Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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.


jesse said...

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

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

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 said...

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 said...

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 said...

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 said...

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

Jo said...

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 said...

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 said...

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.