Wanting to see if I could tolerate fish after a few years of not having it, I tried a cooking experiment tonight. I do not usually cook or eat fish so it was a new experience (new relative to the last 2-4 years anyway) on both fronts. I attempted to make flounder and crabmeat, a dish my dad has been making for years that I had always liked before I stopped eating fish. Here are my observations on the proccess.
First, I tried to figure out how much olive oil to put in the pan. That was somewhat unclear but I knew I needed enough for it to bubble. I wasn't sure how long to wait until I put the fish in, but when I started coughing from the smoke that was coming from it (not sure why there was smoke) I decided that was hot enough, lol.
It is very hard to know when the flounder is done when you are sauteeing it on a stove. Sure, some of it did turn a nice browned color but the insides didnt seem firm. There is nothing worse than undercooked white fish!! It's slimy and gross. It doesn't flake quite like salmon and so really you have to guess. And in the process of moving it around to try to tell, it fell into pieces quite easily, but they were big pieces so it was okay.
The basil olive oil, basil and thyme I rubbed on the flounder provided a surprisingly pleasant flavor. It was very mild and I coudn't tell I was tasting basil per se, but it tasted good. Rather unflounderlike in a good way. It was mildly crisped in places and was juicy and almost tasted as if I had used butter, which I didn't. Surprisingly good.
I was not expecting to like the crab. It looked rather gross in the package. But I duitifully spooned some into a pan that was warmed with the basil olive oil, dumped some herbs on it (thyme and rosemary, a hint of salt), and used a fork to push it all around for a couple minutes.
I almost forgot about the crab, but I took a forkfull, regarded it warily, and stuck it in my mouth. It was divine. It was much better than the flounder. I am not sure how to describe the flavor, but it was just as good and flavorful as my dad used to make it, without all the 10 alarm spices he likes to put in it. Win-win.
I then attempted to put the crabmeat over the flounder,which was, as I said, mostly in pieces. The combination was quite good, and again much more like my dad's than I had expected it to be, but I had already consumed so much of each ingredient alone that I couldn't eat too much of the combined dish.
And therein may lie the biggest problem with the dish. It's so good - even without butter - that you can't stop eating it. My stomach doesn't take well to large amounts of everything, so that is something I will have to watch. It did not seem to bother my stomach in the way I had feared, but I did have an uncomfortably full feeling. Nothing unbearable per se, just different and something that would require getting used to.
It's six hours later and I still don't feel hungry. That's kind of creepy. I did have some crackers, but not many. I'm usually always hungry. Must have been that 16 grams of protein in the crab...
Things to Consider -
1. This dish was just begging for lemon. Not sure if that would bother my ultra sensitive teeth or not, but it almost seemed a crime to eat it without.
2. The ingredients make a big difference. I don't know why I ever thought I could cook fish in non coastal Oregon.... No offense to people there but I like Maine fish much better! And flounder is MUCH better than sole! Or at least than the sole I got there.
In the last week to 9 days, I have attempted to go into 5 buildings- Onaturals, 2 chocolate shops and Bow St Market in Freeport, and the Market House in Portland, on 3 different days - and attempted to cook a major dish. I say that's pretty good progress on all my goals! Now I need a break from trying new things. =)
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