Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


The last fish.

Life is hard. Now you have to count fish so you know how many are left. People glare at you in the fish shop when you stare hungrily at the ‘endangered’ one, juicy and glistening on the slab and just begging to be drizzled with some delicious sauce or marinade and barbecued. But how many have to be left before you can eat its brothers and sisters? What's the morally acceptable number of fish in the sea? What are the ethics of all this? I'd hate to be a fishmonger.

Customer: "That silver fillet lying there. Did he have family? Or did you kill them all already?"

Fishmonger: "Nothing to do with me. I didn't catch them. Talk to the fisherman."

Customer: "You're the middleman. You’re just as much to blame. Like the pilot who flew the plane that dropped the bomb."

Fishmonger: "You're the customer. It's your fault. Don’t eat fish. Go next door to the butcher and buy yourself a steak."

Customer: "Are you kidding? Have you seen what they inject into cows?"

The pitfalls of living in a morally superior world. The Japanese, of course, are environmentally beyond the pale because of the whales. That’s clear. But is that balanced by their contribution to global warming reduction by not cooking sushi? Plus, before the Japanese invented tiny 1.2 litre cars running 1000 kilometres on a tank, your V8 took five minutes to pass the front gate, when it was running, and there was a petrol station on every corner. By the way, where did you get that coffee?


I ordered a swordfish cutlet - which someone assured me was endangered (the swordfish, not the cutlet) - and I took it home and I cooked it and it was good.

Pasta with endangered fish and roasted red capsicum.

Slice the swordfish (there are not many left, so do it carefully) into cubes and drop them into some lemon juice for an instant marinade.

Take a red capsicum, roast it, place it in a paper bag to assist the skin-shedding process, then peel it and slice the flesh into strips.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta. I used bavette, known in this household as square spaghetti, but anything will do.

Just before assembly, quickly sear the fish in a little butter and olive oil in a heated heavy pan. Shake over some salt and pepper.

Add fish and capsicum strips to drained pasta and toss over capers.


jo said...

These days there is somebody ready to morally denigrate you for each and every dining choice, driving choice, lifestyle choice you make. I have chosen to say SOD OFF to all of them and do just as I please. Who could possibly keep up the rues change daily?

kitchen hand said...

Indeed, Jo, moral sanctimony is the new keeping-up-with-the Joneses, without the goodies.