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.
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.
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.
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.
Before we baked the fish, we poured some white wine and covered it with tin foil.
While the fish was cooking, our Mexican friend cooked Arroz Blanco (white rice), and Rajas Poblanas.
Don’t you love her ring? 🙂
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.
She then peeled the skin and removed the seeds.
She sauteed some onion and garlic, then sliced the poblanas and added them to the onions.
Next, she added some corn, sour cream and Mexican cheese. This was really delicious.
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.
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.
The fish was then broiled to get the skin crispy and a bit charred.
And there you have it, a great fish dinner down to the bare bones.
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! 🙂