This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I cooked fish for dinner one night.
Ever since I was a kid, I had a really bad association with fish. You probably know that seafood is the focus of every Italian Christmas. Where we celebrated, this was absolutely the case. When I was a kid, my grandparents on my mom’s side used to host Christmas Eve at their abode, and they cooked all different types of fish. There was one year when I was very young that everyone thought it was a good idea to force me to eat something that I didn’t want to at the time. They were sorry when I pretty much ruined everything on the table with my stomachs reaction to the vile bite. Ever since, I have never actively ordered fish in any restaurant nor have I purchased any fish to cook. It’s a sad reality, but you really shouldn’t force kids to eat things they don’t want to. They’ll figure it out on their own. Hell, I’m eating crap that I never thought was edible when I was a kid on a daily basis now!
I’ve been getting around the media a lot, reading books and seeing programs where people cook fish, and it looks pretty damn good, and I’ve also been having some perfectly executed fish courses in tasting dinners, so I’ve been coming around. Couple this with the fact that Fin Fishmonger, a staple at the Delmar Farmers Market, is opening a shop right in between work and home and right next to my gym.
It makes me pretty excited about trying some fish.
One Saturday, I saw Dora from Fin Fishmonger at the Delmar Farmers Market, so I engaged her in a conversation. We chatted for a good amount of time, and I shared my story and asked her to recommend me something fairly easy to execute perfectly. Before I even finished asking the question, she answered “pecan crusted tilapia.”
So I bought two pieces to try (one for me, one for Cassie).
Fin’s fish come from sustainable sources, so, even though tilapia is a lower tier fish, I felt comfortable buying it from them. Plus, Dora does the coating herself.
To cook them, I heated a cast iron skillet with a little vegetable oil and browned the fish on both sides. Pretty easy.
On the side, I made up some cheesy grits. Fish and grits sounds good to me! (Even though I know some people shun the combination of fish and cheese.)
And that was pretty much that.
I really loved the tilapia. The fish itself didn’t really have an overpowering flavor, but the texture was nice. I didn’t overcook it, so it was nice and flaky and juicy. I’m sure the coating helped to make this easy for me to do. The coating was really flavorful. The grits were also pretty darn good.
I see some more fish in my future…
…especially since, this Sunday, Fin’s shop in Star Plaza (2050 Western Ave in Guilderland) is having its grand opening!
Just in time for the holidays!