I have spent my life feeling iffy about fish. There were fish dishes I tried and enjoyed, but there were also bad memories of aging smelt and dolly vardens that I usually just try to push out the back door of the mind. Suffice to say that as a child, I learned the hard way that there are some flavors nothing can aid or cover up, not ketchup, not tartar sauce, not even Tabasco. Now that's knowledge I'd spare my kid.
That said, Fiona likes fish--she gorges on tuna salad and fish sticks, the fish things I can be persuaded to cook. So I walked down to New Seasons last night and let Fiona pick out some fish for dinner. She picked a trout. With its head still on.
The fish guy obligingly cut off the head and threw it away, and we finished our shopping. Fiona wanted to carry the fish packet for a while, until we picked up a cucumber, which she adopted as a new baby doll. The I brought the groceries home, whipped up a salad and prepared the silvery swimmer of lakes.
I rinsed it and patted it dry and seasoned it with kosher salt and pepper and placed some onion in the cavity and wrapped it in bacon and placed it under the broiler. I only gagged twice (and my friend Elizabeth, a vegetarian, was kind enough not to laugh at me as she listened on the telephone). Discarding the wrapping from the fish packet was pretty ugly, but I kept my gorge controlled.
It actually tasted pretty good. Bland, but good. John loved it. Fiona ate a couple of bites. I even had seconds. So I guess I'll try making fish again some time, although next time, I'm putting parchment paper down in the broiler pan.
No way am I scrubbing fins off of that thing a second time.