Tuesday, July 2, 2013

fish countering.

last week, i did something a little out of the ordinary. i stretched myself ever so slightly out of my comfort zone to overcome an irrational fear of trying something new. i didnt set out with this particular goal in mind, and i was dangerously close to turning back and continuing on with my normal routine. but then suddenly there i was: buying fresh fish at the fish counter in the grocery store. fish countering, to use it as a verb.

it was for one of the new gluten-free recipes i decided to try last week, roast salmon with salsa. i probably could have just used my same old method of frozen fish in a bag, but the fish guy was so nice, and he didnt laugh at me for admitting that it was my first time fish-countering, and the whole experience was just so pleasant that before i knew it i was at home preparing fresh fish for dinner like it was no big thang.

this recipe was one of those sneaky ones that lures you in by only having three listed steps, but then hides extra steps in the ingredient list: things like 1 tomato, roughly chopped and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped. i'm only assuming that using the handle of a spoon is an appropriate method for seeding a jalepeno pepper because that is how i did it because the recipe didn't tell me how.

so after the hidden prep steps was finally step 1: preheat the oven. thats it. a whole step just for that. so its not like they didnt have any extra room on this line to add - "chop all of the vegetables, and by the way this is how you seed a jalapeno." apparently that would be too helpful.

step 2: dump everything but the fish into the food processer and process.

their salsa looked way more appetizing than this. i'm no longer sure that my magic bullet is the same thing as a food processor. 

step 2.5 (disguised as a tip): skin the fish. the good thing about tips is that they are helpful, and they actually give information as to what exactly is the best way to skin a fish fillet.

so when they say to use a long sharp knife, they do not mean "eh, that medium sized knife with the broken handle should probably be sufficient." they mean "get the longest knife you own and even then you will wish you had a third hand to properly accomplish this task." it was messy and even a little ugly and my hands smelled like fish the rest of the night.

step 3: dump the salsa on the fish and bake in the preheated oven. btw, if you were planning on making any sides to go with this, you probably should have started them before now because the fish will be done in like 12 minutes and the asparagus will take twice that long. sorry we forgot to include that tip.

additional step 4: ENJOY! why recipe writers do not always include this as a final step is beyond me. its like a mandate to be happy with the results, and it has a subtle undertone of 'or else' which is just threatening enough to scare people into not saying anything bad about the food without being so terrifying as to make them run screaming from the room.

"but what if i dont find this food enjoyable? what is the alternative? i dont think i want to find out... the recipe clearly tells me to enjoy it, and it hasn't let me astray so far, so i must follow the recipe! mmm... delicious!"

since i was the one who added step 4, i dont have to be intimidated by it. so i can honestly say that the salmon was good. the salsa was kind of weird. and dinner as a whole, what with the triumph of the fresh fish procured by the fish countering, was kind of exhilarating and a little bit empowering, and everyone knows that the taste of victory is a sweet one. you should try it sometime. if you grocery store has a fish counter, that is. (sorry, mom. no fish countering for you)

1 comment:

Miss Brenda said...

I will revel in your triumph. Good job!! (I would buy your cookbook)