Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dark Days Dinner #9: Fresh Perch

The plan for the next meal was set - another pasta dish to happen some time this coming week.

Then I got a call from my father yesterday (Friday) morning. He'd gone ice fishing on Owasco Lake and come home with a quite a few fish Wednesday, and then a few more good sized ones Thursday. He and my mother were headed to Rochester to visit with my sister and her boys and the fish were in their 'fridge and the needed to be eaten. Could we help them out?


Fresh perch? That someone else already caught and cleaned? Who in their right mind would say no?! 

So here we have it - another of what I'm coming to think of as the best kind of Dark Days Challenge meals: the unplanned kind!

I quick sliced up some local potatoes and got them roasting in the oven and got some local (farmer's market) carrots steaming on the stove. I sautéed the fish on top of the stove and topped them with a white wine and shallot sauce that I'd never made before but it turned out delicious.

How local was I? / What did I learn?
  • On top of the usual intruders of oil and spices, the sauce was not too local. I used lemon, vermouth and capers that were not at all local but that I had on hand. However, I did use our onions from the garden, home-made local butter and a little local heavy cream in it too, to try to even that out a bit!
  • The sauce recipe was from Cook's Illustrated (here) but I added about two tablespoons of heavy cream at the very end, which I thought was just perfect. I wasn't sure how the dairy would go with the lemon, but it worked well and didn't curdle or separate. That recipe's a keeper for sure, and even my usual caper-avoiding husband liked it and had second helpings!
Thanks so much to my dad for the fish - one of these times I need to get back out there with you to catch some myself!

Stay tuned - that next pasta Dark Days meal will eventually happen!

The little guy was pretty excited about the meal too.
Or maybe he was just excited to be holding that big fork.
It's hard to tell.

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