Saffron Poached Fish in Tomato-Coconut Broth

Saffron Poached Fish

I’m still trying to figure out this cooking fish thing. But sometimes in my experimentation I stumble across something awesome. It all began with my Vanilla Saffron Imports.

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SRC: Steamed Mussels in White Wine Cream

Mussels White Wine Cream

For years people have been trying to convince me how easy mussels are to make. Add a bit of wine or broth, bring it to a boil, add the mussels and steam. So why have I not taken them up on such simple advice? Well, one reason is because I don’t like mussels. *Gasp!* No, please don’t run away! I’m still game for trying almost any other food. It’s just shellfish. Mainly things you have to eat out of the shell, like oysters, clams and yes, mussels. It’s a texture thing.

I keep saying I’m going to make mussels for my husband–he loves them, but never really worked off the energy. It’s challenging enough to make one dinner, but two separate ones? Ugh. But when I got assigned Cinnamon Freud’s blog this month through the Secret Recipe Club and saw Karen’s Mussels in White Wine Sauce, I figured I had to just go for it.

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Oven Roasted Bronzino with Lemon

Roasted Bronzino with Lemon

Whole fish scares me. In a restaurant, it’s heavenly but at home, being prepared in my own kitchen, it’s more than a little daunting. In my efforts to consume more fish, I’ve determined $30/lb scallops and added cost fish fillets are not very economical. I needed to try making a fish. While I’m a huge fan of fresh fish from the greenmarkets (like the dirt cheap but delicious mussels I bought this morning), I doubt they have time to debone my fish with the 10 minute line behind me. Deboning is the next hurdle, don’t worry, but for now, I’ll just deal with cooking the whole thing.

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Halibut Steaks with Lemon Cream Sauce

Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce

My husband and I have the same discussion every few months. We’ve already cut our meat intake but get bored with only veggies and lack of recipes ideas. Ultimately, it leads to more take out. We decide we should eat fish more often. Like a lot more fish–at least twice a week. I come home with some black bass to broil or pan fry or maybe some scallops to sear. Sometimes there’s some dine out sushi thrown in there. We eat, admire how tasty the meal was, then go back to our normal habits of low meat, lots of veggies and grains and take out. Three months later, repeat.

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Fish Tacos with Pickled Peppers & Apples

Fish Tacos

The kitchen isn’t quite yet restored. The pot rack went up Sunday, finally, and while it looks mostly complete (sans the microwave sitting in the middle of the floor), there’s surprisingly a lot missing. Our tea balls have yet to be discovered. For the time being our evening tea *gasp* must be standard tea bags rather than loose. Most of the pots have been found, though the colander is still MIA. I bought some yogurt the other day, but the fantastic granola we brought home from Vermont is yet to be found. It’s a work in progress. I’m hoping Sunday I’ll have lots of time to organize. My husband will be away playing Dungeons and Dragons (yes, he’s 30-something and still plays; if you don’t know what it is, trust me, it’s better) so I will have the day to myself. Writing, decorating and still unpacking.

Our diet has gradually shifted from 100% to about 50% takeout. I can’t tell you how much I crave normalcy. And the meals we do cook have been simple, though still creative. Tonight was my first attempt at fish tacos. Something I’ve loved for years (I can’t get enough from Ho’Brah a few blocks south), but never attempted on my own. In my eyes, a good taco is simply a complementary blend of things, wrapped together in a corn tortilla. Protein, acid, crunch, sweet and salt. And a little bit of heat is a given.

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