Last night Olivia came over and we shared a lovely evening of tulips, beat boxing, photoshooting, drooling over her Canon G10 (I bought one today), sharing stories scandalous enough to remain unblogged, and most importantly, cooking. Olivia is an awesome painter and photographer (website here) and also works for an awesome artist, James Hyde. Me and Jim go way back and I’ve interviewed him last week in part to discuss his current show at South 1st (located on North 6th in W’burg) but more importantly to discuss food. He spoke with mastered fluency not only his art practice but also the beauty of interchangeable ingredients in any dish you wish to encounter in the kitchen.
I’ve never cooked any other fish than salmon and that was a few years ago and I want to incorporate it into my diet more so I asked what types I should go for and how exactly I should cook them. During his brunch opening (an ingenious idea), Jim poached a whole salmon which was inexplicably soft and airy alongside unlimited amounts of bloody mary’s, mini bagels, and Liz’s infamous banana bread (I ate 4 slices, at least). The coffee machine came broken and hero that Olivia is saved the day and un-grouchified the visitors with a working one. Interview and works of Jim’s to follow. More important right now is the fish Olivia and I prepared.
Saturday I went to the farmer’s market at McCarren Park and bought fish for the first time outside a prepackaged unfresh supermarket supply. I purchased a sea bass (don’t remember how much it cost) that was the size of half my arm, wrapped it in plastic and refrigerated it to save for Sunday. Sunday came along with Olivia and out it came to help us enjoy our dinner. Here is how I prepared it following Jim’s sagacious recommendations in cooking this fish.
Drench the sea bass on each side with kosher salt and insert herbs (I used rosemary and thyme) and sliced garlic into its cavity. Give the darling fish a good pat so the salt stays. This will ensure fishy juices absorb the salt and bring out its wondrous taste of the sea. Preheat oven at 350 and insert fish into oven, baking (roasting?) for 30 minutes. I had no idea how to tell if it was done, we just cut a slit through the middle and saw it was white and figured it was ready.
How easy was that? I feared the fish would just be too fishy but it was scrumptious in its subtlety and there was no overbearing saltiness or fishiness about it whatsoever. Flakiness abound, each bite size meat section sliding off with a gentle force of a fork and into the mouth it goes to the content of two consumers. I loved it.
As a side we warmed up a dish I made the day before consisting of couscous/quinoa dish with fennel and pine nuts with chives sprinkled over (recipe to be covered in a separate post) which was light but wholesome enough to compliment the main course perfectly.
We also sauteed garlic, onion, carrots, asparagus and tomatoes in a bit of olive oil with no other seasoning but salt and pepper. It was basic with no compromise to taste and delicacy. Fabulous. If anything the tomato contributed a bit too much of its acidity and I will always complain about asparagus making your pee smell funny.
For dessert we continued with the basic simplicity of our meal by slicing apples and drizzling honey and cinnamon on top. I’ve never thought of this orgasmic combo before, was I mental?
A successful fantastically hysterical evening it was indeed. chickachikapowpow.
P.S. All photos were taken with Olivia’s Canon G10. It is beautiful. I am waiting for mine to arrive tomorrow. I can’t bear (bare?) to wait.