So, this week I finally ventured into the local seafood shop, situated, oddly enough, at the local airport. When I think about it, it actually does make perfect sense to process the day's catch right there at the airport, but initially it had that 'Eww, Avgas flavoured fish!" feeling.
I told the woman behind the counter that this was the first time I'd bought fish (I'm not counting flake, remember) and cooked it and needed some help. She was very helpful in recommending 2 there that were 'mild' in flavour: Whiting and... darned if I can remember it! The Whiting was quite small and I ended up getting 3 pieces and the other one was a diamond shaped piece about palm sized. It had a smooth silver side and flesh side, while the whiting was all flesh.
Our conversation went something like:
Me: I really need fish that hasn't been frozen, it has to be fre...
Her: Oh, you can freeze any piece here...
Me: No... I don't want to freeze it, but I have a daughter who is very sensitive to food chemicals and storing and freezing the fish increases those chemicals...
Her: None of it's frozen.
Me: Oh, ....really? Great. Oh... how about the calamari? Is that not frozen? It says it's from New Zealand.
Her: Oh. That's frozen.
Me: *sigh* thinking 'Why am I always having this conversation? Is it fresh? Yes... Is this bit fresh? No.' *My brain hurts*
Her: Oh, so you wouldn't want processed meat then.
Me: Errrr...no. Errr... processed???
Her: The calamari's processed..
Me: Really? (confused) How's it processed?
Her: Well, it's all bleached and stuff. It doesn't look like that. If you want real calamari from here, you can get it, but it costs about $35 a kilo. And you have to clean it yourself.
Me: *gob smacked* thinking 'Oh my God!!! They bleach it??? That sounds like reclaimed meat for chicken nuggets. Ewww'
So I learned something new. Calamari is bleached.
If you are having a low chemical diet, you'll probably be interested to know that we can have FRESH:
White fish (Bream, Whiting, Perch, Snapper, Flathead...)
No prawns as they are soaked in a sulphite preservative on the boat and other crustaceans may be in there as well if in the same catch.
Freshness is the key. Caught, bought, cooked and eaten in one day. Wow, aren't I lucky I live by the sea??!?!
I'd count myself even luckier if I actually enjoyed fish!
How'd we go? Well, I cooked the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, after crumbing it in my own fresh breadcrumbs. I served it with homemade wedges (yeah, they're not 'chips'). I ate the whiting and it reminded me of 'Fish Fingers'. A little bit 'fishy', but okay with a stack of lemon juice. Before I got to it, Mr Frillypants had already said the other piece of fish was 'Not for me.' and pushed his plate away. Ms D had done something similar and Ms JR was just flat out refusing to touch any of it. But, Ms C just sat there very quietly and scoffed the lot. Ate every little bit... even the silver skin that the rest of us had peeled of while doing some more nose wrinkling.
It was a bit surreal actually.
So, our first seafood adventure was a bit of a failure, but something we need to persevere with. I need to go back, find out what we had and see if there's not anything even more mild, without resorting to eating the plastic bags.
Any ideas? How do you cook fish in your house? Which fish?