I have a little confession to make. Of late fish on Friday hasn’t seemed very penitential to me.
The thing is: I like fish. I really like fish. Some of my favorite dishes are fish dishes. But Dom really doesn’t. Or, rather, he thinks he doesn’t because he was scarred by bad fish experiences in childhood. (His single mom with five kids tried her best; but didn’t know any better.) So after he dropped a recent hint that my pan-fried tilapia, though it tasted good was getting a bit boring, I was inspired to strike out and find new and exciting ways to cook fish.
So last week I tried turbot baked on a bed of onion and smothered in a spicy yogurt sauce. The week before I made a Bengali style fish stew with eggplant, green beans and zucchini. And tonight I finally opened up my Fonda San Miguel cookbook and prepared broiled tilapia with a Veracruz style sauce: onions, tomatoes, green olives, capers and pickled jalapenos. With sides of white rice and black beans and delicious frozen margaritas, this was a five-star meal. The sauce was excellent, if I do say so myself. And it was a very simple meal to prepare. I’ve been making Indian meals quite a bit and the spice preparations can be quite elaborate. This Mexican sauce just had two bay leaves and a dash of oregano. The sweetness of the onions and tomatoes was well-balanced by the brine of the capers, olives and jalapenos and it didn’t need anything else. The sauce was the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet, tender tilapia—one of my favorite fishes because it is so versatile, easy to prepare, and relatively inexpensive.
So does that mean I have to find another means of marking Friday as a day of penance?