A year of pescetarian parenting and related discoveries.

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Tuesday, January 12

A Bit About Bacon Bits and Bluefish

     I wanted to blog about bacon and bluefish all day, so let me go on about these things for awhile and I'll get to the cast of characters soon, I promise. I'll even allude to one or two of them in this post to tide you over.
     I've been out to eat a couple of times since starting this change of diet, and it is of course, more challenging to eat out than to eat in. Temptation is greater, you can't completely control what your salivary glands do when you peruse a menu. I was prepared for that. I wasn't prepared for accidental pork. I had an order of mussels at a lovely upscale restaurant when I was out on the town, well ok, the village, on Saturday night, and discovered after I began eating, that it was served with a generous amount of bacon swimming about in the seafood. I know this is something vegetarians are used to, but I hadn't thought of it in advance. So I ate my mussels, and tried to avoid the bacon. About the same as asking a recently reformed smoker to hold your butt for you. A little too much temptation. Lesson learned though, I'll be more careful in restaurants in the future.
     The upside of having to be more restrained in restaurants is that I can be much more adventurous in the grocery store. One of the really exciting elements of the experiment for me is that it is going to ensure that I try out a lot of new recipes that I simply woudn't have gotten to otherwise, as well as a few new foods.
     That's what I was thinking the other day when I was standing in front of my local fish counter. A place where I already was a frequent visitor, but this time I noticed that they had some fresh wild caught American bluefish. I consider fish cooking my specialty, but I had never cooked or even tasted bluefish before. Another customer seemed excited about the bluefish, and I quickly caught the bluefish bug from him, and ordered up a pound. I didnt want to miss out on the limited catch like I had with the local smelts last week.
     The beautiful thing about google is that it makes bringing home a hunk of strange fish an easy to manage task. I learned several things about bluefish to share with you. It's a mean fighting fish, and was once, as with so many fish, plentiful in the Atlantic. So plentiful here, that they were a staple of the depression era diet. One of the primary memories the old men I used to bring Meals-on-Wheels to were not enjoying when I brought them fish and they said "take it away". It is an oily fish and so requires some work of the cook. First you must rewrap it and store it on ice in the fridge, then brine it for awhile in salted water before drying it again. Then marinate it for awhile before cooking. Lemon or another citrus is needed, and a sauce with dairy is also a good choice. I baked ours in a sauce I made from organic yogurt and lemon. With edamame, and served over rice. The kids were rather put off by the edamame, more than the fish. My boy ate two servings. I enjoyed mine. The boyfriend, a fisherman who has some kind of long held grudge against the bluefish would not try it. I asked him just to taste it and tried to explain that I had prepared it properly and his prejudice about how it was going to taste just might not be correct. But he wouldn't do it. This type of reaction makes the likelihood of me hauling in another bluefish very high. Mean old fighting fish indeed.

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