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Pickled Sardines

One thing that separates those truly passionate about food from the mere eaters is that when we are planning what to make I think we’re more likely to ask “what have I wanted to try (eating or making) but not gotten around to yet?” rather than just “what do I feel like eating?”  I have made a low-level resolution to try and make more of the recipes from Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast.  A good place to pickup seemed like his recipe for pickled herring–a dish that some members of my family swear is a delicacy but which has always made me a little queasy.

The world’s great cities for seafood like Tokyo, New York, Sydney, and San Francisco are all are obviously on or near the ocean and have huge (and sometimes tourist-worthy) fish markets.  Granted Toronto is something like fourteen hundred kilometers from Saint John–the nearest coastal city of note if we don’t count Quebec City and their port but small fishery–but must we really drive to mid-Scarborough to find decent seafood?  I have had decent but overpriced experiences at the St. Lawrence Market (specifically the last purveyor on the right when walking south down the main aisle) and Corey Mintz recommends New Seaway in Kensington but Diana’s on Lawrence east of Warden (google map) has often been highly recommended. (more…)

Fish Cakes

Two trout cakes on some mixed greens

Two trout cakes on some mixed greens

My recent semi-obsession with burgers has started to wane and it’s probably a good point for the Food With Legs content to take a break from red meat.  As part of this detour I took on what I guess is sort of the burger of the sea: fish cakes.  I adapted my recipe from one I found in Serious Eats’ Dinner Tonight column (that they had adapted from Mark Bittman’s NYT column).  I kept the technique roughly the same except that I made each portion into two cakes instead of one burger, I used trout instead of salmon and I added some appropriate flavour highlights.

If you buy a piece of fish with the skin on, not to worry this is an ideal opportunity to practice skinning a fish fillet.  It is difficult to describe the technique except to say that your goal should be to use your knife’s sharp blade to separate flesh from skin without cutting either.  Because it is going to be cut up in the food processor anyway there is no need to remove the fish all in one piece and any that is left attached to the skin can be scraped off. (more…)