|Sea bass on the ice.|
So, dear readers, I and my fish friendly colleagues, have been busy preparing hundreds of sea bass at work in the last two weeks. They are on offer at just £2 each and are very popular so-much-so that some people are buying a dozen or so at a time, others one or two. Most of the customers want them prepared which means taking the sharp fins off, de-scaling, gutting, gills extracted and cleaning. Occasionally we get asked for the fish to be filleted too. Some timorous souls want the head and tails removing so that they can't tell it's a fish. I know, I know. And all this for £2 each. What a service!
These fins are very sharp! The picture below is the scales removing tool we use daily. It's like a big metal toothbrush but I wouldn't advise using it in this manner. I've saved you from the picture of the fish guts.
In doing this job you get into quite a routine and as you clip off the fins with the extra strong scissors. Whilst doing so, I often ask the fish if they "are planning any holidays?" or "want anything for the weekend?" It is like fishy hairdressing except when you go to the hairdressers you don't usually get a knife up your bum and your innards removed. Well, not the ones I've been to anyway.
So to my kitchen: there are many ways to cook fish and I chose to roast one in the oven and another time I cut the flesh into small pieces and made some brochettes. in both cases I had some Mediterranean Couscous from a packet to go with the fish. It's easy to make and a change from potatoes or rice.
With the roast sea bass I cooked it in a mild olive oil and added onions and a sprinkling of grated lemon zest and pepper. The lemon zest wasn't from a packet of dried lemon zest with a picture of Jamie Oliver costing £5.99. It was the actual zest of a fresh lemon costing 30p. I'm so radical. The fish took fifty minutes to do on gas mark 6 and was yummy with the couscous, onions and a generous amount of Jean's homemade cranberry and apple sauce. I gave it a little baste half way through the cooking.
"Can I have the head?"