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An Unexpected Use for Your Toaster Oven, According to Eric Ripert

Image Credit: Ariel Knutson

When Eric Ripert, the chef mastermind behind three-Michelin-star seafood restaurant Le Bernardin (and close friend of Anthony Bourdain), tells you how to cook something, it would be best to listen to him. His latest recommendation is probably not one you're expecting, though. It doesn't involve any fancy, expensive machinery that you'd only find in a professional kitchen. In fact, all you need is a toaster oven.

Ripert told Pure Wow that while most people are intimidated by cooking fish, they don't have to be. He says the best way to cook a tender, juicy fillet of, say, halibut, is to broil it in a toaster oven. I know it might seem strange, but this simple cooking method will demystify cooking fish — at least according to Ripert. And trust me, he knows a thing or two about cooking fish.

Apparently all you have to do is make sure you dry off the fish, then season it with your favorite spices (garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper all go great with halibut). Spread some soft (not fully melted) butter on top, then place the fillet on the oven's top rack. Finally, set the oven to broil and you're done. The whole operation probably takes less than 10 minutes.

Now for the trickier part: How long should you cook it for? There's nothing more frustrating than a dry, bland piece of fish (especially if you splurged and bought the fresh stuff). So how do you know when it's done? Well, Ripert says all you have to do is poke it with a skewer. You should feel a slight resistance from the fillet. Once you remove the skewer, press it to your hand. It should still be warm. If the skewer is cold, you need to cook the fish longer, but if it's too hot, sorry — that means you've overcooked the fish.

Ripert's technique works for just about any fillet of white fish, which includes not just halibut but others like tilapia and sole. Need more inspiration for ways to cook fish that are easy enough for even amateur home cooks to master? Check out these 16 simple fish dinners for lazy weeknights.

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