A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Had your chips?

Friday, I usually cook fish. This week: Best end of Cod.

Our fishmonger lands his catches just outside one of our restaurants. Every now and then a stray crab makes its way to our front windows under the gaze of our bemused customers.

The fish we are supplied with is very fresh. There is nothing like a piece of cod lightly fried in olive oil with a few herbs and finished off in the oven.
Most Fridays, I go to our fishmongers and choose something for tea. It can be anything, from halibut to sea bass, cod to skate, mussels to crabs...

I remember picking mussels from a rocky beach just outside Dieppe a long time ago with my cousin's husband. We took them home, cleaned and scrubbed them . Then my cousin cooked them. They were delicious! I still use her recipe for our Moules Marinières.

Ahhh! So much fish, so little time!
PS: Please support your local fishmonger. Supermarket fish is naff!

What fish do you like best? (that is if you like fish.)




Blogger Akelamalu said...

I love all fish.

My favourite recipe is Fish Bilboa (think that's how it's spelt) a recipe given to my MIL by a spanish friend.

Cod Loin cooked with onions, tomatoes and white wine - delicious.

28/4/07 10:49 AM  
Blogger Edvard Moonke said...

if I had to pick one thing to eat every day for the rest of my life, it would be fish.

but you're right, it has to be fresh (unless it's the portuguese style salt cod (bacalhau), of course, which is one of the loveliest things in life).

growing up in brazil, we never ate fresh cod because it's a north sea fish.

but when at the seaside, getting up at 6 in the morning to meet the fishermen boats with my dad is one of my most cherished childhood memories.

28/4/07 11:07 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Akelamalu, I think I have had something similar baked in the oven. Gorgeous!

Marcos, Salt Cod has reminded of this episode. Summer '77 repairing a friend's ship in Brest (Brittany)
Before the crew arrived from Greece, his girlfriend cooked our meals. One day Cod and chips was on the menu. The only thing is that she had used Salt Cod but had not soaked it in water overnight. Absolutely horrendous! We drank so much water that day, we leaked!

28/4/07 11:35 AM  
Blogger anna said...

I must confess that I've never had fresh cod. I've only ever tasted my mother's salt cod (baccala - not sure about the spelling). I wouldn't know what to do with fresh cod.

As far as fish - I love it. I can't remember any fish dishes I didn't like. Salmon is lovely, as is tuna, swordfish, eel, petoncles (sorry, the english word isn't coming to me right now), squid, shrimp, crab, etc, etc, etc. I just love fish and seafood and never grow tired of it.

28/4/07 2:28 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Lately we've been enjoying a very mild white fish called Basa. My favourite is typical of where I live: wild Pacific salmon. Magic.

28/4/07 3:25 PM  
Blogger Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

In Italy I love San Pietro, on the American Eastcoast, rockfish.
Whole, filled with a little spring onion, or wild mint in Italy, spashed with olive oil a little good dry white wine, roasted 10 minutes or so at very high temperature, served with fresh lemon slices. When in season, I like to add tiny sunripe tomatoes next to the fish, they make for a lovely sauce to dunk in your hard crust Italian bread. Some simple salad greens with olive oil and lemon, is all I need with it, and a glass of ice-cold Grüne Veltliner. Of course, I get my fish at the fish market, Vienna has some great ones, with incredibly fresh fish.

And when are you going to ask what we'd love to have for dessert??? *inticingsmilehere*

28/4/07 6:03 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Anna, there are different spellings in many countries. Fresh cod flakes the same way as salt cod which I love in a bean stew.
Pétoncles are queen scallops, if my memory serves me right.
I don't think I will ever tire of fish, either.

Andrea, Basa seems to be a cousin of Catfish. Pacific salmon is quite expensive here, so we have to do with the Scottish farmed variety. Yuk!!!

Merisi, I knew you'd be a good food fanatic!
Saint Pierre, San Pietro, John Dory.. So many names for a fantastic fish!
Today I had some grilled vegetables too. Fennel, scallions, courgettes, aubergines drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. The artichokes we get here aren't very nice.
Your salad dressing is exactly like mine. Simple but beautiful.
I do not know many Austrian wines. :o(
One day, I'll have to do a post on desserts... Mmmm...

28/4/07 6:57 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

You have to ask what fish I don't like, Cream. Snapper. The pink one.

We have grey snapper too, I like that.

My favourite is packoo, which you probably know as monk...munk? Mmmm. And catfish and sunfish and I love some that you don't know, Cream...hassar and curass and hourie and patwa and bangamary and butter basha.

I once had a fish called baramundi in Oz...mmmmm.

I like fish grilled, lightly, with lime / lemon juice and salt. That's it. Nothing to smother the taste.

With chips.

28/4/07 7:29 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Wow, Gigi! That is a list of fish I've never heard of!

In the Med that's how I like my fish. Unadulterated.

28/4/07 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We catch lots of fish - codling, whiting, dabs, huss - I generally just gut them and stick em in the oven for about 5 minutes with whatever is lying in reaching distance -like onions and garlic and stuff. Oh and in the summer loads of mackerels.. yummy eaten ten mins after being killed.

28/4/07 10:21 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Mutley, I am impressed. There's nowt like fresh fish. So easy to cook!

29/4/07 10:36 AM  
Blogger lettuce said...

mouth watering, we don't eat enough fish. (M is a meat man. :o( )

love it all, esp. fresh tuna rare). I used to like mussels but devd. an allergy - but so long as i can eat crustacea and scallops, i can live with that!

29/4/07 10:47 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Allergies! I have eaten oysters many times in England and loved them but twice in France I was violently ill.
Rare tuna! The only way to have it.
S, you'll have to swap Meat man for Fish man....;o)

29/4/07 2:11 PM  
Blogger Queenie said...

Fish fish fish, seafood, love it, any day of the week. I have a nice dish I do with sea bass, just wish I could get it as fresh as you.
I think that now is the time of my life that fish is needed, after 40 the grey cells start to decrease at a rapid rate, I make spelling mistakes!!!!!!!

29/4/07 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Viking said...

mmm... The best fish I ever tasted was the Pacific salmon I caught in Alaska... Maybe because when you consider the cost of the boat rental and the shipping, it worked out to about $80 per pound!

30/4/07 1:31 AM  
Blogger kj said...

cream, i live in new england. the sea is part of who i am. so i love lobster, shrimp, cod, and i'm working on loving salmon because i know i should....


30/4/07 2:19 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

whatever is freshest is best, and "bland" white fish are (ho hum) not worth the bother....

best scallops I've had was when our Mexican cook on a Baha kayak trip dove (Sea of Cortez) and brought them up and opened them - no one else would try them - I was incredulous that they passed them by - he and I sat there, on a sand beach and he opened them, offered each one ritually around, then he and I ate every one: raw, garnished with sun and our appetites!

Best salmon: 2 I caught myself (but didn't have to clean!) on a fishing boat some 20 miles outside of the Golden Gate. I'd wagered my friends: I will wake at 4:00 AM, pay and go fishing: If I return with fish you will come over, we'll grill and eat it! If I return empty handed, you'll take me out to dinner! But - I caught my limit, and the salmon were amazing.......

30/4/07 4:03 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

you made this look so beautiful and it sounds delish!

30/4/07 6:32 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Queenie, I thinking you are fishing for compliments there. I'm sure you'll forgive me one day.
One of my favourite fish is sea bass. Whole, stuffed with garlic, cumin and coriander. And then chargrilled.

30/4/07 11:20 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Mike, that is an expensive bit of fish!! But I am sure it is worth it. I have tasted Alaskan Salmon but it had been frozen.

KJ, sounds like you are spoilt up there! There is nothing like wild salmon.

Hayden, you tell the best food tales I know. You make me want to jump on a plane and head for the Med right now to eat some grilled sardines. I love King Scallops just lightly grilled with a squeeze of lemon.

Thanks Val, it did taste nice.

30/4/07 11:31 AM  
Blogger Queenie said...


30/4/07 9:08 PM  
Blogger Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

should you ever get to Austria, as far as white wine is concerned, drink every Grüner Veltliner you can get ahold of (haven't had a bad one so far). I do know that this wine is for some years now all the rage among U.S.A. star cooks (I think Thomas Keller and Wolfgang Puck started the craze). And right they are, it is a great wine. I know one vintner, who does also a great red, and ships, if you'd ever think .... ;-)

1/5/07 6:40 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Merisi, I will definitely keep an eye on that wine.
I'll have to get some shipped just for my own personal consumption! I'm not sharing!

2/5/07 8:36 AM  
Blogger Caribbean Colors said...

The only fishes I don't care for are yellow tuna and mahi mahi.
I have those exact same white square plates!
I love square plates and flat bottles.

5/5/07 7:28 PM  

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