Saturday, March 29, 2008


I wanted to make whole duck last night but the Columbus Circle Whole Foods did not have any. Balducci's also did not have a single duck in stock. Are they out of season? Is everyone cooking them? Or is no one cooking them?

Anyway, I refused to go to a third store. Didn't want any beef, the lamb was ridiculously over-priced, I've been eating chicken almost every day, I'm trying not to get sick of salmon, Chilean sea bass looked good but I always feel guilty eating it, and the sole is always more expensive than you'd think it should be. Hey, I haven't had trout for a while. And I don't think I've ever cooked it before.

They looked so good at Balducci's. And so affordable. Only $10 for two fish.

Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques had a really simple recipe for trout and the fishmonger did most of the hardest parts for me. All I had to do was lightly dredge the skin side in flour, salt and pepper, fold the fish in half, width-wise, and cook them in a skillet with butter. Five minutes per side over medium heat. With the heads on.

I took the fish off the heat, toasted some sliced almonds in the cooking butter, and then spooned the almonds on the fish. I placed some lemon slices covered in minced parsley on top, and that was all!

I like this dish. It's simple and cooks the fish nicely, I like almonds, and I think keeping the heads on is cool. Mabel was freaked out by the heads and asked me not to make it this way anymore. I think the heads are cool.

This was my fish.

And this one was Mabel's.

Hers looks a little meaner. Maybe that was the problem. They look like angry turtles.


dave said...

I agree - your nice fish head is the difference!

I'm equal parts repelled by the heads on fish and happy to be reminded of the processes that lead to consumption. I'd rather not forget the processes and sacrifices made in order that humans may eat.

C(h)ristine said...

I like fish cooked whole (heads and all)...but Mabel's fish head does have a creepy expression.

crystal said...

Poor Mabel... I agree that mean-looking fish are scary to eat.

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David said...

Dave, Christine, and Crystal: It seems like Mabel's fish head has engendered a lot of sympathy. I guess it is a little unsettling. Hmm. Hey, if you really want to see repellent or creepy or mean-looking, you should look out for whole monkfish. Now that's an ugly-looking fish. But grilled whole, it's super excellent.

l e r: Hey, is this blog spam? I don't think I've ever gotten blog spam before.