Sunday, July 30, 2006

Summer on a Plate

Our cupboard was bare after the trip, so yesterday I went to Bishop's Orchards to re-stock. Oh, the bounty! I came home with two quarts of blueberries destined for cake and daiquiris, okra and squash blossoms destined for a batter fry, and corn destined for my mouth as quickly as possible. Bishop's has started selling Connecticut farm wines for cheap, so I bought a bottle of a blended white as well -- worth a try, right? Further inspiration hit after I had an incredible sandwich at the Little Stone House, the ligher, less expensive and formal offshoot of the better-known Old Stone House in Guilford. I've never been to the main restaurant, but after my incredible sandwich of seared tuna, wasabi mayo, roasted red peppers, and cayenne-dusted cucumber slices, it's next on my list. It has been a long time since I had such a satisfying and memorable sandwich.

The tuna put me in mind of other delicious fish. Specifically, the most delicious of summer fish: BLUEFISH. I turned the car down Route 146, the most beautiful road in Connecticut, and pointed it at Bud's Fish Market in Indian Neck. There, for $7.95 a pound, was the most lovely filet of bluefish ever! Ever!!! If you have not had bluefish, you are in for a treat -- oily and rich, slightly salty with a shock of VERY dark meat, it's rich enough for company but so inexpensive that it's sometimes considered a trash fish by the kind of people who eat boring halibut all the time. At The Place, they sometimes have bluefish on the menu, but it's been cooked in a foil packet on the grill, which basically steams it with lemon. Cooking it close to the flame in your broiler with a gin-and-tonic-esque marinade creates a nice brown crust that belies the silkiness inside. Enjoy this recipe!

Bluefish with Gin and Onions
adapted from Saveur, Aug./Sept 2005

1 bunch scallions
1 1 1/2 to 2 lb. skin-on bluefish filet
1 1/2 limes, halved
8 tbsp. melted butter
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup gin

1. Lay scallions in bottom of medium roasting pan or large baking dish in a single layer. Put fish, skin side down, on top of scallions and squeeze juice from one lime over fish. Pour 6 tbsp of the butter over fish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover whole dish with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. Preheat broiler. Uncover fish, transfer dish to broiler, and cook until top of fish just begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, squeeze juice from remaining lime half into a small saucepan. Add the remaining butter and the gin and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Remove fish from broiler and pour gin mixture over fish. Return pan with fish to broiler and continue to broil until it is browned on top, flesh is firm to the touch, and fish is cooked through, about 3-5 more minutes. Serve hot, cold, or room temperature, with scallions on the side.


At 9:16 PM, Anonymous jen said...

bluefish is the best. a real new england summer fish. we eat smoked bluefish every summer every day when we're on vacation in a sandwich: ciabatta roll, goat cheese, red onion, tomato and bluefish. YUM. pair it with a peach from the farmer's market and you are ALL SET.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Dead Author said...

Foods that cause increasements of black bile - according to Galen

The meat of goats and oxen - especially he-goats and bulls and extremely moreso in asses and camels, foxes, and dogs. Most of all, hare and wild boar.

[Spiral] snails.

Pickled meat of terrestrial animals.

Tuna, whale, seal, dolphins, dog shark, and all species related to whales.


Sprouts prepared in brine or vinegar and brine.

Shoots of mastich, terebinth, bramble, and white rose.

Lentils (big time).

Bran, one-grained wheat.

Heavy and dark wine (if consumed in great amounts in very hot climes).

Aged cheeses (when the body becomes overheated).


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