Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day Twenty-Nine: The Importance of Proper Cooking

Tonight, I made cod with fennel, dill, and tomato and, quel domage, I overcooked it. Rather, I overcooked my piece. Ian's was apparently delicious. I didn't realize this discrepancy until he finished off the last two bites of my dish (the cod pictured was mine... notice how it's falling apart... not moist). BUT: the sauce was delicious. And since this fish was poached, both the fish and the sauce contained fish flavor for me to overcome.

It's tough to judge this overcooked fish dish, since I know it was improperly cooked (next time I will be more careful to equally portion my fish) but it was pretty difficult for me to eat. I think I jinxed myself, really. Just the other day, a friend was asking what types of foods I was surprised to find I liked, and I included cod in that list. Because I've had it breaded, which makes it look a lot less like fish, and we all know the eye eats first. Because the last piece I had was cooked beautifully (fish-cooking beginner's luck, I guess). Because... the fish hate me.

So tonight's fish was a little hard to swallow. Literally. There's that whole my-mouth-does-not-produce-saliva-for-unsavory-food phenomenon that meant I had to use my wine to wash it down. (My dad has a funny story about using that phrase when he had dinner with my mom's parents. In his family, it's not a term of disparagement; in my mom's family, it is. So you can probably guess that asking for something to wash dinner down did not go over well. Ask my dad. He tells it better. But it brings up a good reason for my doing this project--one never wants to be rude when invited to dinner, regardless of what the host or hostess serves.) There's also a rumor I hear that overcooked fish tastes fishier than properly cooked fish. Yay. But I will not be deterred. I will have more cod, and I will move on to more fish-flavored fish. has given me an excellent tip:

"Many cookbooks tell you to cook fish until it flakes; this is too long. Once it flakes, the fish has lost too much moisture and will be dry and bland."

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