Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Failed Fish

Just when I'm getting all excited that I'm starting to master fish, I have one of those dinners that feels like a total flop.

Tuesdays are the night we have my father-in-law-to-be (Chris) up to dinner. Usually I try to do something new. Yesterday it was chinese style fish steamed in foil (from Sally Schneider).

Chris is always big on saying I can cook anything, but yesterday I proved him wrong.

So to start off I had surgery on Monday so there I am sprawled on the couch at 4:30 trying to psyche myself up to start cooking but wincing in pain and feeling slightly faint and nauseous at the same time. I'd stopped off at Mutual Fish and bought some whole trout and I had the other fixings. Cobe called right about then and sounded worried, "are you sure? I could pick up take out."

I should have taken the hint.

Instead I put a pot of boiling water on thinking I would make mashed potatoes. And slowly the pain eased and I minced some garlic, ginger and scallions, mixed it with fermented black beans and stuffed the cavities of the trouts. Then mixed soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and sherry and poured that on top, and sealed them up in little foil packets.

All sounds good, yes?

Then I threw some delicata squash (halved) in a pan with butter and 5-spice and a little water to steam and covered them with foil. Threw everything in the oven and went back to laying on the couch.

Eventually decided rice would be better than mashed potatoes, threw in some sesame seeds for flavor. And decided we needed dessert so threw some halved pears in a pan with melted butter and vanilla and lemon juice.

Chris came up at 6:30, we sat down to eat at 7 (this is kind of a record for me....we've eaten at 9pm before). And the food? Well. After all that fuss the trout bland and was a devil to deal with, bones and skin everywhere just for a tiny piece of meat. I put some cilantro on top but ended up just dousing it with soy sauce and eating with the rice, which we damn well could have done anyway without all the futsy mincing.

The squash had a nice flavor, but wasn't moist and creamy like it should be, it had this waxy quality that kind of ruined it for me. And the pears were burned because I forgot to turn them mid-way like I was supposed to. But other than that, they were actually pretty some kind of pie without the crust. Perfect when mixed with a little vanilla ice cream. Could have done without the skins though, damn my laziness.

Fish: C+ (edible)
Squash: C
Pears: B+

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