As a Catholic woman, you would think I would know by now how to cook fish dishes for Fridays during Lent. For that matter, as a Louisiana native, you’d think I would know by now how to cook fish.
I saw a big, beautiful pink salmon filet at Kroger last week that I knew would be perfect to have on Friday for dinner. The filet looked delicious and was already seasoned with lemon pepper (which we both love). I planned to have twice baked potatoes and Italian green beans to go with it. I just knew Michael was going to be impressed with me!
On Friday night, when I took the clear plastic wrap off the styrofoam package of salmon, I looked in horror at the other side of the filet–it was the speckly grey outside of the actual fish on the other side! I was so surprised and horrified that I almost cried. I’d done it again. What a completely ditzy cook I was not to know that’s how they package fish like that.
Remembering the days when my dad would bring home ice chests of trout and bass from his fishing trips, I decided that maybe I should just try to cut the skin off the other side of the filet before I cooked it. I remembered that my dad would always start at the tail with his electric knife and kind of just cut down lengthwise…
It didn’t work. I just made an awful chop job of the tail part of the filet. So I decided that the way you were supposed to cook it was just to throw the whole thing in the pan. That’s what I did. I put the fish in the pan, scale-side down (so I wouldn’t have to look at them), and let it sit there. Soon, the entire apartment smelled like dead fish :(. (That’s the thing with little apartments like ours. When you cook something gross, it smells the whole place up quickly, and the stink stays around for a while.)
When I lifted up the salmon to peek at the bottom, the grey skin started sloughing off all over the place. It was then that I decided I wasn’t planning on eating a bite of this supposed-to-be-impressive Lenten dinner. (Actually, if I’m being honesty, maybe that point was far, far before then.) I ended up deciding to try to “salvage” the fish by scraping off all of the skin part and throwing it down the disposal, then cooking the stew out of the fish for a while, then sort of chopping it up to make sure it was all entirely cooked.
Why oh why didn’t I just call somebody to help me? Because I was stubborn and prideful, that’s why!
So, aside from grossing out both myself and my poor husband for an entire evening with an apartment filled with Gross Fish Smell, my self-punishment is opening myself up to mockery by relating all of my idiocy on this blog. 🙂
In the end, I think the fish was objectively edible…but it sure looked awful. Michael stoutly and dutifully tried a bite of the fish’s mutilated remains and asked if he could “just have a little” for dinner and find something else for the main course. I didn’t make him eat it at all.
I haven’t mentioned the very best part of my culinary performance on Friday night. Michael had fasted all day on Friday for his baby Godson, Blaise, who is very sick and is in the NICU. Michael was absolutely starving by Friday night, especially since he didn’t get home until after 8pm to eat dinner. I’m convinced it was the graces from his fast that day that made him as kind as he was to me when he came home. Usually, a hungry Michael is not a happy Michael. (The same goes for me 🙂
At least I made a killer cookie cake for dessert that night. Lesson learned about cooking fish. Except I still don’t know if that lesson is to never, ever try cooking a fish again, or if the lesson is to ask for help before ruining a perfectly good piece of salmon. 🙂