Monday, September 10, 2007

Fish for the Timid

I am soooo not a fish eater. In childhood, the only fish we ate as a family was tuna fish bought in cans because my father wouldn't allow any other fish in the house. Well, that's not 100% true: Once my mother served some fish that lay on the plate, fully cooked, with one eye pointing up, and that was the point at which my father wouldn't allow any fish other than canned tuna in the house. The fish in that plate did NOT look happy.

So years passed and I remained in a predominately fish-less condition. I tried salmon once or twice but couldn't get past the idea that it had fins and stuff, and that, well you know, if you turned it on its side, one eye might stare up at me.

This past week a friend called to invite me to a small dinner party at her home. It sounded great until she told me what she was cooking. She was making tilapia. FISH. I'd heard of it, but I asked what else she was making to see if I could find something I could eat for dinner. She was making side dishes of asparagus (yeck!), a Vidalia onion tart (yeck!), and wild rice. Obviously she wasn't cooking for ME. :) (I' m a pill. Don't ever invite me for dinner.)

Well, I went and tried the tilapia. Who knew it was so delicious? I certainly didn't! It didn't even taste like fish. It was so good, I went back for seconds! My friend also served tiny, thin asparagus sauteed in oil and garlic that was delicious, as was the Vidalia onion tart (again, who knew???). Hey I'm finally growing up and I'm branching out. It's taken far too many years!

Now that I've eaten FISH, who knows where I'll go from here. Any suggestions for fish eating? Anyone?


Blogger Sushiboy said...

I found that most people that don't like fish, have only tried fish that wasn't prepared well. Most people (providing they like meat in the first place) will find a type of fish that they will love.

The next thing I would try is a tuna steak. Cooked Medium. If you're feeling rich. Or if you are feeling a little more frugal find the place that makes the best fish and chips in NYC and go there.

Sep 10, 2007, 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

Oh PS welcome to a whole new tasty culinary world, where you can eat meat and not feel least bit bad about it (unless it was deep fried).

Sep 10, 2007, 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Sushiboy, when you say cook the tuna steak to medium, are you saying to GRILL it? And in the oven? Do you cook it without oil (au natural)? Add condiments.

My fish knowledge is close to 0.

Sep 10, 2007, 3:06:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

As a pathetically fussy eater, I was never really into fish until I got older. I like stuff that doesn't have a fishy taste. I'm guessing that being on the east coast, most of your options are saltwater fish, but there are some really tasty freshwater species like perch, walleye, and whitefish.

Sep 10, 2007, 3:40:00 PM  
Blogger Skylers Dad said...

I enjoy eating about any kind of fish, but it has to be cooked generally. I can't get past that with sushi for some reason! My favorite is Mahi-Mahi.

Sep 10, 2007, 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Chris, I keep hearing that if a piece of fish has a fishy taste you shouldn't eat it because it is going bad. I didn't know that--did you? And I think we can get whitefish here, but I don't remember seeing perch or walleye--I don't have to eat the eye of walleye, do I?

SD, I agree completely. There's no way I can eat something that was living a minute ago or that's alive right now. I wouldn't do that with anything else (like beef or chicken), so I don't see how I could do it with fish. Somewhat of a disgusting thought. I take it that Mahi-Mahi is a cooked fish?

Sep 10, 2007, 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

I would grill it, I love the flavor from the grill. I usually use a marinade for a bit of flavor and grill with just a bit of oil to keep the fish from sticking. Grilling (or frying) fish is exactly like grilling steak. Turn it as little as possible . 1 to 3 times (depending on how you like your grill marks.) You need much less time per side than a steak though. Fish cooks much faster than a chunk o' beef. Checking for doneness for tuna is exactly like beef, Tuna is a deep red, and it will change to a white as it cooks, doneness is as easy as checking the center.

Tuna can be quite spendy, so I usually grill salmon. But tuna is my favorite. (Checking doneness on salmon you check the color as well, but its a bit harder because its lighter than tuna to begin with, it still is fairly easy to determine doneness though).

Yes if a fish smells fishy, it isn't fresh and shouldn't be consumed. If you buy fresh try to keep it as cold as possible without actually freezing it. If you by it frozen, its good keep it that way, and defrost as gently as possible. I won't used the defrost function on my microwave on fish.

Sep 10, 2007, 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you've got to try my "White Trash Casserole". I fry up some Spam in a pan, prepare a package of Lipton Noodles (either the "chicken" flavor or the "butter herb"), then mix it all together. You'd love it. And it's so easy too.

Sep 10, 2007, 7:46:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I guess it's a bit too soon for sushi, huh?

Sep 10, 2007, 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger Nobody™ said...

I like Tilapia. I do not generally like Salmon. Never had a tuna steak.

Chris is right, Walleye is excellent, as is perch. We catch both at my dad's place and it's goood.

Sep 10, 2007, 8:10:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Thanks so much for all the information. I now know to

1. (Sushiboy) Grill the tuna steak until the inside is white
2. (Sushiboy) Don't buy fishy-smelling fish (aha, I thought so!)
3. (Dick) Make White Trash Casserole, which very well may be a real recipe since Dick speaks of it with such great enthusiasm (did you get that recipe in prison, Dick?)
4. (Nobody) Try to find walleye in the fish store.

Got it! Thanks again!

Yes, Beth, far far far too soon for sushi. :)

Sep 10, 2007, 8:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I have gradually become more of a fish eater. My favorite is blackened salmon, although good fried catfish is probably even better.

Sep 10, 2007, 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Sushiboy must be right, I always hated it until one of my friends who can cook anything made salmon and it was amazing. I wouldn't attempt it myself though, unless it was on a stick maybe.

Sep 10, 2007, 9:24:00 PM  
Blogger chelene said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of fish, Zed! I had fluke for the first time last year and loved it. (Don't ask me how to cook it because I haven't used the stove in years.)

Sep 10, 2007, 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Mr. Fab, Blackened salmon. Actually that sounds good. I couldn't possibly try the cat fish because of, well, you know, my cats Frankie & Johnny. :)

Dale, I'm going to try salmon again because the piece I had smelled fishy, and they always say fish that smells fishy is no good. If you find fish on stick, let me know if it's any good. But then again, you like KRAFT PIZZA IN A BOX. Look who I'm asking! :) (Ooh, I'm back to mean!)

9:24 PM
chelene said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of fish, Zed! I had fluke for the first time last year and loved it. (Don't ask me how to cook it because I haven't used the stove in years.)

10:24 PM

Sep 10, 2007, 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Chelene, I'm not big on cooking either. I have 5-7 recipes that are fantastic (and almost all are baked), but other than that I keep away from the stove. It's a foul place! Foul I say!

There's just something about the word "fluke" that would make me hesitate buying it. You know, for example, "The fact that he helped was a fluke." Fluke = oddball fish

Sep 10, 2007, 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

If you like your steaks with a little red in the middle, you'll probably like your tuna with a little red in the middle. Medium will still have some red in the middle. When Tuna (or a section of it) is fully cooked it is white, which is still pretty good. (But less tasty IMHO)

Sep 11, 2007, 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

Dick- Is Spam a white trash substitute for fish?

Sep 11, 2007, 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger jin said...

You should try Fugu (blow fish) next.

However, I should warn you, that if it's cut incorrectly you'll die instantaneously from consuming the poison filled organs.

Love, jin :-D

p.s. My sense of humour tends to run on the dark side... you do know that about me, right?!

Sep 11, 2007, 1:22:00 AM  
Blogger Sushiboy said...

I want FUGU!

Sep 11, 2007, 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sushi.... hahaa. No, not a substitute, my friend. I hate fish. No, Spam is in a white trash class all it's own.
I'm ignoring Zed's response, btw. How rude.

Sep 11, 2007, 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... notice I didn't say "how rude for Zed".

Sep 11, 2007, 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

If you are looking for more fish adventures, hallibut is a really nice fish, mild with large white flakes. And then you can make a lame joke and say you are just eating it for the hallibut.

I would advise steering clear of the sea cucumber, however. Nothing good ever came from eating sea cucumber.

Sep 11, 2007, 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Zed said...

Jin, you're trying to kill me on your first visit? Hrrrumph! :)

Dick, this is rude? "I now need to make White Trash Casserole, which very well may be a real recipe since Dick speaks of it with such great enthusiasm (did you get that recipe in prison, Dick?)" Where is it rude? :)

Barbara, just the thought of a sea cucumber leaves me cold. I don't even like LAND cucumbers. I will indeed steer clear of it. However, can't wait to use the halibut joke! :)

Sep 11, 2007, 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Just Dave said...

When you work your way up to tuna steak pan seared with a little olive oil, you will have entered fish nirvana. Almost black on the outside, white about a fifth of an inch in on both sides and deep red in the middle. Smooth as silk on the tongue. Damn it, now I'm hungry.

Sep 11, 2007, 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Wow that sounds great, Dave. Let's all go grab lunch everybody!

Sep 11, 2007, 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger mixednut said...

I'm buying!

Sep 11, 2007, 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

You are, MN? Then let's all do dinner!! :P

Sep 11, 2007, 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

try grilled scallops!
okay, I dare you to try sushi.
well, maybe that is premature.

Sep 11, 2007, 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

I can't do sushi yet--that might take years, Step Over the Junk. But I've seen scallops cooked by (I think) Martha Stewart and they looks simple enough. And they have no eyes! That just might work for me.

Sep 11, 2007, 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Oops--"Stepping". Sorry about that! Thanks for stopping by.

Sep 11, 2007, 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger GETkristiLOVE said...

Fish - raw fish, pecan-encrusted tilapia, smoked salmon, mahi-mahi with mango salsa, bacon wrapped scallops, steamed King Crab legs, lemon-baked Wahoo, sword fish steaks, not to mention garlic white wine PEI mussels or steamers!

Yum, FISH! Welcome to the better side of eating Zed.

Sep 12, 2007, 1:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Swedish fish is still the best.

Sep 12, 2007, 5:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although you'd probably have something rude to say even about that, too...

*rolling my eyes*

Sep 12, 2007, 5:31:00 AM  
Anonymous gifted typist said...

An open mind and an open palette are a beautiful thing.

BTW, you were absolutely correct on date notation for 9-11.

Sep 12, 2007, 6:52:00 AM  
Blogger Zed said...

I LOVE Swedish Fish!!

Sending you hugs, Dick!

Sep 12, 2007, 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Zed said...

Thanks GT! I love to be right!

Sep 12, 2007, 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Congratulations on your branching out and for showing the world it is possible to expand one's tastes.

Hey Zed, ABBA party on September 28! I'll send you the details.

Sep 12, 2007, 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Ooooh, send me the ABBA details, CP! Thank you!

Sep 12, 2007, 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sep 12, 2007, 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger tmollie said...

Grouper is an excellent fish, flounder is good too.
I love fish & it is good for you too.

Sep 12, 2007, 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Grouper? That sounds very much like "groper"--I don't think so. Maybe I'll try flounder. M-A-Y-B-E...

Sep 12, 2007, 11:21:00 PM  

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