Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blast from the past

Black bass. Growing up in New Jersey, a few times each summer my dad and I would go out on a party boat fishing for fluke, but often wind up catching loads of these. We'd catch sea robin and skate too, but that wasn't as good for dinner. Even if we'd come back short on fluke, we would usually have bags (we weren't fancy--we used garbage bags for our catch) of these things. We knew the bass were good eating, but they were always an afterthought. The goal was always to get a doormat of a fluke that we could bring to a local restaurant where the chef would prepare it for us. Again, nothing fancy, but the Jersey Shore is cool like that. Besides some unfortunately fragrant salmon, my family was not big on cooking fish at home.

The pictured dish was a quick and simple lunch. The black bass was from Kate's Fish, where they were more than happy to fillet it while I was waiting. Generally I enjoy filleting fish, but these days I'm not shy about getting it done for me. It's not like back in New Jersey where you'd get to the dock and the boat's mates would hack up the fish for a tip. There, sometimes you'd wind up with a great fillet job or some nice steaks, but more often than not the speed of the cutting, not the precision of it, would be what was most impressive. From my limited experience, South Florida seems even worse in that regard. In those situations the whole fish comes home with me. At Kate's you get a professional cut job each time. And if you have to wait 10 min for the fish to be cut, there are worse places than the WSM to spend time browsing. Either way, these fillets were coated with salt, pepper, ground coriander, and olive oil before being broiled skin side up for about 2 min. The couscous, one of the easiest sides of all time, was cooked according to package directions with some salt, olive oil, and dried fruit.

Before eating everything was drizzled with more Spanish olive oil and squirted with lemon juice. The lemon juice, olive oil, and coriander added a brightness that worked well with the sweet dried fruit. Nothing crazy, but clean tasting and refreshing for an on the fly weekend lunch.


OhioMom said...

Okay this is my all time favorite fish .. I buy it over on Woodland at the fish market, and I don't mind the wait either :)

The CFT said...

I'll take your word on Woodland. Fishmonger relationships are not to be toiled with lightly.

OhioMom said...

This market is at 89th and Woodland, and the variety of fish is great! I will check out the WSM also :)