Jun 30, 2012

Cod fit for God


Hold your horses, we'll get to the precious unicorn poems soon.  Atlantic cod's on the menu today.  





Fish is expensive in the Midwest, especially ocean-caught flesh that's flown in on ice.  I'd eat it daily if we lived in a cottage by the sea and could hook a fillet from the boardwalk.  Twice-a-month treat is how we do it.

Used to walk the frozen aisles of Hy-Vee, carting off plastic sealed bricks of any old farm-raised talapia.  Then I tried fresh wild fish and got spoiled/ruined.  If you're used to purchasing frozen swimmers, try fresh and see what you think.


Shop
Held my nose and slinked inside a frou-frou food boutique to fetch some fetching cod.  













Gateway Market has a solid selection of Iowa chops and Angus ribeyes.










Seafood made my stomach growl, craw and shellfish waiting to be steamed and anointed with boiling garlic butter. 







Fresh Nemo should be eaten same day, so I buy just enough to fit down my cakehole.  A medium 8 ouncer, please.






Wild rice is friggin' pricey and friggin' delicious paired with fish, $13 per lb.  But self-serve bulk allows metering a single serving.  I got away with a baggy of this yummy nut-flavored black grain for $1.50.  

Useless facts:  Wild rice is not directly related to rice, and its hefting tab is due to the laborious "beat it with a stick" technique needed to harvest with reed knockers along northern Minnesota and Wisconsin lakes and streams.













Grabbed a lemon and kiwi to round out dinner.







Total damage was under $7, not bad for a high quality, healthy plate.


Rice Cooking
Rice is needy and requires 50 minutes, so get it going early.  The secret to delivering a non-clumpy mess is rinsing the dickens out of it.  Excess starch molds into a stiff blob, so baptize with cold water.  Continuously shake the grain while rinsing, after 90 seconds the water drainin' will change from milky white to clear when clean. 







I like to zap with hot butter to crisp and crack her open a little.  A two minute butter blast will do.






Grind salt, drop the olive oil and add water.  The amount of water depends on the type of rice and how moist you like it.  A good start is amount of rice x 1.5 = amount of water.  One cup of rice wants a cup-and-a-half of drink.  I just wing it and add enough to cover the rice, plus another quarter inch for absorption.  Full throttle until it boils, then reduce to low heat and cover with a tight lid.



 


Fish Grilling
The rice is happy, let's get the fish going.  Trial and error has taught me:

  • Don't marinate.  Fish doesn't hold up and will dissolve to mush if you spank it early with oil and spice.  
  • Don't cook fish directly on the grill grate, it'll stick and rip.  Use a foil pouch instead.
  • Experiment with seasoning until you find a winner that beats down blandness.
  • I'll slap you if you overcook it, keep an eye when grilling since it finishes in a few minutes. 

Light the grill, rinse the fillet in water and dry with a paper towel.






Try different combos of seasonings, today we'll go with salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne and lemon juice.  Dill or curry powder also work well.







Drizzle with olive oil to keep the swimmer moist and help the spices stay put.  Squeeze a lemon if you want, then shake taste on both sides.




looking gross

 
Lightly spray a long sheet of foil with oil, lay the dead fish and fold to make a metal pouch.  I add in a wedge of butter for taste and cholesterol, leaving a gap in the aluminum to vent steam.
 


   
    




You want to flake the fillet hot and quick, the grill's ready at 400 degrees.  Keep the lid open, I only close the hatch on thick cuts of meat.






It's done in a handful of minutes, I checked at the 7 mark.







 Steam melts your face off when you nudge open the angry pouch.







Fork test, done when she flakes.






Pull the rice from the stove and turn it with a fork.  I then spent 5 minutes paring/peeling kiwi.  How in the heck do you do this more quickly?  Give me a tip.


Cod dishes 40 grams of protein and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.  Wild rice offers minerals and fiber, kiwifruit's good for potassium and vitamin C.  Eat up!







 

Still hungry, vanilla beneath berries we picked last weekend.












Still hungry, so I gassed a pair of potatoes for bedtime snack.











The end,
-Beard

23 comments:

  1. Yo Momma6/30/2012

    To cut up Kiwi, just cut in half take a spoon and scoop around inside edge and scoop out . Once out you can slice it up...Very easy!

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    Replies
    1. Mom knows best, sounds promising, I'll try it!

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  2. Another way to do Kiwi is to cut each end off and then stand it on one of the cut ends and cut the peel off from top to bottom all the way around (I cut a pineapple that way too). Once you get the peel off, turn it on its side and slice. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I haven't had wild rice for ages, might just have to go buy some now. Yum.

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    Replies
    1. I'll try the above spoon method, then do the cut-n-peel you recommend if #spoonfail.

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    2. Those are my two favorite ways to do it. The cut and peel is better for serving, as you can slice it. Scooping is better if you're just eating it by yourself. It also has to be riper for scooping, or it gets messy!

      Delete
  3. Looks nice, wil try! Also 800 km from the ocean :-(
    Does rainbow trout caught by the 8 yr old count as wild?

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    Replies
    1. Sounds delicious and fresh, did you keep the trout or toss it back?

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  4. Howdy! Yum! When is the dinner party? My Kiwi Fruit tip, is just to rub the skin with a soft brush,(I keep a toothbrush in my kitchen drawer for this) cut the top and bottom & slice away, still with skin. Good for you too, because you get those just-under-the-skin nutrients that can often be lost with removing the skin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bring all the food, drinks and dessert, I'll supply the paper cups.

      Wiki agrees and say lots of goods in that scaly skin. Takes a real man to gnaw at the shell, I'll experiment and have Pigtails do it first.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous7/01/2012

    Kiwi Peeling Trick: http://iowagirleats.com/2012/02/28/kiwi-mango-quinoa-salad-easy-kiwi-peeling-trick/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a matter of time, Iowa Girls Eats will become a nationally-recognized name/blog. No need to peel if I sink my teeth into that kiwi crust, Angela-style.

      Delete
  6. Hey Beard and Crew - I use kiwis constantly in my morning smoothies, and agree with Yo Mamma, the spoon seems to fit nicely against the inside of the skin, rind, whatever it's called and I get maximum kiwi with little waste in a flash. The feast looks delish, and I'm inspired to fire up the grill and toss some dead Nemo myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note to self: must never use the term "dead Nemo" around my kid, she'll shun fish sticks forever.

      Delete
  7. Another for team Kiwi Skin! I really like the skin. I give it a quick wash under the tap (like you would a potato) and slice it up. The skin has a gritty texture - almost pear like - but not much flavor. Try it!

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    Replies
    1. Will run the skin experiment on my kid and report back how it goes.

      Delete
  8. lots of fish can stand up to pre-marinating. swordfish, mahi, wahoo, branzino & salmon are fine example of this. we grill fish directly on the grill always, unless we plank it. rub your grill grate w/ a little oil or use a fish grate (can also doubles as a vegetable grate) sold at most stores that sell grilling equipment. also grilling fish whole (for example sea bass) just requires that you oil the outside of the fish before slapping on the grate & you will be able to impart some of that smokey charcoal goodness inside that you wouldnt get hermetically sealing it in foil & basically poaching it. if you type the word 'grate' too many times, it loses all meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If marinating, I'd only do it for a short amount of time, as acidic ingredients will mush most fish in 30 or 60 minutes. Thicker cuts grill okay, but I've yet to directly grill thinner fillets without them sticking or ripping. Fish cooks so quickly (3 to 7 minutes, little longer for thicker flesh) that I don't get a smokey flavor from the grill unless I let it sit in the electric smoker first before tossing on the BBQ.

      That reminds me, I need to grab some salmon and wood chips tonight on the grocery run to throw into the smoker, yum!

      Delete
  9. Karin K7/03/2012

    Love the potatos for "dessert". Of course, the way you normally eat and with all your running, you can indulge when you feel like it. Thanks for the update on Pigtails in the last post's comments. I hope she's having fun, and I will feel much better when she's back home.

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    Replies
    1. I think that's a polite way of saying "dude, you eat like a boar."

      Delete
  10. Beard, made your fish, it was a thing of beauty.
    Used Cape Whiting (it was frozen, laaast time , promise), added Cape Malay curry mix. Lovely.
    Next time it will go on the coals, can't wait.

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    Replies
    1. Cape Malay curry sounds excellent over fish, nice job!

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  11. Yum this sounds amazing, now it's on my to try list!

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  12. Michelle McCormick10/04/2012

    Looks incredible!!!! As I've mentioned before, we live on the ocean in the OC and fresh fish is everywhere, I need to eat more.

    Thank you for the cooking inspiration as always! :)

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!