Monday, April 9, 2012
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish........
Scianops Ocellatus: Red Drum Fish: a species found in the State of Texas. Other names include Redfish: Rat Red, Bull Red, or just "Red". They range from Massachusetts to Key West, Florida, and along the Gulf Coast to Tupxan, Mexico. It was my bright idea to cook some of these guys up for a real Texan treat. The recipes in the Texas on the Plate cookbook seemed relatively easy and scrumptious. When my Sysco rep informed me that yes, they do carry Red Fish, she asked if I wanted filets skin on or skin off? Skin on please. Boned or with bones? No bones, please. Scaled? Why the heck would I want them scaled? Scales on Salmon and Trout, the fish species most common to us North Westerners, are slimy little things that you wash off. Oh, no. Not the Red Fish scales. The first cut to portion the prehistoric looking little critters took my sharpest knife and a lot of elbow grease. Then, things that looked and felt like guitar picks popped out of the skin. Now I know why I should have had them scaled. One and one half hours later I had the critters scaled. My best guestimate is that there are about 1200 scales on a filet. (No, cousin Charlotte, I didn't actually count them. But I was tempted.) There are about 5000 scales on the ceiling and walls of the kitchen we were in. Jack informed me that if I didn't shower after dinner I wasn't sleeping in the tent. But, I did get them scaled and bathed in a worcestershire, butter and lemon juice. Then sprinkled with Creole seasoning, they grilled up to be some of the best fish I have eaten! Worth every darn scale.
We got the Tribe on the road Easter Sunday morning bright and early. Not too bright, actually. Lots of cloud cover until about noon. The roads were winding and beautiful, the wildflowers are out in full force! The Tribe had a great day of riding and rolled in early to a packed State Park in Blanco. We fed them a feast to remember: Spring green salad with fresh goat cheese (procured from Chrissy Omo in the Super 8 parking lot at 11 this morning. She made it fresh for us yesterday!) and a raspberry dressing: shrimp creole and steamed rice: corn on the cob: grilled Red Fish: fresh corn bread and Nana's rum cakes for dessert. The vegetarians got a yummy dish of eggplant and portabello marinara with feta cheese. This will be a dinner difficult to top!
Monday the Tribe will wander to Fredericksburg for 3 nights. Yeah! We don't have to move the kitchen for 3 whole days! Now I just have to figure out what's for dinner. Jack said we're ordering pizza.