Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Jenise » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:43 pm

ChefJCarey wrote:Petrale "sole" or Rex "sole" or sand dabs - simply sauteed in clarified butter, after being dredged in a little flour. Squeeze of lemon.


Ditto.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:06 pm

OK, I have a question here.

Some fish are very neutral in taste, and some aren't.

The neutral ones are like piscine zucchini - they take the flavour of whatever preparation they are utilized in without adding all that much to the mix except (sometimes) texture.

So a neutral fish prep will taste like butter, garlic, lemon - whatever you are adding to it, but you can't really taste the fish istelf.

It seems to me that a lot of people LIKE this sort of thing - I know, for instance, people for whom lobster is just and excuse to wallow in butter and garlic - you could give them tasteless jello in that medium and they'd be happy.

Some flatfish are like this too, though many aren't, and that's what prompted this comment. I wonder how many people that say they like fish really just like neutral filler. Anyone fess up?
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by JC (NC) » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:19 pm

I'll confess to not wanting the fish to smell and taste too "fishy" but I will go one more and confess to eating snails partly for the garlic/butter/herb broth.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:42 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Some fish are very neutral in taste, and some aren't.


Bill Hi....

I would have to say that a fish that is neutral in taste is (a) a fish that if cooked to its best does not deserve to be on my plate; (b) was frozen before it made its way to the table; or (c) was not prepared in the manner best suited.

As to zucchini - a most marvelous vegetable and one that can take on a certain charm whether steamed, fried, deep-fried, baked, or, of course, stuffed. All depends on the spices and herbs one chooses. Done badly, agreed - terrible stuff.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:50 pm

JC (NC) wrote:I'll confess to not wanting the fish to smell and taste too "fishy" but I will go one more and confess to eating snails partly for the garlic/butter/herb broth.



I wonder if anyone can honestly say that they'd eat snails without some sort of sauce? That's probably a better example than the one I gave of lobster, as lobster arguably has redeeming features even in the absence of tasty sauce. Escargot, on the other hand, best resemble warm pencil erasers, though without the charm, in their 'nude' state.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:58 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:I would have to say that a fish that is neutral in taste is (a) a fish that if cooked to its best does not deserve to be on my plate; (b) was frozen before it made its way to the table; or (c) was not prepared in the manner best suited.


OK, sounds like you have similar tastes to mine, where the fish itself should have some inherent taste and it doesn't all have to come from whatever you add to it during cooking. Maybe the test for that would be to simply steam the fish and if you can put it in your mouth and detect that it is fish, it is at least a contender for pleasurable eating. If it is so neutral that it could be anything, away with it!

And for subtle fish, ovbiously (to you and me, if not always to the chef at your restaurant) the preparation should also be subtle, complementing rather than completely displacing whatever the fish brings to the table. Chili peppers and sole...I think not.

Finally, while freezing can certainly reduce or even kill the charm and taste of some fish, it doesn't seem to bother others. Almost all the sushi we get locally has been frozen and doesn't suffer for it, as does ocean caught fish like tuna, which seems to freeze without harm to either texture or flavour. I do know what you mean, though, I just can't think of an example of a 'spoiled' one offhand.

Then there are the dried cod that you can bludgeon someone with at Italian specialty stores. Good as doorstops, and passable as bacalhao.....
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Mark Lipton » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:06 am

Bill, I'm with you: Sablefish aka "Black Cod" is probably my all-time favorite, prepared in Nobu's signature dish: miso-glazed.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Shlomo R » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:46 am

Bill Spohn wrote:OK, I have a question here.

Some fish are very neutral in taste, and some aren't.

The neutral ones are like piscine zucchini - they take the flavour of whatever preparation they are utilized in without adding all that much to the mix except (sometimes) texture.

So a neutral fish prep will taste like butter, garlic, lemon - whatever you are adding to it, but you can't really taste the fish istelf.

It seems to me that a lot of people LIKE this sort of thing - I know, for instance, people for whom lobster is just and excuse to wallow in butter and garlic - you could give them tasteless jello in that medium and they'd be happy.

Some flatfish are like this too, though many aren't, and that's what prompted this comment. I wonder how many people that say they like fish really just like neutral filler. Anyone fess up?


I voted for bluefish. THere isn't a sane person alive that could accuse me of liking fish as neutral filler.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Shel T » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:55 am

No doubt that you're right Bill, lots of people, my wife being one of them, won't eat fish if it's "fishy" and so go for as neurtral (bland is maybe a better word) a taste as possible and so the fish is just a receptacle for garlic, lemon, sauces etc. and maybe cardboard or even LOL tofu would do.
If you like the taste of fish, then I guess eating sashimi is a reasonable test for how much you like the taste. Then there's smoked fish, a whole different kettle of...well you get the picture. I suppose the case could be made for the fish just being a receptacle for the smoke taste, but not by me! Love smoked fish, haddock, salmon, whatever., a great marriage of taste IMO.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:49 am

Ye gods, good people......let us never forget smoked sturgeon. I realize that it may be out-and-out heresy to say it, but smoked sturgeon may even be more exquisite in its texture and flavor than the finest caviar.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Jenise » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:13 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:OK, I have a question here.

Some fish are very neutral in taste, and some aren't.

Some flatfish are like this too, though many aren't, and that's what prompted this comment. I wonder how many people that say they like fish really just like neutral filler. Anyone fess up?


Bill, exactly what kind of fish are you calling neutral? Maybe your neutral is somebody else's sweet and mild. And maybe what you'd call non-neutral is somebody else's "fishy". Possible?
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:46 pm

I concur with the right to dislike fish, but have always smiled somewhat at those who say that they do not like their fish to taste "fishy". Something akin to saying that one enjoys beef so long as it does not taste like meat or enjoying butter so long as it does not call to mind dairy products. By heaven (or any other place you care to mention), I want my fish to taste like fish. As I want my beef to be identifiable as beef, my lamb as lamb, so I want my cod identifiable as cod, my salmon as salmon, my bass as bass.

As to snails, which I adore in several manners, those are not fish but molusks.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:11 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:As to snails, which I adore in several manners, those are not fish but molusks.


Of this I am aware, but thought it an excellent example of food that gets much (all?) of it's attraction from whatever accompanies it rather than from any inherent quality it might have.

Is there anyone out there that will step up and say that he likes eating completely unadorned snails......
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Jenise » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:39 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:I concur with the right to dislike fish, but have always smiled somewhat at those who say that they do not like their fish to taste "fishy". Something akin to saying that one enjoys beef so long as it does not taste like meat


I'll take that on. I love fish. In fact, I love raw fish best of all--there is no meal I go out for more often than sushi. But I tend to prefer the less oily fish (sea bass is not a favorite) and pristinely fresh fish is a must--there are many I love the day they're caught, or the next day, but once it's been out of the water two days or more, as is the case with nearly all fish sold at market, it has acquired a stronger character that, lacking any other word for is, I call 'fishy'--a mackeral kind of fish flavor--that some people are fine with or even claim not to notice any difference with, but which I just can't stand. Around here a lot of people buy fresh wild salmon at Costco, for instance. Do I like salmon? Yes, even though it's categorically oily which I'm not usually a fan of. Do I like fresh wild salmon purchased at Costco? No, it tastes "fishy". It has gotten noticeably stronger as the days have passed, but right out of the water I'd have loved it. Nearly all fish that's frozen also tastes "fishy" to me, and yes I can detect that difference every time, even if I didn't cook it myself. Lacking the pristine freshness angle, the fish that taste the best to me when purchased at market are the milder fish. Sole, etc. Not because they're "neutral", but because they don't get that strong fish oil flavor that many others do. I also love the delicate textures of those fish, and of course the fresher-the-better rule still applies. Some of these fish don't get fishier with time, they merely lose all flavor.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Shel T » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:04 pm

Re stepping up and admitting to eating unadorned snails, LOL Bill, not sure if I'm supporting or opposing your position, but you can apply the same question to eating tofu!...and cardboard too...
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:41 pm

Jenise wrote:I'll take that on.



Jenise, Hi....

And I'll take you back on once again. Actually, we're not that far from agreement but I would define the tastes/aromas that you describe as those of "fish that has been away from the sea too long". When I speak of a fish tasting like a fish what I mean is that when one tastes fresh salmon, trout, cod, grouper, swordfish or whatever, even when tasting blind one should be able to say - aha....that's salmon, that's trout, that's cod, etc.

As to Shel's comment about cardboard, a perhaps amusing story. I know a woman who for many years was a cook on her kibbutz and it fell to her every day, day in and day out for ten years, to prepare hundreds of breadcrumb coated chicken schnitzels. One day, on seeing the vast amount of ketchup that most of the people were putting on their schnitzels she simply "had it" and several days later played a nasty little trick on people.

What she did was to take packing cardboard, cut it into schnitzel like shapes, soak it in an egg and water wash for 18 hours, coat those "schnitzels" generously with well peppered and salted bread crumbs and deep fry them. She served those for lunch to some 50 kibbutzniks. Not one of the people who ate them complained. Says something, I suppose, either about the lack of flavor of Israeli chickens or the rich flavor of packing cardboard.

With regard to tofu, forgive me, but the only time I'll accept that is as a few small cubes in my shiro misu soup.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Shel T » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:21 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Ye gods, good people......let us never forget smoked sturgeon. I realize that it may be out-and-out heresy to say it, but smoked sturgeon may even be more exquisite in its texture and flavor than the finest caviar.

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Well Daniel, as much as I love smoked sturgeon, gotta say that a couple ounces of Beluga still wins by half a length!
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Scott Lancer » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:58 pm

Catfish all day. Fry it, broil it, roast it, bake it, it's my favorite fish.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Jeff_Dudley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:33 pm

I am torn here.

I want to name my favorite fish to eat frequently: the lowly halibut and flounder, in almost any style. I get hungry just thinking about this fish.

But, there's a favorite single meal of poisson in my life, and that was of Walleye pike. It was served four hours fresh, pulled from the cold deep waters of The Lake of the Woods, and served in the farming home of Albert and Betty Anderson of Baudette, Minnesota. Three cheers to Al the fisherman and Betty the cook, who shared an unsurpassed perfect poisson with me on an otherwise horrible day.

I had just wrecked the car of their nephew (and my best friend) that morning in Canada. We had a stunningly fine meal together, one to overmatch the destruction I'd done to that 1965 MGB. I had helped to lovingly restore this car with my friend Jared, and we had taken it across the country for a three month vacation during the bicentennial celebration summer of 1976. But I will never forget that day, my friend's forgiveness, his family's graciousness, and thankfully it is all positive because of that terrific fish.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by JC (NC) » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:53 pm

Sad story but very nice also.
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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:09 pm

Jeff_Dudley wrote: We had a stunningly fine meal together, one to overmatch the destruction I'd done to that 1965 MGB. I had helped to lovingly restore this car with my friend Jared, and we had taken it across the country for a three month vacation during the bicentennial celebration summer of 1976.


You'd have been in REAL trouble if it had been an MGA! But that is a very nice vintage of MGB, so it is a real shame, and how nice that they took it stoickly. I hope the car was repairable in the end.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Jeff_Dudley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:45 pm

Bill,

Yes, that "B" was repairable and we had it running and suitable for completion of the trip back to California within a week's time. Jared's uncle Al was a farmer and so talented; we fixed it together on his farm. Hard to believe that we could get that front end even close to a good alignment, but we did. Further bodywork and paint came much later and the car is still on the road today within the family.

Yes, an "A" would not have been quite so forgiving and parts defintely not quite so available. I still miss my Dad's fine '59 MGA coupe in cobalt blue; not the Twin Cam, what a pretty car that was. It hooked me for sports cars forever.

I hope your MGs are running well.

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:15 pm

Jeff_Dudley wrote:
Yes, an "A" would not have been quite so forgiving and parts defintely not quite so available. I still miss my Dad's fine '59 MGA coupe in cobalt blue; not the Twin Cam, what a pretty car that was. It hooked me for sports cars forever.

I hope your MGs are running well.


They are - when I get time to take them out. Obviously you are an enthusiast as well. I've owned many Triumphs, but only TR-2 through TR-4A, and a few Jags, but Mk 2 and Mk 9 rather than XKE. That's a nice pair you have (I can say that because you are a guy...)

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Re: Culinary Poll #010: Name Your Poisson

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:54 pm

We have wandered a bit off topic. Be careful gentlemen and ladies or I will start talking about my lust for a Lamboghini!

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