Monday, April 9, 2007

Fool Me Once...

What is going on with Boston’s fishmongers? Maybe I should have learned my lesson after the incident at Alive and Kicking Lobsters, where I waited thirty minutes for the shopkeeper to return before giving up and buying a trout from Whole Foods. In the post about the incident, I explained that the trout made me sick; however, I neglected to mention that the dish was absolutely disgusting, and that my preparation was probably to blame. I thought that if I showed a picture of the trout's preparation, I would lose all credibility as a cook.

The problem is that I have a fear of cooking fish. I understand how to cook meat and vegetables, but I have almost no experience with seafood. While I have read many fish recipes, I don’t have the expertise to tell when a fish is done. I end up being very timid with the fish, which never results in successful cooking. Once, when making red snapper, I was too shy to examine the fish and neglected to realize that it hadn't been scaled. It was inedible. Another time, I was too afraid to filet my grilled trout, and instead cut the fish in half. The results were not pretty, as you can see in the picture above.

Still, I want to tackle my fish phobia (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Today was bright and sunny -- perfect fish weather -- so I gathered my courage and headed over to The Fishmonger in Huron Village, hoping that I would achieve better results with fresher ingredients. Even if the fish didn’t taste good, I figured that the chances of poisoning myself would be lower at a specialty shop. However, when I arrived at the store, no one was there. A sign hanging in the window read, “Gone Fishing.”

I looked at the store’s hours, which said that the shop was supposed to be open. Is this normal behavior for fishmongers, or is this a Boston thing? Maybe I am just really unlucky. They say fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I guess I should have called The Fishmonger ahead to confirm that they would be open. In the end, this mishap might be a good thing. I’m going to grill veal chops tonight, which almost definitely will be both nonpoisonous and delicious.

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