Long day ahead at work. It was easier knowing that I had some nice striped bass in the cooler on ice - ready to fillet when I got home. That wasn't going to be until 7:30 pm though. And I had about an hour of cleaning to do before I could even start cooking. So I had my regular beans and rice for lunch at work.
When I got home the kids were excited to tell me all about how they let Mr Fredrickson go back home.
Apparently they got tired of cleaning the fish tank (or cake pan in this case) and Debbie brought them all to the pond where he was from. Farewell Mr. Fredrickson.
At lunchtime I took a ride over to my regular sushi restaurant and I gave them one of the big striped bass that I had on ice. I didn't stay but I am hopeful that my generosity will be reciprocated then next time I go there - maybe they will trade a nice fillet of yellowtail to me in exchange. I'm not expecting anything but we'll see. In the past I've sold striped bass to restaurants (when I lived in RI) and I could get about $60 per fish.
After work I went home and got to work. . . on the fish that is. I was very careful to fillet these fish properly in order to get everything I cold from them. After all, they sacrificed their lives for me. It wouldn't be right to do a half ass cleaning job. This took some time. I prepared the fish for several cooking methods. I made several chunks for the grill (leaving the skin on), several pieces to saute, a few rib and belly sections for the grill, and a batch of strips that I am going to put on the smoker this weekend. I got a good amount of meat from these two fish and I will do my best to make it last because there's no telling when the next fish will be available. After I was finished cleaning I had to go down to the river to dump the guts and bones. In hindsight I should have kept some bone pieces to make a fish stock. Dummy! I'll remember that for next time.
I vacuum bagged several portions of fish and froze some to keep it as fresh as possible. For dinner tonight I seasoned 2 rib sections and a belly section with salt and pepper and spread some melted butter on it. I put the pieces on a hot grill and it turned out excellent! Ty has been thoroughly enjoying eating my meals with me lately. He dug right in to this fish. The skin was nice and crispy and flavorful and the flesh was juicy, tender large white meat flakes. So good. For those who don't know, the rib and belly sections are commonly discarded by most fisherman who catch and fillet their own fish. It's a disgrace because this meat has so much flavor. It's just a little more inconvenient to prepare but if you have the time it's worth it. Especially on these larger fish.
Well, that's it for tonight. I have plenty of fish for a few days. I still have a bunch of clams in the fridge - have to cook those tomorrow. I think I really have to concentrate some more efforts on the greens next. I have definitely been lacking in that department.
"Tis not the meat but the appetite that makes eating a delight."
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