Whether or not you enjoy fishing you can still enjoy fish! You may prefer an oily fish known for containing fatty acids and fat-soluable vitamins that are for good health, such as salmon, mackerel, or tuna. They are both very oily and have distinct flavors. Due to their high oil content, these fish species are best eaten very fresh, otherwise they spoil very easily. Omega-3’s are often talked about when eating oily fish.
White fleshed fish, such as cod, grouper, or snapper have a different meat texture. Their flesh is more “solid”. However, the texture of white fish varies dramatically. Monkfish has a firm and dense texture. Thus, white fish are excellent to use when making a bouillabaisse. Other fish, such as catfish, is a solid flesh fish like cod, but it is much cheaper to buy. Catfish tidbits are excellent to use for this purpose. I usually like to combine in my bouillabaisse both white and oily fish. You should consider that the nutritional value of white fish is usually lower than oily fish.
If you decide to go fishing for your dinner, be prepared to immediately fillet your fish and then salt it and leave it in a sealed container on ice. A plastic bag would also work. However, if you are able, try to refrigerate your catch as soon as possible, or better yet, eat it fresh.
An excellent way to enjoy your day’s catch of fresh fish is to make a bouillabaisse. A bouillabaisse is a fish soup. To make it you first sweat out your solid vegetables in a deep pot. Sweating means to cook on a low heat until your vegetables are translucent. I enjoy using vegetables such as: fennel, celery, garlic, shallots, leeks, and onions. I also like to add diced red pepper. If you like, you can also add green pepper. I enjoy the taste of garlic, so I like to add five cloves finely chopped to my bouillabaisse.
While your vegetables are cooking, you can start cutting your fish into bite-sized pieces. I prefer to use several types of fish to enhance your soup. Begin with cutting thicker fish, such as cod or halibut since they will require more time to cook. Once cut, add them to your pot of simmering vegetables. Continue cutting into one inch squares your other fish, and then add them to your pot. I enjoy using wild salmon and catfish.
To add variety of flavours, put in a handful of cleaned shrimp and scrubbed clean mussels. Make sure your vegetables and fish are covered with liquid. You can use clam juice and half a bottle of white wine if you want.
Finally, I like to add a variety of spices. Which spices to use will often depend upon which spices I have on’hand. However, the following spices I used just a few days ago when I served my homemade bouillabaisse to my friends:
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 large bunch of fresh thyme
When all your ingredients are placed in your cooking pot, turn up your heat to high and cook for an hour. If you follow these instructions, soon you will enjoy a hearty meal made up of an assortment of vegetables, fish, and spice. You can personalize your bouillabaisse recipe by adding sea scallops, shrimp, lobster, crab meat, or haddock. Definitely a yummy treat just to heat up when you come home from work.
Books to check-out!
The New England Clam Shack Cookbookforeven fish