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Shellfish - 14163_148
Mess Management Specialist 1 & C - Military manual for maintaining a mess hall
Cooking Shellfish
Fresh shucked oysters are generally packed in metal containers or waxed cartons. The cartons should be refrigerated  or  surrounded  by  ice. Pacific  and  Eastern  Gulf  oysters  are  available shucked, frozen, and packed in natural juices. They are also available IQF. IQF oysters maybe issued without thawing an entire batch, Frozen shucked Pacific oysters are larger than the East Coast varieties. All oysters, once thawed should never be refrozen. They should never be eaten raw. For best results, thaw just before cooking. If frozen breaded oysters are to be deep fried, then keep them frozen until ready to use. SCALLOPS.—  Scallops are shellfish, similar to oysters and clams. The excellent flavored adductor muscle, sometimes called the eye, is the only edible part of the scallop. The  Navy  procures  frozen  sea  scallops.  When thawed, they have a sweetish odor. Frozen breaded scallops are available. They may be deep-fat or oven fried. SHRIMP.— Shrimp are caught in all the coastal waters from Maine to Alaska. Although shrimp vary in color when raw, they differ little in appearance or flavor when cooked. Green shrimp is a commercial term used to  denote  raw  shrimp. Shrimp may be procured raw, whole; raw, peeled and deveined; raw, breaded, IQF; and in breaded molded shrimp  portions. PREPARATION AND COOKING OF SEAFOOD The type of seafood to be cooked determines the preparation  and  cooking  method.  Fish  must  be  cooked thoroughly but not overcooked. Seafood prepared too far  in  advance,  even  though  properly  cooked,  becomes dry, hard, and loses its flavor and succulence. Fish should be baked at a moderate temperature (375°F). It is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Cooking it too long makes it dry and tough. Preparation Some fat or oil should be added to practically all varieties of fish, whether light flesh or dark flesh, when they are cooked. The fat helps keep the fish moist while it is cooking and makes it more palatable. If the fish is baked, a solid fat such as butter or shortening may be “dotted” over the fish; melted fat or oil maybe brushed on the fish; or sliced bacon or thinly sliced salt pork may be laid over the fish. If the fish is to be deep-fat fried, some fat is added to the fish through the frying process. Fat may also be added to the fish by a sauce made with fat or oil. Simple seasoning is best for most fish. Salt and pepper should be added in moderation; monosodium glutamate also enhances the flavor. Lemon juice and the milder  herbs  such  as  parsley  are  good  seasonings. Seasonings may be added to the fish or placed around it in a baking pan, or they maybe incorporated into a sauce or a basting liquid that creates steam and helps to keep fish moist and flavorsome. When fish is cooked in a liquid or a sauce, both the fish and the sauce should be lightly seasoned to avoid a salty product. Cooking Generally it is best to fry lean fish, such as haddock or flounder, and broil or bake fat fish, such as salmon or mackerel.  However,  you  may  broil  or  bake  lean  fish  if you baste it frequently with melted fat or if you cook it with a sauce to avoid dryness. BAKING.— You can bake fish of almost any size provided there is enough oven space. Place the fish on a greased pan and brush it thoroughly on both sides with melted  butter  or  margarine. Sprinkle  it  with  the appropriate seasoning and bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or  until  lightly  browned. PANFRYING.— You can panfry small whole fish or serving-size fillets or steaks. To panfry breaded fish fillets or steaks, follow these procedures: 1. Place the fish fillets or steaks that have been dredged in a mixture of crumbs, flour and pepper, on a sheet pan containing one-eighth inch of shortening.  The shortening should be hot, but not smoking. 2. Brown the fish on one side. Turn it carefully, and brown it on the other side. Use moderate heat. 3.  Drain  the  fish  and  serve  hot.  Garnish  with chopped  parsley  or  lemon  wedges. DEEP-FAT  FRYING.—  Do not thaw breaded frozen fish portions before cooking them. If you thaw them, the breading may fall off or become tough and dark during the frying process. If this happens, the natural  juices  of  the  fish  will  be  lost.  Cook  frozen portions in fat heated to 350°F for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain well in a basket or on absorbent paper. 6-19

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