December 5, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 8:26 pm

 red snapper

Yay for the pink fishy!

It seems that the staff at a certain Sainsbury’s fish counter don’t really know what it means to prepare a fish. Firstly they weren’t sure whether it was gutted. Then they didn’t understand what I meant when I said “please scale it”.   :roll:

So I ended up learning to scale a fish very quickly. I’m pretty sure that fishmongers have a proper tool to do this but I just had a knife. My technique involved scrubbing the fish skin with the knife and hoping for the best. Scales went everywhere- all over the cooker, up in the air and up my nose.

I was picking pink scales out of my hair for the next two days. I suppose the fish tasted good enough to make up for it.

cooked snapper 

As for the marrow- that dish was made for goon. A few weeks ago, we were in Tesco and I’d asked him to go and find some potatoes. After about ten minutes, when he hadn’t come back, I went looking for him and found him pointing gleefully at the marrows. Apparently he’d never seen one before (how do you grow up in the countryside and never see a marrow!?)  so he made the decision that we needed to try it as soon as possible. 

I hadn’t ever bought or cooked a marrow before. The first time I tried it had been several years before when James had stuffed one with bolognese and baked it. It was nice, but I wondered why you’d bother having marrow with bolognese when there was plenty of good spaghetti around. ;) More recently I tried it in a completely different way, served as a summery side salad in a light creamy sauce. I preferred it that way as it seemed to make better use of the marrow’s crunchy texture.

So that was the basis for the marrow salad side dish we had with the fish. It was very simple really. I sprinkled the marrow with salt and vinegar and left it to sit for about an hour. In the mean time I rubbed the cavity of the fish with paprika stuffed it with garlic and baked it. Then I made sauce with single cream and chopped dill and let the marrow cook in this for about five minutes until it was tender.

I served the baked fish on the excess dill and cream sauce and had the marrow and some new potatoes as a side dish. Goon liked the marrow, so it looks like we’ll be having it again soon.

snapper meal

Typically I forgot to take a photo of the marrow salad but you can just about see it in the background here. 


  1. Oh that looks so pretty!

    Comment by Julia — December 5, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  2. I absolutely adore fish presented whole… but I can never quite figure out the proper way to eat it without making a whopping mess.. ! =(

    Comment by Lea — December 6, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

  3. I thought the way to eat it was to make a mess \o/

    - Goon

    Comment by Andy — December 6, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

  4. I usually make a mess too. I have been taught the ‘proper’ way before. I think you’re supposed to find this bit on the fish between two muscles and then cut along it. Apparently that way the flesh lifts off really easily and you can remove the skeleton in one piece.

    I’ve never got it to work though!

    Comment by ros — December 7, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

  5. Ros, you should always scale fish under running water. It doesn’t stop the scales from flying but it helps a lot. Why don’t you get a scaler from Passionate about Fish? Duncan or Sue will sort you and you can get your proper boning knife and filleting knife at reasonable prices. The mailing address is info[at]passionateaboutfish[dot]com. I did that to avoid them getting spam. Red snapper is wonderful when stuffed with coriander and garlic.

    Comment by Franka — December 12, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

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