An Embarrassment Of Fishes

I had planned to make the black cod with miso tonight, with some rice and greens probably, when I get a call and before you know it I’ve got three sides of beautiful fresh black cod to work with. Most of it will get a smoke for the party on Saturday, but I cut off two nice pieces and upgraded my dinner plans to compensate. Milo is going through a not-loving-the-fish phase, just in time for us to be getting all this perfect free fish, but what can you do? I grabbed some marrow bones from the freezer, which he loves. Roasted, and served on collards steamed and puréed with fenugreek seeds and yogurt, they made for a good beginning.

Next, I rolled the fresh cod pieces (get it?) seasoned with shichimi, salt, and pepper in blanched whole collard leaves that I brushed with a little tamarind sauce. I rolled ‘em up good and gave them a sizzle in some leftover bratwurst fat that I had saved in a pan from earlier. Yep. I do that. After the fish packets were done, I served them on top of the last two butternut rounds in the fridge. To finish, a strained pan reduction made with some good local beer, and a crisp yet super-delicate chip made from gently baking the octopus sauce from last night on some parchment, then peeling it off. Some of those fancy starches make paper-thin crisps when dehydrated, and these worked pretty well. They had the intense flavor of the original sauce, and melted nicely into the new one when broken up.

A little rushed, but the two contrasting treatments of the fish was a nice follow-up to yesterday’s mackerel study. Both had lots of personality, but they shared a plate well; the miso and brat-beer sauces in particular got very friendly. The tastes were not as precise as last night, but then neither was my approach. Re-using so many ingredients in different ways is a good study in close harmony, helping me understand certain flavors better- and also, just as importantly, keeping the leftover parade chugging along efficiently.

9 comments to An Embarrassment Of Fishes

  • jesse

    Hi Peter, thanks for swinging by my blog! That bone marrow looks soooo delicious!

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    No wonder Milo likes the marrow. I would have liked marrow, too, at his age if my folks had dressed it up like that!

  • cook eat FRET

    lotta food study going on there
    a study in ________…
    very fancy and oh so teaseable

    i think the more involved your food gets the simpler mine gets. i grilled tuna last night with some sugar snap peas and a baked sweet potato. all plain with a side of sricha sauce.

    marrow photo is unreal but tastspotting won’t take it unless you ice it with buttercream

  • peter

    Jesse: It was very tasty, and perfect for a cold, snowy night.

    Jen: He loves to poke it out of the bone with a chopstick.

    Claudia: It’s true, and cakespotting can kiss my savory, un-frosted ASS.

  • Heather

    First of all, snort @ cod pieces.

    Second, are you fucking kidding me with tamarind sauce? I didn’t know to what you were referring last night when you mentioned psychic link, but I guess you knew all along that I was making salmon with tamarind sauce. Mine was too intense, and would serve better as a soup base (salmon tom yum?).

    Did you notice that cakespotting is down? Has been since last night. I smell a conspiracy.

    An aside, I just downloaded The Cold Nose by Department of Eagles, and it is really great.

  • cookiecrumb

    The crisps are great! Thanks for a new idea.
    And I love the photo of the tree-trunk shrub on Shrek goop. Yumza.

  • Jo

    okay, I have 6 of those marrow bones in my freezer and I’m jonesing. Have you tried shrink and water and the roast or roast the whole way. I was wondering about getting most of the way there with the circulator and then finishing hard in the oven.
    It looks divine.

  • Brittany

    heh. codpiece.

    I can’t believe your kid will eat marrow. I love it, but as a child I would have told my parents to fuck right off if they attempted to feed it to me.

    Milo is awesome. I want one just like him when I grow up.

  • peter

    Blanche: See? It’s positively eerie, all this supernatural power.

    Oh, and just for the record, cakespotting demurred on this one too.

    CC: I live to serve.

    Jo: I haven’t sous-vided bones, but I’m sure it would work well; they do pour off a lot of fat when roasted, and I bet the bath would help lessen that. But I might finish them in a pan or under a broiler just for a minute, or else the gentle cooking might be for naught.

    Brittany: Your kid is going to eat your divine baked goods every day and yearn for a parent like me who doesn’t make sweets.

    It could happen.

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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