The Day Of The Dad

I’ve been taking the weekends off from the blog lately, and though traffic craters as a result I can’t bring myself to care. This is why I’ll never be famous. The eating continues, even though in today’s modern world of the future one could argue that a meal eaten without being photographed and written up is much akin to the tree falling in the forest with nobody around. Last night I did get out the camera, because we had a pretty good dinner inspired by some first-rate fish courtesy of Gerard, who called on Saturday to say that he had more than he could deal with. So I drove over and picked up a trove of goodies.

The haul included softshell crabs, sablefish, squid, littlenecks, and a little flat of uni. To begin, Milo and I ate soft-shelled crabs on Saturday night. I made a nice tartar sauce with a quick cider vinegar-duck egg mayonnaise (with a few uni thrown in) to which I added capers, pickled garlic, and pickled jalapeños. There was salad. He loves the crispy claws, so I ended up giving him a bunch of mine while I ate the bodies. I also rubbed one of the sides of sablefish (aka black cod) with red miso and maple syrup, then wrapped and fridged it overnight. Yesterday I floured and fried the rest of the crabs, then set then aside to cool. The garden yielded arugula, garlic scapes, and wonderful red lettuce. I took some leftover short-grain brown rice out of the fridge and grabbed some nori.

The rolls were simple enough; some of the mayo, a squirt of sriracha, some arugula, the straight part of a scape, and then a quartered crab arranged roughly in a line. Very nice, though fresh rice would have been a little stickier.

Then I rinsed and dried the fish and cut it into smallish pieces. Once the iron pan was hot, I added a dab of duck fat and then set the fish in there, skin side down, until it got thoroughly crispy and released from the pan. I flipped them for another minute or two to caramelize on the flesh side, then removed them to bowls. After draining excess fat, I threw in the curly scapes and let them get a good sear, then poured in a bit of the miso-maple marinade along with raspberry vinegar and a little bit of the jellied duck stock that had been quivering under the fat I used to lube the pan. The sauce went over the fish, a scape adorned, and last I placed little citrus marigold leaves on each dish. They have a wonderfully exotic yet earthy flavor, and are pretty to boot. I’m excited for the flowers, too, which are budding now.

Crispy skin, creamy fish, sweet-sour-umami sauce, crunchy-chewy scape, and bright floral marigold all made for a rich and varied experience, albeit one that stayed within a pretty narrow range. I’m starting to miss the ocean more; it sure would be nice to have better access to this sort of food on a regular basis, instead of having it be a special occasion.

5 comments to The Day Of The Dad

  • Mo

    Wow. Fantastic photos. It all looks amazing. If it makes you feel better, about the whole being famous thing, your blog is the only blog I make a point of actually remembering to follow. I can always be assured of some fabulous food porn and future cooking inspiration.

  • El

    I like the food pron too like Mo but goodness I wonder how you’re able to blog all the time. If it means anything to you at all, once I started blogging only weekly my numbers skyrocketed and haven’t gone down since…it’s my humble opinion that good content gets good hits. And you’re one for good–often great–content. Not to suck up too much that is. Just to give you permission to lighten up and enjoy your life, picture/blog/twit free.

    But I do envy your access to the fishies. Tell Milo Muireann’s jealous.

  • No matter how much I love a blog… I just can’t keep up with someone 5 times a week… I am in the less is more school. I love your blog when I visit and am mad for crabs… and your lovely pottery!!!

  • Love the blistered garlic scapes. I prefer the sporadic schedule for blogging, since your posts are full of wonderful content. I am willing to wait a day or three for what you offer.

  • Peter

    Mo: It figures that you like my blog and also find porn inspiring. Pervert.

    El: The day-to-day part of it is important to me, since we try to eat almost every day.

    Deana: I actually used these same bowls in the next post. I feel terrible.

    Karen: That’s nice to hear (from all of you). There’s a perpetual tradeoff between the daily journal/quotidian here’s what we had for dinner part and the more lofty, carefully worked posts. But those sort of come along when they want to, and in between I feel pretty good just describing our meals.

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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