Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday dinner: The whole fish, and nothing but the fish

Whole roasted Boston mackerel and roasted purple potatoes with mixed greens salad.

This was our very first experience roasting a fish whole.  It came about somewhat by accident, since the fishmonger didn't have enough mackerel fillets for our full order, and instead threw in two small whole fish.  The fish come cleaned and gutted, so all we had to do was rub them with a little oil, season them by stuffing with a couple garlic cloves, and then roast them over a bed of thinly sliced onions and potatoes.  The difficult part was knowing when the fish were done: a fillet has a relatively uniform thickness, so you can usually count on the whole thing being done if one part flakes nicely.  Whole fishes, however, have a lot more variation, so even if one part seemed well cooked, we were still concerned that thicker areas remained too translucent.  Like all cooking, this is obviously a learning process, but now we know that we can do it.  (And whole fish does, often, taste better than fillets.)

We wanted to share with you a picture of our prepped roasting tray complete with mackerel and potato slices, but we realized the image might be a bit graphic for our more sensitive, veggie-oriented readers.  In deference to your sensibilities, we have placed this picture below the jump.  Reader beware.


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