I find that out of misery often comes… pretty things.
My computer broke this week. I thought it was gone for good. Luckily, my roommate Alan was on hand to reign in the situation. I’m now blessedly typing this from my very own computer, which despite being a little worse for the wear, runs great. Anyway, my point is, out of anxiety for my computer (and all the files on my hard drive, including not-yet-published photos for this blog,) was born this dish: sea bass with sauteed spinach, watercress, radishes, poached potatoes, and a salmon roe garnish. Not having my computer, and the distractions it brings, freed up my time to do whatever else I wanted. And I always want to cook.
One other happy accident made this possible–the discovery of a gigantic Korean supermarket, H-Mart, in Niles. I’m speaking now directly to my neighbors in Evanston: if you have a car, stop shopping at Whole Foods and Jewel Osco. They’re ripping you off. I got all the ingredients for three servings of this, plus enough meat and produce to last me for the next two weeks (and…for the record, it was a whole lot of meat and produce), for 35 bucks.
It’s foodie heaven. On my last trip they had a whole bluefin tuna sitting out in the middle of the store. I wish I had my camera on hand to take a picture. The fishmongers were making sashimi cuts, putting out pieces of the freshest possible fish for customers to grab up as free samples. The rest of the seafood selection was equally killer…they had live lobster for five bucks a pound, and blue crab for 99 cents. Have I convinced you yet? Go there. Seriously. H-Mart is now my happy place, my meditative place, and I revisit it in my mind’s eye probably too often. I’m planning to go again tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
OK, well…that’s all for now.
(….Where did the recipe go, you ask? I can’t exaggerate how much I avoided writing it down. Eventually I stopped trying. It’s not that I want to keep it a secret, that I don’t have the heart to give it out or anything, it’s that to write down a recipe would go completely against how this dish was conceived. And that was an important part of it, I think. I was distraught, I had these things on hand, I had no idea how it would come together.
Not satisfied? Here: Take a nice whole fish of any variety, clean it, fillet it, pan sear it skin-side down so it’s crispy, serve it on some vegetables and garnish it with fish eggs. Knock yourself out.
There, an outline of a recipe. You know, the way cookbooks used to be written, they would only publish a list of ingredients and maybe a drawing. The more I think about it, the more I come around to the idea that there’s not much to cooking, really.
I guess that’s where I sign off. Until next time,)
– Angela M.