Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whole Fish = Whole lotta good food!

For Father's day dinner I wanted to do something extra special. Since I just got back from Greece I had the Greek food I ate on the brain, including Greek salads and these really fresh grilled fish we had. I was so inspired that I ventured over to Tan-A for some shopping. They have some of the freshest fish I've seen. The tilapia is literally swimming in the tank. I wasn't sure the exact procedure to be had, but I saw the Red Snapper they had and knew that was the fish for me. I love snapper! If you've never been to an Asian grocery, you should find one and go, just for the experience. They have all kinds of meat cuts, short ribs, duck legs, and even more chicken feet than I've ever seen in one place at once. Stumped on the fish ordering protocol, I picked a couple out, and put them in the provided bag. Do I take them to the front as is? Do I need some sort of sticker and bar code? I don't know!! I was dismayed because they had the scales on and the last thing I wanted to be doing was scaling fish in my backyard. Scaling is hard work, and you get really gross in the process. Scales fly everywhere, you stink of fish and you get covered in slime. It's pretty gross. Anyways, eventually the minimally English speaking men behind the counter got to me, and I handed them my bag. They took it, weighed it, printed a label and asked me if I wanted it scaled. With elation I said yes, and he went to work de-scaling my fish for me. Success!!
Once at home, I took notes from the Leftover Foodie on how to prepare raw fish. I followed his lead and made two diagonal slits on each fish side, stuffed them and the cavity with garlic cloves, salt, cilantro and lime, and drizzled each one with olive oil and some more salt on the skin. Here are the stuffed fishes, ready for cooking! They're on my big jelly roll pan... those fish are HUGE!
Popped those babies on the grill for 8 minutes or so per side and VOILA! Unbelievable restaurant quality dinner, nice enough to make whoever is eating it feel super special. I served the fish with Greek salad (tomato, red onion, green pepper, olives, lettuce, feta, olive oil and vinegar), Corn (cut fresh off the cob, sauteed with butter, sugar, salt and pepper), roasted fresh garden veggies, a pumpkin and flax bread and a lemon caper chicken that my brothers love.
Overall, it was really good, and really special. A perfect tribute to the greatest dad on the planet, mine.
Pops, little bro and me, circa 1990

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