Recently someone asked what I did to fill my time since I was retired. As far as I know, that person has never worked, so I should have asked what they have been up to for all these years. But I didn't show disrespect and said I puttered in the garden and wrote a blog. Neither seemed to interest the questioner, so end of that discussion.
I enjoy those "don't have to do anything right now" moments, but this morning I had some fishy business to handle.
Back in early November 2014, we visited my blog friend Alie's Huisje Weltevree kringloopwinkel De Boelschuur in Urk. The winkel was grand, meeting Alie was even grander, and coming back to the Beltway Apartment with 10 kilos (22 American pounds!!) of frozen fish was astonishing! We were so overwhelmed by the fish gift from Alie that we found a place for it in the freezer and left it in Deventer over the winter. For the last few weeks I have been trying to get up the nerve to "tackle" the fish.
Last week my hub's cousin gave us a long fish poaching pan. And it works on the top of our induction heat cooktop! So yesterday I took the huge bag of schol fish out of the freezer, put the bag in a large bucket in the pantry, and waited for it to thaw. In the meantime, I peeked into the bag and saw lovely headless spotted schol. Lots and lots of them.
This morning I checked the bag of fish. Noted they were thawed but still quite cold and searched for a simple poached fish recipe. My goal was to poach everything and then put most of the cooked fish into the freezer for other meals. No special flavors on the fish, just poached fish. I found a recipe and then went to work. This is what I did:
Simple Poached Schol Fish Recipe
Rinse each headless/cleaned fish in clear/cool running water.
Slice up 4-5 medium sized onions and a half garlic bulb and place in the bottom of the fish poaching pan. (Mine has a shelf that can be lifted out.) Then add lots of water. (Fish must swim!)
Bring this to a rolling boil.
Add a few fish to the boiling water. (I had room for 4-5 fish to poach without stacking them on top of each other.)
When the water returns to a good boil, set the timer for 5 minutes and turn the heat down so the pan will not boil over. At the end of 5 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the fish. (According to my recipe, it should register 175F (80C). In most cases, I gave the fish a couple of minutes more heat to hit that point.)
If you are planning to serve the fish immediately, prepare your fish sauce and veggies and enjoy.
In my case, I had 17 (yes, you read right) fish and planned to eat three tonight and freeze the rest. So I carefully wrapped the poached fish in aluminum foil ( 2-4 to a package) and cooled them for freezing.
As always, the worst part of this fishy business is the clean-up. But that is done, and tonight's fish dinner just needs a sauce, some rice, and veggies.
Then dinner is served!