Adventure in Eating
This year I've begun a new habit. When at a restaurant, I order something that interests me but that I usually wouldn't order. It is an amazing experience and has opened my food experiences tenfold.
It's not that I'm a picky eater, but perhaps like you, when I look at a menu, so many things look good. I tend to pick something I wouldn't cook but that is familiar. Not anymore.
On my latest trip to Charleston, South Carolina, I explored fish.
From Halibut to Trout
I love fish but usually stay with what I know, cod, sole, and shrimp. On this trip, I started by having halibut, which I had not tasted in years (see the picture above...yes, I had that!). If you are unfamiliar with halibut, it is a tender, mild fish that reminds me of a cross between cod and halibut. It is firm but flaky, and it takes on the flavor of what accompanies it really well.
From there, I got a bit more adventurous and had what I later found out was trout. It was labeled the catch of the day, and I said yes without knowing what it would be like.
Surprisingly to me, trout and salmon are related. It has pink flesh and flakes like salmon but is smaller. As a matter of fact, some people I was dining with called it salmon until we found out later it was trout.
This dish was lightly pan-fried, so it was not overcooked but definitely cooked through. It was delicious. The flavor was delicate but more decadent than the previous night's halibut. I think it is a good transition fish if you want to eat salmon but are intimidated by how large the pieces can be.
Finishing with Crab
On my final night in Charleston, I wanted to try another local dish, crab. Crabs local to South Carolina are blue and stone crabs. This time I opted for the crab cakes, again something I wouldn't necessarily order, with all the other choices on the menu.
The Charleston Crab House on Market Street was a casual, fun place, and the crab cakes were delicious. They were all crab with only a little filling. They were lightly pan-fried, so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Paired with collard greens and Carolina Red Rice, it was a perfect end to the trip.
Living in New England, I suppose I've been spoiled because we always have fish nearby. This trip reminded me how good fish can be, and I can't wait to try more recipes now that I'm home.
What's your favorite type of fish?