Fish is wildly popular for a reason — it's delicious. From flaky filets like cod or haddock to the classic cut of salmon up to something meatier like swordfish, fish isn't just tasty, it's versatile with how many ways you can cook it. And while you have a lot of options for how you do so, one of the classic ways is in a pan under the broiler. If you do that, though, just be sure to baste it in mayo first.
Wait, what? That sounds like some stuff created from the darkest heart of American culinary life, like ranch dressing ice cream or ambrosia salad. It sounds, in other words, like something you should absolutely never do under any circumstances. Here's the thing, though: It's actually really good. Most crucially, it doesn't just make your fish taste like mayo, and there are good reasons to do this for the texture boost and the richness it'll bring to your dinner.
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Mayo Doesn't Take Over Foods When You Cook With It
In cooking, mayo has a lot more uses than you might realize. It's hugely valuable as a thickener, binding agent, and texture enhancer for its ability to lock in moisture without overpowering what it gets used in. There's a reason it sees use in everything from fried chicken (in place of an egg wash), as a binding agent in both baking cookies and cooking moist meat, and even to elevate scrambled eggs.
The thing about mayo is that when you cook with it, it breaks down. Generally, you don't get that mayo flavor as part of the meal. The texture, meanwhile, breaks down enough so that it doesn't make food gummy, while still providing a boost to make food juicier. So, if you baste your fish in it, you're not going to have a Hellmann's filet; you're just going to be left with fish that hasn't dried out (and has a little extra richness to boot).
Mayo Boosts Fish In A Way No Other Basting Substance Can
The thing about mayo, and the reason why it's sometimes called "the cold mother sauce," is because it can be channeled into so many different directions for its versatility. It has qualities that make it perfect for a lot of food -- fish in particular. Its ability to keep the fish tender as well as boost its moisture really is better than pretty much any other product you can use for that purpose. As an added bonus, the remnants of mayo's texture effectively keep fish from sticking to the pan or grill as the mayo breaks down during the cooking process. It's a win-win all around.
Sure, some people may absolutely, sadly despise mayonnaise. But if you're not philosophically opposed to it, you should try cooking it with fish; it'll broaden your culinary horizons and boost your seafood game.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.