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.
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 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.
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.
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.