Oh Fishy Fish

Yesterday was the weekly market, so I went over to poke around- grabbing a couple of huge nappa cabbage for the next batch of kimchi, since ours got either eaten by slugs or are too small- and to pick up some fish. Gerard actually took the week off, but did bring John and me some lovely sardines because John is famous and I am, well, special. So I ran home and put some dinner together.

I steamed half a cauliflower, and when soft I blended it with pimentón, yogurt, salt, and truffle oil. There was some leftover plain quinoa, so I tossed it with olive oil, kimchi juice, and leftover bitter green mash to make a pretty nice pilafy thing. The fish I seared in the iron pan with garlic and thyme, then removed them and made an insta-escabeche by deglazing with sherry vinegar, lemon juice, beer, tomato paste, more herbs, and a little mustard. Normally, of course, one marinates the fish in this overnight, but I just used it as a sauce. It worked decently; the sharp acidity is just what nice oily fish like these cry out for. Marjoram flowers made a pretty and tasty garnish.

Tomorrow will be a busy day of kimchi, stock, and bread-making, plus smoking more bacon if there’s time. At the market yesterday I ordered a big-ass hunk of pork belly for next week to make us a winter’s worth of bacon.

6 comments to Oh Fishy Fish

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Who's John? Have I heard of him? Probably not. But I HAVE heard of you, which means you're more famous than John. So there.

    How much bacon do you think will last a winter for a family of three? I've been considering doing the same, and don't know how much to estimate. Fortunately, our local SuperTarget carries Niman Ranch bacon, for the time being.

  • denise

    Hubba hubba–looks tasty!

  • cookiecrumb

    That's food. Nice. I've only grilled sardines outdoors; gotta cowboy up and try the cast iron pan.

  • Brooke

    It looks fantastic, but I haven't had much luck with sardines. Mostly, they never taste as good as they look.

    And yes, you are very special.

  • We Are Never Full

    love sardines. jonny could eat them every day. curious about the truffle oil and the oiliness of the fish. very interesting flavor combo – love that you did the cauliflower puree to go w/ it.

    we all know how special you are. you're good enough, smart enough and gosh darnit people like you.

  • peter

    Kristie: I ordered a whole belly- about 11 pounds.

    Denise: Yep. I love the oily fish.

    CC: It's not so grilly, but it does the job. Grilled is better.

    Brooke: Try the grill.

    Amy: You like me? You really like me?

Yours Truly



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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