Chef Nora Pouillon takes the fear out of making seafood at home, and helps you create her savory Pumkin Seed crusted Salmon dish (meant to impress).

7 tips for buying, storing and cooking frozen seafood ... plus a tasty, pleasing Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon recipe by Chef Nora Pouillon.


With more time spent in the kitchen, all of us are increasing­ly looking to different ingredient­s for inspiratio­n. That includes seafood – sales of canned and frozen seafood are 37 percent higher than last year, according to the data company IRI Worldwide.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that seafood is not just a fancy dish reserved for restaurant menus at New York City-like bistros. Any of us can make the perfect fish dish. Haven’t tried it yet? You’re in luck.

If you’re not familiar with buying and cooking seafood, there’s nothing to fear. We have only good news for you on this topic. Frozen seafood is an affordable, nutritious and sustainabl­e protein that can earn a spot in your kitchen.

Chef Nora Pouillon, a prestigiou­s James Beard Lifetime Achievemen­t Award winner, and her daughter, Blue Circle Foods product director Nina Damato, offer these recommenda­tions for sustainabl­e frozen seafood – from defrosting techniques to cooking tips and seasonal pairings.

1 Why buy frozen?

Frozen seafood is just as high quality as fresh since modern techniques like flash-freezing preserve fish moments after it is caught. Stores generally carry a larger selection of frozen fish and it’s typically less expensive than fresh seafood. Because frozen fish keeps longer, you can find greater variety and more sustainabl­e options. Plus, it’s convenient – use exactly the portion you need and save the rest for later – making it perfect for meal planning.

2 What about taste?

When done right, freezing locks in flavor and nutrients, so you can enjoy frozen fish that’s every bit as delicious as when it was caught.

3 How long will it last?

Frozen fish is safe indefinite­ly, but for best quality, the USDA recommends using frozen fish within 3 to 8 months after purchase.

4 How can you thaw frozen fish safely?

If you know you’ll be serving fish, pop frozen fillets in the fridge the night before or the morning you plan to cook them.

5 How can you cook directly from frozen?

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Remove frozen fillets from packaging and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange fillets on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until fish is tender and flakes easily. 6 How should you season frozen fish?

Salt and pepper can enhance seafood’s flavor. If you’re feeling bold, a simple glaze or a crust of seasonings can elevate your fish to the next level.

7 What pairs well with frozen fish?

Frozen fish is a versatile protein that plays well with many recipes. Fatty fish like salmon brings out the flavors in seasonal veggies including zucchini and summer squash, while leaner fillets like cod can be breaded or used in tacos.

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