Heeeere fishie fishie…

I have recently discovered a new grocery store which has blown all expectations for any grocery store I might go to in the future. I’m pretty sure it’s a fairly standard chain for the Maryland area, very affordable, and I’ve never been to another one, but this Wegman’s is….wow.

I’ll spare you the boredom of having to listen to me rave about how there is NOTHING you can’t find at this grocery store, including truffles (the mushroom, not the chocolate), sold for $399.99 a POUND. I think I just got another gray hair.

Here’s a picture, in case you don’t believe me. I may or may not be guilty of saying that they resemble chihuahua poo. You be the judge.

But on top of all that, they sell fresh fish.

And when I say fresh fish, I don’t mean filets. I mean…the FISH itself. Some of these puppies were at least 4 feet long.

And we all know me – I’m intrigued by any food that seems different and adventurous, and I’m really not shy about raw meat, with the exception of ground beef, so naturally I saw this beautiful little rainbow trout and decided he was the friend for me.

Be warned. If you’re squeamish, you might as well just skip reading this post altogether. For the non-squeamish, I just wanted to share my odd little adventure with you! I grew up with grandparents that would catch trout in local ponds and cook them up like it was nobody’s business, but it’s something I’ve never attempted before.

And thus…behold. My first attempt.

Meet Mister Fishie.

3rd cousin twice removed to Mister Bird.

Since Mr. Fishie came pre-gutted courtesy of the grocery store, the only task left was to de-scale him. I delegated this task to Scott, since I wanted to take pictures, and since I figure he’s significantly better at handling fish than I am. Yes, I’m that girl that likes to fish but won’t bait her own hook and won’t take the fish off the line once I’ve caught it.

Scott handled Mr. Fishie like a pro, and when all was said and done, Mr. Fishie was nice and smooth and ready to season.

Between talking to my parents and looking online at recipes, we decided to prep Mr. Fishie with some butter, garlic powder, salt & pepper, and lemon juice. Then he got wrapped up in foil and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can remove the head before or after cooking – your choice.

And now enter the part that I have ZERO training in, and only dream of being able to do as beautifully as the scene in Julie & Julia where they’re de-boning a fish in one smooth motion.

I had no clue to go about it, so being the hungry person I was, I opted to just dig in with a knife and attempt to divide Mr. Fishie into equal size portions. Once cooked, the meat will slide easily off the skin, so my main focus was getting out as many bones as possible.

And voila – we had a decent meal!

Not the most beautiful in the world, but tasted better than I thought it would! (And don’t worry Mom Collins – we had a green vegetable, it’s just not pictured!)

Some tips we picked up while researching how to prepare Mr. Fishie:

  • Per my parents and grandparents, if you’re buying your fish from the grocery store it’s an absolute must that it is already pre-gutted. Really the only time you should be gutting your own fish is if it’s coming home with you after a fishing trip, and even then it should be done right away.
  • When de-scaling, make sure you have a cutting board that will sit nicely in your sink, and use the back-side of a short-bladed knife, preferably one with a wide back.
  • Hold your very own Mr. Fishie by his tail, and scrape the knife against the “grain” of the scales until smooth.
  • Rinse him off and pat him dry once he’s done.
Overall, it was fun and different to prepare. I think the final verdict was that unless it’s a fish I pulled out of the lake myself, it’s not really worth the effort of scaling and deboning. Maybe I’m lazy, and maybe I just prefer the pre-cut filets. 
Hope you haven’t gotten too grossed out, and I still highly encourage trying this at home, just for the experience!  Happy Sunday!
(Oh, and just in case you were worried, Mr. Fishie’s remains have been properly dealt with and buried…in the trash can. Which will be taken out tonight.)

3 thoughts on “Heeeere fishie fishie…

  1. This post reminded me of the (few) times my Dad actually caught some fish while fishing and would bring it home and show us kids how to degut and descale (words?) them. Good times.

    O, and yay for green veggies!! 😉

  2. You read my mind, Megan. When I saw the white final plating, I was, yes, I was looking for some brightly colored vegetables. Fresh fish is delicious. It was a good experience for you to bring it from the fish monger to the plate. It makes me want to have fish for dinner tomorrow evening.

  3. Girl, I have been raving about Wegman’s for the last 6 years! It’s insane. The cheese counter (more like cheese exhibition), the fresh prepared meats, the DESSERT COUNTER. I mean. It’s heaven in there. 🙂

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