Somewhere there exists a person who looks at a hunk of raw fish and says, “Mmm, I can’t wait to get home, sprinkle a little lemon and salt on that baby, broil and eat it as nature intended — fresh!” Let me say right now, that person is not me. I would rather taste any spice — and I’m including bleach here — rather than taste the ‘flavor’ of fish.
Simply put, I am not a fish lover and, if there’s one thing I hate more than eating fish, it’s cooking fish. But today, when I got home from work, my wife was too sick to cook and you know how it is with that farmer’s market fresh fish — you have to cook it immediately if not sooner or else it goes bad. That’s why when we buy fresh fish, I refer to it as ‘the curse of the fish.’
So tonight, I was stuck cooking my own piece of (damn) tile fish. Normally, I limit my intake of fish to 3 varieties — cod, flounder and tuna. Okay 4 if you count Mrs. Paul’s…whatever kind of fish that is.
I opened the package gingerly and realized that this luscious (note: I’m being sarcastic here) piece of tile fish had a bunch of pin bones along its spine. How appetizing! It’s no wonder people don’t eat fish snacks, right? I couldn’t get those damn pin bones out no matter how hard I tried so I turned to youtube for a few tricks and 3 hours later (slight exaggeration), all the pin bones were out and I was exhausted. My eyes were shot from staring at the little invisible bones.
Okay, so now I had that nice hunk of fish. I turned again to the Internet and found a nice recipe for sautéing the fish with butter, lemon and scallions. Simple enough. I began cooking and basting and, as I waited I read the reader comments. Many of them were warnings not to eat tile fish (note: now I am NOT being sarcastic) because of the high level of mercury. Your hair could fall out or something.
I pressed on and came up with a reasonably decent looking piece of cooked fish. My side dish was a large glass of white wine. Who had the time to make anything else? I called my wife down and, on her first bite, she found a pin bone. Say what??!!! I hadn’t found a single one in my half!
She praised me about how good the fish was and I accepted the compliment graciously. “Nothing to it,” I said, “but don’t ever buy tile fish again.”
Then, after she left, I dug into a bag of the only fish I truly love — red Swedish fish from 7/11! Mmmm, now THAT’S some nice fish!