It is in my blood to get just as excited about trying a new food as I do waiting for Christmas to come. So whilst I was home this past weekend I commandeered the use of my familiar family kitchen and set out on a quest to demystify cooking fish as home. I love fish, it is one of my favorite treats. It is always what I ask for for my birthday dinner, and I am not picky either. Raw, seared, blackened, grilled, poached, Asian style, salmon, monkfish, shellfish, sandwiches, salads, you name it. But I, like so many other home cooks I know, was scared to death to try my hand at home. It's too expensive. There is no way I can keep it from sticking. What in the world would I serve it with? I don't have time. Oh I was so very wrong...
I might have mentioned before that I cook a lot with my dad when I am home. We share the same bottomless stomach and curious nature which makes brainstorming, tasting, adjusting, and daydreaming about what we will have for dinner one of our favorite past times. And he too, does a fair amount of cooking on his own and has yet to crack the "fish at home" fear either. So we embarked on the journey together, and thus produced a most wonderful plate of food.
Pretty right? It just screams summer. We attempted talapia, a mild, inexpensive, (yes you read correctly) and "blank canvas" fish. Grilled with fresh thyme, parsley, and lemon slices, then topped with a summery salsa of blueberry, strawberry, diced parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar made for a deliciously different protein. Paired with our favorite grilled veggie (asparagus) and a rice pilaf (minced parsley, arugula, thyme, grape tomatoes, olive oil and tarragon vinegar) and we were in business.
I am here to tell you you no longer have to avoid your wanting eyes when you walk past the seafood department at your local grocer. Instead, take a deep breath, march your little self up there, and ask the fish monger what he can recommend. Yet another way to connect with a complete stranger about food!