I’m super picky about fish. In fact I never even liked the stuff until I was in college. As a child I had fish sticks and flounder (usually frozen) that my mom would force down my throat. In college, in order to introduce me to sushi, he literally shoved a piece into my mouth when I wasn’t paying attention. It was pretty good, really good actually. So for a while, I only ate raw fish, still nothing cooked.
Eventually I started opening myself up to white fish, which is still by far my favorite. Halibut, striped bass, bronzino, and especially flaky fish I can find locally. I eat scallops as well. Sea scallops, the big meaty ones. Otherwise, I’m still not a fan of shellfish. The texture, especially mussels and clams, really turns me off. And salmon. I know how healthy it is for you and really, I have tried to like it, but unless it’s raw sushi or sashimi, I have no interest. I must be the only New Yorker out there who would pass up a bagel with fresh lox.
So even though I love unfishy fish (white fish, not a fan of the oily ones), I’m extremely particular what restaurants I order it from and where I buy it cook. Of course, local is always best. You won’t find me eating fish in a Fridays restaurant. Come to think of it, you probably won’t find me eating at a Fridays period. Nothing against it, but there are just so many other fantastic restaurants in New York, in a variety of price ranges, why settle for a chain restaurant?
If I’m making fish at home, I generally shop at the luxuriously overpriced Dean & Deluca (really because it was right next door to my old office), Whole Foods, Union Market or best case scenario–my local Greenmarket. The other problem is, if I’m making fish, I’m buying it and cooking it same day. Which is why getting fish at the greenmarkets has become a luxury. Rarely are we home on Saturday nights (when I most often visit the markets), so Saturday night fish dinner is out of the question. And I know I could put the fish in the fridge until Sunday night, but it just feels wrong. So if I’m actually able to get to the market on Saturday AND be home to cook dinner that night, the only thing I’m serving is fish.
Like most things, I keep my fish very simple. A little garlic, oil, salt and pepper, maybe some white wine, and acid, usually lemon. I try to pan sear, or bake, whatever I’m in the mood for. Last time I picked up some beautiful striped bass from American Seafood at the Bay Ridge Greenmarket. American catches their fish in Suffolk County, in the Long Island Sound. I was a little rushed picking up the fish, so I while I glanced and it all looked good, I didn’t pay too much attention to the portion size. The fish monger said it was about half pound fillets, so I got two, but ended up with closer to a pound and a half of fish.
When I got the fillets home, they were HUGE, but mainly thick. Searing would have left me with a pretty raw center, so instead of pan searing, I sort of poached them in a white wine lemon juice broth. Seared at first in a hot pan, then added the broth, covered and let it cook through. I thought I did pretty well. Thoughts?
- A Saturday Night Dinner (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- Locavore Challenge #20: Join a Food Coop or Winter CSA (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- Locavore Challenge #28: Sip on Local Beer, Wine, Spirits or Juices (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)