Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Today we got up at the ass crack of dawn to go fishing. We hopped a charter boat and drove out into the ocean. It took about 50 minutes, but finally we got to drop line. It took me a little while, but finally I pulled in a fish. After that, they kept coming. All told, between the three of us, we probably pulled in 60 fish. Of course, we threw back at least a third. I had the honor of pulling in the biggest fish of the day - a 14 inch croaker.

When we got home, I became management and my nephew and his friend became labor. Rightly so, they did most of the gutting and cleaning while I watched. I was curteous enough to clean the area afterwards (and that was some super scrubbin').

Tonight, I cooked up the Croakers (because that's all we caught - we had to put the 2 sea bass and 1 spot back because they were small) four different ways.

1. Asian Surprise - Croaker fillets boiled in soy and mirin with Ginger, Garlic, and Red Pepper. I call it 'Asian Surprise' because it was so chock full of ginger and garlic, it's likely to give you a 'surprise' in the morning (although not exactly the 'hot diarrhea'). The flavor was good - i grade it at a C+.

2 and 3. Fillet ala Provencal - I did two different styles of provencal french white fish cooking. One was with fresh tomato, shallots, and garlic. The sauce was good, but wasn't quite right for Croaker. The other style was with tomato paste and herbs rubbed on top. It was a little thick and overpowering. I rate my sauce a B, but overall, 2 & 3 take a D+.

4. Whole Croaker Cajun Style - This was clearly the best dish offered tonight. I took whole, cleaned Croakers and spiced them with a Cajun spice mix I found at the store (Tony's they did not have). Then I stuffed the fish with a combination of fresh herbs including sage, thyme, and cilantro. The fish were wrapped in foil and then thrown roughly on a hot grill. Twenty minutes later, they were good to eat. I grade this out at a B+. If I had remembered to add small lemon wedges inside the fish while cooking and the fish had been of a higher quality, this would have been a perfect dish.

Overall, a very enjoyable day. It was a beautiful day to spend on the water fishing, and of course, I love to cook.

Tomorrow we go back to the beach.


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