen solved these challenges to create One-Pan Wonders, a collection of inspired, family-friendly recipes for even the busiest home cooks.
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Types of Kitchen Knives
We understand that buying knives can be bewildering—the market offers a staggering number of styles, materials, and specialties to choose from. If you simply want to start building the best knife collection without wasting money or kitchen space, here are our picks for built-to-work knives that will satisfy virtually any task for a home cook."