How to Broil Fish
You can broil any fish, as long as you follow a few rules: Preheat the broiler, give the fish a protective coating with oil, and cook it the proper distance from the heat. When Legal Sea Foods was in its infancy, my father devised a way of broiling fish the we use to this day. Forget anything you have ever read about broiling fish a set amount of time on each side. Broiled fish should be cooked on only one side because the radiant heat from the pan will cook the other side. Also, the only fish that can be turned successfully are steak fish such as swordfish
. Most other fish will fall apart as they are turned.
Coating the fish with a flavorless oil before broiling is important because it protects the surface from burning and retains the fish's moisture. How close you place the fish to the broiling surface depends upon how how hot the broiler has become. Three or four inches away from the coils is ideal.
For lean fish, try a combination of dry and moist heat. Place the fish in a buttered baking pan and barely cover the the bottom of the pan with white wine or fish stock to about 1/4 inch up from the sides of the pan. Broil the fish until done, basting once or twice with the liquid. Either boil the liquid down until it has a saucelike consistency or freeze it to add flavor to future fish dishes.
From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren