life list

Life List: Learn to Cook a Fish. Check!

Check it, people!  Bare hands, raw fish.  I was brave!  I took a few deep breaths and picked that mo fo up!  He was not so slimy and awful after a moment or two.

The three amigos.  Carmen and I went to the farmers market to see the fishmongers, but the snowstorm kept them away, so we headed to the fish market and selected one big fish and two smaller ones.  The bigger one is a red snapper and the smaller ones had an odd name that starts with a “B”.  If you know, help me out.

We cornmeal-and-floured the “B” fish and then panfried them in canola oil.  One we soaked in milk for 20 minutes first.  The cookbook said it would make a juicier fish.  It was, in fact, more moist than the other, but maybe not entirely worth the bother.  They were both tasty.

Here they are in crispy glory.

For the snapper (named “Steve” by Kevin), we made slits in on each side with a pointy knife.  Then we rubbed him with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and stuffed him with herbs.  The rest of the herbs went on top and he got baked in the oven at 500* F for about 20 minutes.

This is me and Carmen with our fish, in cute aprons.

We also made a salad with blood oranges and grapefruit, and a blood orange vinaigrette.  I got to juice the oranges for the dressing.

I made lemon squares for dessert.  I was worried they were over done, but Kevin said they were “so fucking good”.  Instead of a water+confectioner sugar icing, I juiced the leftover half a lemon I had and mixed the juice with the confectioners sugar, so it was lemony sweet.

Here are Kevin and Carmen together.  I’m on a mission to take portraits of everyone for my new life list challenge: take 1000 portraits.

Then Carmen grabbed my camera and snapped one of me and Rob.  We look happy and scruffy together.

Thank you, Carmen, for teaching me to shop for, prepare and cook the fish, and thank you, Kevin, for teaching me how to carve them! You are both too kind.


  1. Darcie

    1 March 2010 at 12:34 pm

    B fish=branzino??

    congrats on your cooking adventure!

  2. West Coast Amber

    1 March 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I love that necklace you’re wearing! I want one!!!

  3. amber

    1 March 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks! It’s from a street vendor in SoHo – some cute Jamaican girl sold it to me.

  4. Jen

    1 March 2010 at 5:23 pm

    You look adorable in these pictures. Way to cook a fish! I can’t cook or eat things that still have eyes.

  5. amber

    1 March 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Oh, but the eyes are the best part. Especially when they slime around between your teeth.

  6. Maggie mason

    2 March 2010 at 7:21 pm

    With skin and eyes is brave. I’d like to feel more comfortable just throwing a fish in the oven too. They’re so fast and healthy.

    You cooked the crap out of that fish, lady.

  7. Carmen

    2 March 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I love this play-by-play of a really fun night!

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