If there is one thing, you can't go wrong with, that has to be fish. I mean mother Nature has bestowed her best recipe while designing this thing, we so lovingly call,' fish'. And there is absolutely no way to make it go wrong. I mean, take me for instance. I have done my best. And yet, all the recipes come out fantastic! I have had it with spices of all countries, mix-matched east with west, north with south, even north-east with south-east :) I can't get it wrong. I sometimes stop and think if it is for real? I totally like going with fish if I have to try out a new spice rub/ concoction/ combination. That way I know if I can use that with veggies or chicken. Also it might just have to do with the fact that I am a fish-eatarian. I coined that word for myself by myself of myself :) :)
I mean I love fish best when it is raw or just-about. Sushi!
Okay enough of this fishy business. Let me tell you a tale about fishing :)
Have you ever been on a fishing boat? I haven't. But I have seen fishing boats being launched. Not big commercial ones. The way those catch fish and kill other marine organisms might just be enough to throw me off fish. So I am not talking of those. I am talking more of local fishing boats-- no more than a a few fisherman on a wooden boat. It is kind of amazing. Kind of like these boats..
So these fisherman go into the ocean with the high tide and return with the tide hanging out in the ocean catching fish. You can see them from the shore. Little lamps lighting those boats off into the horizon. Little specs here and there. Feeble lights trying in vain to beat the darkness about them. And the nets. They are so fine, that once a part of you get entangled, it is marvelously difficult to get in untangled. And those are real heavy too. Takes very careful winding and unwinding and also takes the careful task of a few strong bodied men to load them onto these boats.
However, it is amazing the very small number of fishes they manage to get their hands on after such an elaborate process. A fish here and a fish there hanging on to this vast net.
I did have the very good luck of witnessing this entire procedure first hand when I visited Sankarpur-- a tiny tiny desolate beach on the coastal areas of west bengal just along the Bay of bengal.
That, my friends, is how some fishermen make their incredible living :)
And the fish, when you first taste them, cooking it right on the beach...ahhhh.
Well we can't get that here, but yes we definitely can make it taste great, fresh or not fresh :) And here is one way how!
1lb of fish. You want white fish. Tilapia, catfish, flounder anything. And the reason you want white is because these whites generally don't have a big flavor going about them. So it can absorb the flavor of spices and herbs that you can use on it. I used a fillet of catfish.
6-8 asparagus stems. I like them. But you can use beans too.
1 tbsf coriander
1 tbsf cumin.
3-4 cloves of garlic. finely chopped
A bit of lemon zest. optional.
This is a very common spice combination used in Eastern India to make fish. The kind I was talking about :)
2 tbsf regular olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
half a tsp of butter. Optional
Juice of one lemon. Please use fresh :)
A handful of parsley or cilantro for garnish
All you do is bake:)
Preheat your oven to 400F for 10 mins. Meanwhile wash the fish and in on an oven friendly tray. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Clean your veggies and lay them around the fish. No overlap please. Hinders even heating :) Season your veggies too. Drizzle the olive oil all over your stuff. Mix the spices, including the garlic and lemon zest, together. Rub this mixture all over the fish and veggies. Both sides please.
Stick your tray in the oven for a solid 20 mins. With two minutes to go, take out the tray and add the butter and the lemon juice. Be liberal with it. All over the fish and veggies. And stick it in the oven for the next 2 minutes. Follow by broiling on high (450F) for a minute to get some dark look on that fish :)
Take it out of the oven. Place on your serving ware and sprinkle fresh parsley all over.
My my..prettiness and flavors all over the place. Enjoy with a glass of wine.
Happy eating and healthy living!