A Tale of the Sea(food) March 08 2014, 0 Comments
It was dinner time. Baby Luciano was crying, producing far more noise than a 9 month old should physically be capable of, because he hadn’t had his dinner. The organic bananas I brought home from the shop that he loves so much simply could not blend fast enough. His older brother Antonio was on the couch, complaining of headache that, more likely than not, was being intensified by the minute due to his Luch’s wails. His dinner was just being thrown on the skillet and would be done in about ten minutes or so, though to a hungry seven year old, it may as well have been ten years. To top it all off, my dear wife, who under ordinary circumstances would have been able to be right there with me on the front lines of this whole “feeding two screaming kids” situation, was sick in bed, and therefore not able to offer assistance. It was not long after this particular moment, when Luciano had been pacified and Antonio was digging in to his wild-caught filet of sole (seasoned with a tomato garlic spread and topped with crumbled up graham crackers because I’m the best dad in the world), that I realized I myself had not yet eaten. Such is life, eh?
Well, it was at this point that I faced a problem that I’m sure many of you can relate to. I was hungry, but after a full day of work, taking care of my better half, and feeding two hungry kids, I was exhausted. To complicate things further, I’m being good and not indulging in beef, pork, veal, chicken, or any of the other foods that make up the majority of a butcher’s diet for the remainder of the month (is bacon it’s own food group? No? Well it should be, darn it). Frying fish is easy, but I don’t think my wife (or my gut, for that matter) would appreciate fried dinners every night for the next 30 days. Fortunately, I’m a guy who knows his seafood, and therefore knows that fish does not have to be fried to be quick, easy, and delicious. I looked to my refrigerator, and inspiration struck.
An 8oz filet of Loch Duart salmon I had set aside for myself earlier in the week would be my entrée for the evening. I had originally vacuum sealed it and placed it in my freezer, because my powers of foresight are incredible, and so it had been sitting the fridge to thaw out for about a day. It was ready, and after the day I had, so was I. Some olive oil, necessary for locking in the flavor of the salt in pepper I was preparing to dash on, was applied to the filet. Some fresh squeezed lemon juice was a must. And, after having a bite of the supper I had put together for Antonio a few minutes before, I decided to try the crumbled graham cracker on my fish as well. Yes, this acceptable for adults, and yes, it is delicious. With the abnormally pleasant weather we had yesterday, I fired up the grill and threw my creation on the flame. While that cooked I went back inside and cut up an organic sweet potato (probably my favorite of all the organic produce we’ve been putting out at the shop). I took my salmon off the grill and went back to my sweet potato. With just the right amount of seasoning and not much time at all, had some scrumptious, homemade, thick-cut sweet potato fries. I emphasize some, because Tono, seeing what I had been cooking, decided to sneak a few for himself. I can’t say I blame him though, because they were absolutely phenomenal. The salmon was all mine, though, and the initial crunch created by the slightly sweet graham cracker crumbs that came before the delicate texture of the fish itself was absolute bliss for my taste buds. It was truly one of those meals that one wants to try and prolong for as long as possible, so as to savor all the delicious subtleties that would go unnoticed in an animalistic feeding frenzy that is usually brought on by such delectable flavor. What I’m getting at, folks, is that it was a darn good piece of salmon.
The reason I tell this story is to drive home a point that many of the people I talk to think are impossible. That is, seafood can be:
All at the same time. Seriously. A common misconception of fish is that there is no such intersection where each of these characteristics come together to create what can only be described as seafood nirvana. I’m going to be putting down quite a bit of fish this month, and in this foodie’s humble opinion, there’s far too much quality seafood out there to limit oneself to beer-battered this or deep-fried that.
Few foods on this earth offer such incredible health benefits with such incredible flavor as fish. At the store we have over 2 dozen varieties of wild-caught seafood. We bring it in fresh every Thursday, and fresh-freeze select filets for sale out in our freezer. There are so many varieties available and cooking methods for every taste that the possibilities are essentially endless. I’ve included a few of my favorite recipes in this very newsletter for you to enjoy. I hope that if you’re wary of experimenting with new methods of cooking your seafood, or have just been looking for the perfect recipe to mix things up, you’ll take a look at what we put together here at Catullo’s and take away from it a whole new outlook on what potential such dishes have. I hope it inspires you to push the envelope even further and create your own brilliant dishes. Already have a few ideas that you’d like to share? Send me an email – I’d love to see what you’ve cooked up, and I’m always trying to experiment in the kitchen. If you want us to, we can even feature your culinary masterpiece in a future edition of our newsletter!
So there you go folks. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these recipes, and who knows, maybe they’ll come in handy when you next need to prepare something quick, delicious, and nutritious, and possibly with a crying baby just a few feet away.