Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Remarkable Salmon

Dinner would not have been remarkable, but for the pleasant experience I had buying the ingredients. Like the passionate Proven├žale vendors brought to life in Peter Mayle's books, the seafood counter attendant clearly takes his job very seriously. I wanted a pound and a half of salmon filet. A little over is fine. I like the tail-end. "You don't want any of these," he gestures to the merely adequate cuts in the case before him. "I will go to to the back and get you a bigger piece."

He came back, holding the fish proudly. He'd cut it special. "This looks good, ma'am. A very nice piece of salmon."

1.35 lb. Too small. "I will go back and cut another," he muttered, and slunk back through the plastic curtain.

Again, he tenderly places his cut of fish on the scale. It is 1.46 lb. This will not do. He seems shaken. "Usually I get it perfect the first time!"

He returns. "You know what it is? Those fish were all too small! I opened another box, these fish were much bigger!" Indeed, the fish had great color and texture, and weighed in at a perfect 1.65 lb. He thanked me profusely for my patience; I smiled, and thanked him for his diligence.

The fish was baked for 20 minutes at 400┬░, and then broiled for 5, with a simple 60/40 honey-mustard glaze and black pepper. It was delicious.

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