A fish dinner down to the bare bones!

There’s an ethnic market a few miles away that I frequent at least twice a month.  They have such a variety of fresh produce from all corners of the globe.  Newark Farmers Market is Chinese owned I believe, but there’s a large Indian, Caribbean, Mexican, Japanese, Korean section, and many more.  Their stands display an array of fruit and vegetables that are inexpensive. Their grains come in a variety of colors and shapes, there’s such a vast selection of teas and coffee, cheeses, meats and fish.  I came away with more than I needed or wanted, but that happens at every single visit to this diverse market.

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We made a cooking date with some friends last week.  We decided to meet at the fish counter and plan on our menu for that evening.  It was a lot of fun going through all the seafood, there must have been about 30 varieties of whole fish.  We settled on 3 large blue fish which looked pretty fresh.  We were going to cook a Mexican dish as a side, and also mashed up plantains and rice.  The entire meal came together very nicely.  When our friends arrived, we opened up a bottle of vino, had some music playing and cooked together.  Don’t you just love times like these?  Sometimes my husband tells me I fuss too much getting everything ready ahead of time, and that cooking when the guests arrive and getting everyone involved is the way to go.  He’s right (sometimes), but I also love to execute the entire dinner ahead of time, candles, wine glasses, fresh flowers, you know the drill.  But this time, the impromptu plan worked a treat.  Everyone had a job, fueled of course by lots of vino.

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I got some salmon steaks too, but that would be for another time. I love all types of seafood, but I’m rather partial to fish with bones as opposed to the filleted kind.   I recall when I first married my husband, he did not know how to pick out the bones, over the years he’s learned and does it with relative ease now.  For me, there’s nothing like a whole grilled fish on my plate 🙂

To start with we washed the fish that the fishmonger had descaled and gutted.  A generous sprinkling of lemon pepper seasoning coated the fish, together with lemon juice, olive oil, plenty of garlic and flat leaf parsley.  IMG_3318

We let this sit for a while, made a few diagonal slits in the fish.  Don’t be afraid to use your hands to get into every nook and cranny.

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Before we baked the fish, we poured some white wine and covered it with tin foil.

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While the fish was cooking, our Mexican friend cooked Arroz Blanco (white rice), and Rajas Poblanas.

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Don’t you love her ring? 🙂

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At first, she roasted the poblanas on the stove top to char and remove the skin.  You can also roast them in the oven.  Have you ever tried these Mexican peppers?  Rajas means slices, so these are roasted and sliced.  They are relatively mild in heat, but robust in flavor.  They originate from the Pubela region in Central Mexico.

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She then peeled the skin and removed the seeds.

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She sauteed some onion and garlic, then sliced the poblanas and added them to the onions.

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Next, she added some corn, sour cream and Mexican cheese.  This was really delicious.

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As the above was finalized,  we had the plantains to prepare as the fish was baking in the oven.  They were sliced on the diagonal.

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Fried and when cooled, we smashed them with a mallet, then dipped in a bowl filled with water and garlic.  Not sure why, but it did give it a nice flavor.

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The fish was then broiled to get the skin crispy and a bit charred.

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And there you have it, a great fish dinner down to the bare bones.

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Served with Arroz Blanco and Rajas Poblanas.  Downed with a crisp Italian white wine.  Did I also mention that I like to fish?  I’m not any good, but I just love the idea of preparing fresh fish right from the waters.  I’ve joined friends on fishing expeditions a couple of times and learned the art of patience 🙂

I’m bringing this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #65.  Her co-hosts for this party are Effie @ Food Daydreaming and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.  Thanks ladies, without your help this wouldn’t be a party!  🙂

43 comments

  1. Ha ha, yes the eyes did stare right back at me :). It is definitely simple, with some great ingredients. Aww, you best hurry with the Indian restaurant, not sure I’d want to eat it in ninety degree weather :). Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  2. What a fun adventure Loretta! The market sounds amazing. Who knew? Right in Newark! Great meal. I felt I was right there with your friends. Had Mexican last night and it wasn’t anywhere as delicious as this meal looked!

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    1. Thanks Julie, that’s so sweet of you to say that. Picking out the bones is definitely tough, but with practice it comes naturally. It’s like eating crabs I guess, my husband has absolutely no patience for a crab dinner….. all that work he says for so little crab meat? :))

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  3. Loretta,
    What a great idea to get friends together and cook! I also fuss and get everything ready before friends arrive and get the same advice from my husband too:)
    I love fish too and it looks like you really got great seafood at that market. I am drooling looking at the crisp baked fish and the Rajas poblanas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandhya – I guess we are all that way aren’t we? But it’s great to be able to do both. We used to have a large kitchen up until 3 years ago, but we’ve since downsized, and although the kitchen is very functional and modern, it is still not enough for a large group. So more intimate gatherings when it comes to cooking together is the norm now. Thanks for stopping by, you’ll have to try cooking the rajas poblanas, it has a lovely robust flavor and went down so well with the fish and rice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have bookmarked the Rajas poblanas! I was salivating reading the description.
        Your pictures of the fish and the whole cooking sequence (including your friend’s ring) were all amazing and captured the essence of a fun evening so well!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely feast! It sounds you have a pretty great market close by. And yes, I love poblano peppers although it’s difficult to get them where I am. Happy FF#65!

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    1. Yes we are certainly fortunate to have a great variety of fruit and veggies at this market. Where do you live? It’s too bad you cannot find the peppers where you are.

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  5. Can I come over for dinner??? That fish looks SO good! I am salivating just looking at the pictures… I absolutely LOVE eating fish, and especially when it’s been been steamed and broiled with a crisp skin! Now I’m definitely craving for some fish 🙂

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  6. You most certainly can come over for a fish dinner Dini. I grew up eating fresh whole fish, and it has carried on into my adult life. Love a nice crispy skin too. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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    1. Hi Sonal, I’ve been out for a few weeks with my sis visiting from England. I submitted a post to FF today after a couple of weeks. For some reason, I messed up, and instead of creating a new “post”, I created a new “page” and it did not appear on my Homepage. I’ve however made the necessary corrections, and hopefully you’ll now see it on the webpage. So sweet of you to check up on me Sonal – I truly appreciate it. I’ve had a couple check up on me too, it’s like family @ FF isn’t it? I’ll go to your post shortly and check on what you’ve been up to. Thanks again, enjoy your weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

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