Some people thought I was crazy, signing up to receive 4-6 pounds of whole fish every week for nine weeks. I might be, only time will tell. But my first fish was a delicious resounding success, and I'm looking forward to next week's fish already.
Whole fish means the whole kit and caboodle, except the guts. Which is nice. When I signed up I thought they came with guts too. I am by no means an expert at cutting fish, but by the end of this experience I hope to be better.
For my first attempt it wasn't too bad, two filets, two cheeks, two pieces of cod belly and a tongue. Along with a ton of bones to make stock. I have to say this Cape Anne
never disappoints, this fish was swimming that morning and smelled like the ocean. A total joy to work with.
And there it is (those two pieces actually on the newspaper still have skin) all my bits and pieces.
The first filet went into fried fish and grits with a spinach salad. the second filet was pan seared and put on quinoa 'risotto' made with fish stock. The bones went into stock, for the risotto and for a big bowl of noodle soup.
The soup is seasoned with cilantro and lime, and in it went the two pieces of fish belly and the lovely tender cheeks, a few quickly cooked maitake mushrooms and a heaping pile of yam noodles. It was during this meal I learned that cod tongues have a bone - who knew?
Possibly my favorite meal of the week.
We got three filling meals out of one fish, at 22$ per week for the CSF that's 3.66$ each per meal. Which I think is a totally reasonable amount to spend on locally caught, sustainably caught super fresh fish - don't you?
Fresh periwinkles, these babies cost 2.5$ and I have no idea how to cook them. Thankfully, the internet came to the rescue - and the answer is boil them.
But first rinse, and rinse, and rinse in cold water until the water is totally clean and there's no sand in the bottom of the bowl.
Soaking until the water is clear.
I boiled mine with a few sprigs of thyme and half a lemon, I was surprised at the aroma of the periwinkles cooking. It smelled like the ocean on a warm summer day, with a hint of thyme and lemon.
Drain after being boiled.
Drain them and discard the water, then get some garlic butter and a baguette ready and you've got a delicious - if not labor intensive meal.
Periwinkles, cooked and ready to eat.
After going through every poking device I could think of I settled on a sewing need to pry my little sea snails out of their twirly shells. But I suspect a sharp toothpick would work as well.
I ended up taking all my periwinkles out of the shells (once I'd had my fill) so I could use them in another dish.
And later that day we feasted on a quinoa 'risotto' with mushrooms, shallots and peas, topped with tender periwinkles - and it was absolutely delicious.
Boudin noir aux pommes, the best lunch I've had in a long time.
Some people love blood sausage, and some people don't. It's and either or scenario - there's no middle ground. Those enlightened souls who embrace this fantastic sausage will have surely heard of this classic French preparation.
I found these two beauties on sale at my new favorite grocery store - Market Basket. If there's one near you I suggest going in the morning, during the week. Or be prepared to throw some elbows in the produce section.
They may not be the prettiest things, but what they lack in looks they make up for in flavor.
Boudin noir aux pommes is as simple a dish as you can imagine. Gently sear the sausage in some oil, remove from the pan then add some chopped onion, followed by cubed apples and some thyme and a dash of white wine. Cook until onions and apples begin to soften then place the sausage on top of the apple/onion mixture and cover with a lid. Cook over low heat until liquid is gone and apples are soft, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
As you can see you've got to be careful when cooking blood sausage because the filling can start to bubble out if it's cooked at too high heat.
If you've never had blood sausage this might be a good preparation to try out. The sweetness of the apples is a great contrast to the meat of the sausage. This meal is made butter with a big glass of chilled white wine.