According to some feedback I received lately, my blog posts are getting a bit too long in the tooth. It’s not that the posts were old, but rather the people who read them were older by the time they finished them because they were so long. I have agree, so let’s make this shorter.
Some days, you just need to eat fish. This was how I felt Sunday. Besides, I really need to get rid of this huge piece of fish in my freezer that I have been moving around for six months. I was going to fire up the grill but it looked like rain. I have cooked many fish in the great outdoors. It keeps the house from smelling too “fishy” which Jen appreciates. I guess we will have to wait for that until next time, and nice weather. For now, we will turn to the oven.
Salmon is one of my favorite fish to cook and eat. I begin by lightly defrosting the wonderfully huge piece of salmon I purchased at Lidl. It was defrosted just enough so I could pull off the skin (I literally pulled most of it off). It also helps that I have a filet knife (I added that to my gadgets list) to assist me with this task.
The skin is now removed and I made the pouching liquid. It just so happened that I had an open bottle of Pinot Gris. I poured one cup into a pot and boiled it down by half on high temperature. I clarified some butter (about 1½ sticks). This went into the pot with the wine that was now on low . To that, I added some dill, maybe a teaspoon or so, some parsley, and a heaping tablespoon of lemon juice. Turn off the heat under the pot and let it cool to room temperature. While that is cooling, I got together some chicken stock. In a medium size pot, were three cups of water with a heaping tablespoon of Better Then Bullion® chicken stock and just a bit of minced up carrots (for color). I brought that up to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil I peeled some asparagus with a brand new OXO vegetable peeler that I recently acquired from the store Bed Bath and Beyond using a coupon, saving some hard eared dough!
I put the peeled asparagus into a large All-clad pan with cold water. I turned the now boiling chicken broth down low and cook those tiny bits of carrots.
Jennifer does not eat fish, so I poached her some boneless skinless chicken breast. In my smaller All-Clad pan, I had put some water with Better then Bullion ® vegetable stock. It makes no sense to poach chicken in chicken stock. It would only taste like, chicken. So vegetable stock it was but BEFORE I could add the chicken, I peeled and cut up two large carrots. I added them to the vegetable stock. I needed to cook the carrots first, before I can add the chicken. I put paprika on the chicken while I waited for the carrots to get a bit tender. It takes about an hour to cook carrots. I wanted them firm but not mushy by the time the chicken and fish is done. Chicken cooked in boiling water cooks faster than potatoes or carrots so timing is everything in life. More metaphors today. I will try to stop.
I poured myself a nice cold glass of that Pinot. Okay, I refilled my empty glass. Then, I relaxed a bit on the couch while the fish marinated and finished defrosting all the way. I watched some TV with Jennifer. Probably the Hallmark channel or that RV restoration couple on the County Television Network. I need me one of those Air-Stream trailers! Maybe when I retire.
The fish had been marinating now for about an hour. I popped it into a 400ºF oven. I removed the asparagus from the cold water to a plate. I added a good amount of salt to the water. It was probably close to a teaspoon of salt, give or take. Turn the heat up to high and wait for more water to boil. Do we spend our lives waiting for $%#& to happen? Then when it does, do we act surprised?
Check on the fish. Baste. Yes, it is doing nicely.
I added two cups of large pearl Couscous to the pot of chicken stock with the carrot bits and stir. Bring the couscous to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. In five minutes, I added three tablespoons of butter and stirred again. Cover and cook five more minutes. Turn off heat and let stand. Mmm fluffy.
Using tongs, flip over the chicken in the pan. You did put the chicken in the pan, right? Check the fish. Put the asparagus in the now boiling salt water. Cover and turn on low. Chant: Cook. Cook Cook. Do not uncover for at least ten minutes.
The asparagus is done when its fork tender. Take the fish out of the oven, it’s done too. Am I forgetting anything? Plate it up so it looks like the picture below.