I don’t usually post recipes. There are plenty of foodie blogs that do that on the regular. This is not one of those. I do, however, love to cook. Especially when I’m benumbed*. The difficult part is cooking healthy when I’m a raging snack beast. Difficult, but not impossible. That’s where this post comes in. It’s a recipe that’s not really a recipe. I call it Flying Fish, because I was high when I saw it on television. And therein lies a story. Too bad I can’t remember it.
Interesting thing is, I’ve only ever been able to make this fish dish when I’m stewed. Apparently I’m way too uptight to do it when I’m not, mainly because there are no real directions. The recipe was hastily scribbled onto a piece of paper, in what can only be described as stoner shorthand. And since it has no real measurements, it’s less a recipe and more an outline. An outline that I’ve refined over time, even though it’s probably a little bit different every time I make it.
So, here’s what I’m getting at. Recently, I was really potted when I decided I wanted this fish thing for dinner. Unlike the countless times before, I actually had the foresight to write my actions down as I went along. There’s more than one way to skin a chipmunk**. Later, when I checked my email, I found this thing I had sent to myself – kind of a letter from the mist, y’know? A missive from beyond the veil. A recipe that’s not a recipe. It was just too good not to share.
I’m not sure who I was writing it for, or even if I was writing it for anybody in particular. It just reads like instructions. Or something. Like maybe I was attempting to write a food blog entry? It’s possible. See for yourself…
Flying Fish à la Dave
- First get a piece of fish. The recipe says halibut, but all I have is salmon. It’ll do. I don’t think it really matters what kind of fish you use, or where you get it from, just go get it. I’ll wait…
Got it? Cool. Okay if it isn’t already, you’re gonna want to let it thaw out. Completely. That could take some time. Bummer. Try putting it in hot water for about 15 minutes, while you’re getting the rest of the stuff ready.
You’ll need other things, too, so gather them up while the fish is thawing. Start with a big ‘ol leek, a couple carrots, a medium chopped onion, some white wine, lemon juice, dried dill, dried rosemary, dried basil, dried thyme, a bay leaf, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and asparagus. I’m not really sure why asparagus. I just says so at the bottom of the recipe. Maybe it’s French.
- Once the fish is thawed, set it aside and pull out a big ol’ pot with a lid. Put about a quarter cup of lemon juice, some water***, dried dill, dried rosemary, dried basil, the bay leaf and garlic in the pot. Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Now turn off the heat and set the pot side. DON’T LIFT THAT LID!
What’s happening here is, the herbs are mingling with the water and lemon. Letting them sit will guarantee that all those juices and herbs will co-mingle into something beyond the individual elements. I just made that up, but it sounds plausible. Heavy, huh?
- Okay, while that shit is mingling, pull out a skillet with a lid. Put lemon juice, a splash of balsamic vinegar, about a quarter cup white wine****, and minced garlic into the skillet. Bring that to a simmer.
- Cut up the leek, some onion and a couple carrots. Cut ‘em thin. Real thin. You know how thin I mean.
- Throw the leeks and carrots into the pan with the simmering juices – not the big ‘ol pot, but the skillet – and cover it up. Let it simmer at the lowest setting for about, I don’t know, 15 minutes? 20? Until the carrots are getting soft.
- Get out your spices. You’ll need those later. I use Dill, Old Bay Seasoning, Garlic Salt and a little chile powder. Set ‘em aside somewhere close to the stove.
Now go hit your bong a couple of times. Don’t forget to set your timer, or you’re never going to remember what you’re doing.
- When the timer goes off, don’t freak out. All you have to do is retrieve that thawed chunk o’fish and put it in the pan with the carrots and leeks. Grab those spices you sat next to the stove earlier. Sprinkle ‘em onto the fish. Cover the skillet. Let it simmer on that low setting for ten minutes. Set the timer!
- While the fish is simmering. Bring that big ol’ pot with the mingling shit back to a boil. While it’s reheating, take out the asparagus and start chopping off the gross, dried out parts. You’ll know ‘em, they’re white and rigid. Like the Presidential Cabinet. Sorry, not sorry.
- Wash the asparagus. Yes, this is important. Lay the asparagus on a steamer rack*****. If you don’t have a steamer rack… um… I got nothing. Figure it out…
Okay, as I was saying, lay the asparagus on the rack. I like to arrange them in a little flower design. Don’t judge.
To be honest, I start out with the flower design, but then I get confused and start crossing them and pretty soon I’m so confused I just dump in on the rack and spread ‘em out with my fingers so they kinda look fancy.
- When the water starts boiling in the big ol’ pot, put the rack with the fancy asparagus in and cover the pot.
Let the big ol’ pot simmer for about five minutes if you’ve got small, paltry stalks and about ten minutes if you’re asparagus is thick and manly. That’s a joke. I respect my feminist sisters. Power to the ovaries!
Never mind. Go hit that bong again, then check out the latest episode of Rick & Morty, ‘cause that shit is hilarious…
Wait, what’s that noise? The timer?
Don’t look now, but somebody has cooked you dinner. Seriously, there’s like a piece of fish with carrots and leeks in one pan and a bunch of really fancy asparagus in a big ol’ pot on your stove! But wait… there’s more…
- Turn off the heat and let the fish sit until the asparagus is finished steaming. Now go check your fridge. Whoa! That same somebody who cooked you dinner also left an opened bottle of white wine in there for you. Somebody loves you!
Wait! Put it on a plate. I know your mother raised you better than that. And pour that wine into a glass. Drinking from the bottle is never cool. It’s WINE, you Philistine! Yes, a paper cup is fine…
Ready? Okay… now, eat.
I don’t really know how long this takes, but I do know that there was about an hour and a half between the post-hit rumination, ‘Oh, man, you know what would be good right now?’ to the sigh-propelled, post-gorge observation, ‘Oh, man, that was soooooo goooooooood…’
And that’s why this is not a food blog.
*Oh, c’mon, I don’t have to spell it out. You know what I mean…
**I’m assuming you already know that.
***About an inch or so.
****Put the bottle in the fridge, afterwards. You’ll want that later…
*****WHAT? You don’t have steamer rack? Lame…