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Don't Thaw: Easy Tips On Cooking Frozen Seafood

There are a ton of reasons to get more seafood into your clean-eating routine, but many people cross fish off their list if it's not fresh and in season. Fortunately, big advances in freezing seafood shortly after it's caught mean that it's now easier than ever to eat wild salmon, halibut, cod and other fish year-round.

Pan-Steamed Alaska Seafood Marseilles overhead

Pan-Steamed Alaska Seafood Marselles. Photo via Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

To celebrate National Seafood Month, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute recently released a booklet and launched a new section on its website dedicated to dishing up cooking tips, a campaign cleverly called Frozen to Fork (#FrozentoFork on social), hiring chef Seward Brewing Company's chef/owner Erik Slater to create easy, elegant meals in around 15 minutes.

Advice on pan-steaming includes these tips:

Rinse frozen seafood to remove any ice

Bring an inch of water or seasoned liquid to a boil over medium-high heat

Place the seafood in the pan, skin side down

Return the liquid to a simmer, but keep the heat low enough so it doesn't boil

Cover the pan tightly and cook for 5 minutes before turning off the heat and letting the fish rest in the liquid for another 5 minutes and then serve with some kind of sauce or a squeeze of citrus

There's also suggestions on grilling, broiling, roasting, pan-searing and steaming and innovative recipes that showcase those cooking methods including a Chai-Grilled Alaska Snow Crab which calls for marinating the shellfish in fragrant Chai tea.

Here's a recipe for the dish pictured above, the Pan-Steamed Seafood Marseilles:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
1 clove minced fresh garlic
Water, for poaching
1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 Alaska Salmon or whitefish portions (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska seafood under cold water; set aside.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat for one minute. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat evenly. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat. Place seafood in pan, skin side down. Add water to the pan until it reaches half way up the side of the fillets. Add the wine, salt and pepper. Return the pan to medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to low; liquid should simmer, not boil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes for frozen seafood or 2 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Turn off heat and let seafood rest in liquid for 5 minutes. Remove seafood to a plate/platter and keep warm.

Create a quick reduction sauce with the remaining steaming liquid by returning pan to high heat. Reduce liquid by 75%. Reduce heat to low and add the butter, herbs and lemon juice. Whisk until butter melts and sauce thickens, about 1 minute. To serve, drizzle fillets with sauce.

Related: How to Cook Salmon

About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!