Monday, June 25, 2012

Something's Fishy Here

My sister Peggy picked it out right away. Why would the self avowed Fish & Seafood Hater be looking for a local shop to buy said swimmy things? Good question. I guess the answer lies in what won't I do for a photography shoot, oh yeah and my husband. 

This month's food photography challenge is Fish 2 ways. Since my son is off working at scout camp for the summer, I have no fisher people at my disposal. And frankly, if you know me, you know I hate fish. (Sorry fish, I'm sure you have good qualities that I should try to understand.) So in contemplating this month's challenge I had a few fears, first purchasing fish. Second fixing the fish. 

What kind of fish do you purchase? There are only several thousand varieties available. And then, what do you do with it? 

 I have vivid memories of a summer living in a tiny, cramped, extremely stuffy attic room in Jackson Hole cousin and I had a microwave and a 4 x 4 inch electric fry pan to cook with. Downstairs was a kitchen, but regularly our landlady cooked fish. Oh the over powering fishy stench was nearly more than I could handle. I became an avowed believer in never cooking fish indoors because of that experience. So back to this month, what to do? 

 First let me tell you a bit about my patient husband. Not only is he patient with my non-fish loving bad attitude, he also is a very patient photography project guy. Just to illustrate, he pulled a large RV over to the wrong side of traffic once just outside of Sedona for the sole reason to allow me to photograph the magical fog that was developing over the light dusting of snow on the vivid red desert rocks. That's a patient husband. And well he likes fish. So I decided if I was going to attempt this challenge (and just try to tell me I shouldn't) I would at least attempt a fish that he would eat. 

Me: What kind of fish do you like? 
Him: Halibut 
Me: I wonder where you can find Halibut in Utah? 

 It's a bit tricky as it turns out. You see Utah is not known for it's seafood specialties. The only thing that lives in the Great Salt Lake is Brine Shrimp and well that's food fit only for birds or other small organisms or well just not people. 

 So began the Great Fish Quest of June 2012. I would have gladly sacrificed by taking a trip to Alaska to get it fresh, but shucks I was simply short on time (and money). I learned that fresh fish should not smell fishy. So that eliminated my usual grocery stores. (excuse me while I step away from the counter) However, thanks to prompting from my facebook friends I discovered a Whole Foods market in downtown Salt Lake City. 

 Meet 'Joe' My fish guy. :) (I think he's used to people taking his picture when they buy fish...he didn't even flinch!)

Joe My Fish Guy

And meet Hal...I named him that just for the Halibut. (I kill myself) 

A quick tip I learned when grilling halibut (works with chicken too!) I basted the fish with a light olive oil then sprinkled seasoning salt. Grilled one side for about 5 minutes, flipped and repeated. (Never flip's the rule of the grill--I learned that from Bobby Flay)

Grilled Halibut
To top it, I created a light and tasty fruit salsa then bedded it on some lettuce greens and slice of grilled pineapple. The meat of the fillet was a beautiful white, moist and flaky. It had great flavor. I can now say I've eaten Halibut...and I enjoyed it. My husband got his first ever fish grill for Father's Day and my kids were great sports and came a long for the ride. I even had a bit left over and had a tasting with the neighbors. Being fish connoisseurs on that side of the street I was awarded with a 2 thumbs up.
Just for the Halibut

Seems I've faced a fish fear and I came out better for it. But please don't tell anyone that I don't hate fish anymore.
To continue this fishy adventure take a look at what the awesome  Carey Pace | Kingsport TN Photographer is cooking up!


caycelee said...

I sympathize with you, I was never a white fish eater until last year and I'm so happy my taste buds took a turn for the better! I love the close up shot and the colors of the salsa...wish I could take a big ol' bite! great work!!

Kimma said...

Love the pics. That looks so darn tasty. But I really loved your story - I didn't even know you weren't a fish lover. :)

Kay Pickens said...

LOL, the whole post cracked me up!! Those photos are lovely and I love that last one. The colors are so vibrant. Glad you conquered your fish fear!

Tammy Bilodeau said...

Your so witty Kat. Your post was funny and informing. I also detest fish, but good on you for leaping in and trying something new. I really like you included your fish guy and those pics of the final product look delish. :)

Stacey S said...

What a wonderful post Kat!! You made my smile and chuckle lol. Love the awesome photos and the fishmonger looks very friendly (and photogenic!) Glad you made halibut - the captures of it are beautiful.

Ken, Sharon, Amelia, and Sophia said...

Hah-ha, I'd forgotten about our fishy landlord in Jackson Hole. I didn't realize that's where you got your strong(er) dislike for fish. Halibut is a great choice for fish and it looks like you prepared it (and photographed it) perfectly. Halibut is Ken's first choice for fish too.

Brenda said...

That is so funny. I was just thinking about fish this week but not knowing about how to grill it. You are inspiring me (to try to grill, that is, not to take photos of guys in the meat department!)

jna said...

Love it! You're a great photographer, storyteller & cook:) I'm glad you tried some tasty fish finally!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Oh, Kat!!! I LOVE this post!! Your story captured me right away, and I SO identify with being a non-fish lover. That fishy cooking smell.... blech!
Halibut is one that I have had once in a restaurant, but I've never attempted to cook it myself. I can do Mahi and Salmon, I bet I could do Halibut!
Your husband sounds a lot like mine... he indulges my photo habits and has spent hours on vacations carting me around a patiently waiting while I get the shot.
Awesome post! I'm so glad you met Hal, and I love that close up shot of the fish. I think I would like it!

Sabrina said...

This looks amazing Kat, I don't cook fish often and dislike fancy dishes, so I'll definitely be using that tip of olive oil & salt if I ever want grilled fish! The salsa you made looks delicious too - I looove pineapple :)