Fearlessly Cooking Fresh Fish!
Gone Fishing! A common summer pastime. Over the 4th of July weekend, my husband went fishing in a secret LIS location and caught his limit of Sea Bass. It is all fun and games until someone has to do the cooking!
Do you shriek in fear of cooking fresh wild fish? Who is going to clean it? What if I don’t prepare it well? What if there are still bones in there? In the past, whenever I was given fresh fish, I often gave it away because I had never really cooked it before. Don’t get me wrong, I am great with Salmon and Swordfish, but delicate, delicious Sea Bass I had never attempted to cook. This time I decided it was time. I did some research, I thought about what were my favorite ways to enjoy this fish. My favorite Sea Bass dish is from Valbella, it is Chilean Seabass, and they serve it wrapped in potato with a mustard cream sauce and the entire dish is to die for! If you have never had it, I recommend it highly. I did not have any potatoes on hand, nor did I think I could successfully execute this dish, so I kept thinking. It is always good to try to use ingredients you have on hand. Miraculously, this season I actually have tomatoes in my garden! And I have been able to pick and eat them before the squirrels! So life is good!
I found a recipe that had a tomato compote with olives as an accompaniment to the fish. I also love a nut encrusted fish, so I thought about a cornmeal and pistachio crusted recipe with a Mango Salsa. Alas, my husband is a purist and only likes things simple, not too many flavors going on, so he did not want the nuts, plus I did not have any mangoes on hand either! I kept looking and came across this simple recipe of Salt and Peppercrusted Sea Bass. Perfect! I had my plan… I would combine the two recipes and compromise. I would cook the fish in the Salt and Pepper crust, and prepare the Tomato and olive compote on the side. I was able to incorporate my garden tomatoes and fresh basil and create a light fresh meal on a hot summer night.
I had heard from the other fishermen on his adventure, that even though the filets were cleaned with care, there were still a few bones to be found. I also had to rinse and scrape off any pesky scales that might have remained. But I learned a valuable lesson; I recommend a clean set of pliers to pull those pesky little bones out! I decreased the length of my thumbnail by a hair from using that as a tool to pull those bones out. I did a great job though, as I only found 1 bone in all the cooked filets!
Aside from how delicious the meal was, the best gift I got was the next day, my husband texted me in the morning and thanked me again for how delicious the meal was. That made it all worthwhile.
Do you fear the fish? I encourage you to be brave and give it a try! But if you are not feeling up to the challenge, worry no more. I can happily walk you through it, or one of our talented chefs would be glad to help you out. Give us a call. Do you have a favorite fish recipe you would like to share? I would love to hear from you.