Fish Head Soup

January 12, 2010

One day, I said to my husband, I’d like to start buying whole fish.   With the head.  He nodded, I didn’t think he’d heard me.

But then, last Saturday, he brought home a whole trout from the Grand Lake Farmers Market.  $8. 

Well now I had to eat my words, and eat a whole fish!

The fish was already slit and gutted (whew!) so for the first round I stuffed it with what we had around….garlic cloves, onions, lemon slices, parsley and thyme.  I rubbed the shiny silver skin with salt and pepper, drizzled the whole thing with olive oil, layed a few slices of lemon on the outside of the fish and wrapped the whole thing in tin foil.  Baked in the oven at 350 for approx 20 mins.  (10minutes for each inch the fish is thick).

The fish steamed in the tin foil and the flesh was white and flaky.  The skin peeled off easily, but the bones were thin and flexible.  The were a task to watch out for on your plate, but they were thin I don’t think they would have done any harm. 

But all my stuffing and rubbing didn’t give our trout much flavor (perhaps I should have let it sit?) so we had a good bit left over, espeically that head.

So a few nights later, I dumped a (homemade) jar of chicken broth and the fish head (with a few more small filets of fish we didn’t eat), 5 cherry tomatoes cut in half (the last of the Funk Town tomatoes), a few thin slices of onion, the juice of half a (neighbor’s) lemon, a few stray arugula leaves (Funk Town) and 2 baby carrots (cut up, Funk Town Hippie Carrots).  A dash of salt and a double dash of black pepper.  I set the pot to simmer as low as the flame on our gas stove will go (just a glow of blue around the base), and took a shower.  Over all, it simmered about 45 minutes.

The resulting soup was amazing!  We totally redeemed that fish!  I must note that is was, indeed, a very fishy soup, so if you’re a “shrimp only” seafood eater, then you’ll have to get over that before you wash down this soup, but once you do, you’ll love it!  Mr. Oakland Kitchen stepped back into his fishing village days and pulled every good piece of meet out of the flavorful head.  I enjoyed the few chunks of filets in broth with the other vegetables and a slice of bread from Arezmendi Cafe (Lakeshore Ave).

The budget news:  4 meals from one fish, $2 each.


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