Portland Cooking - Day 1
Portland Cooking Day 1 – Fish Day –
As I’m privileged to cook on the water, fish is available and fresh. And as I understand the destruction of the oceans and the privilege of access to fresh fish, I deeply desire to make fish a priority within my culinary repertoire.
Fish give their lives so I might live, so please do not screw it up. Kimi and I spent an inordinate amount of time at the fish place talking about freshness, sustainability and what the heck is that? A highlight was the Salmon tasting, comparing King aka Chinook Salmon with Sockeye and Chum (yes there is a salmon called chum), guess who won? Hands down King maybe that’s why it costs so much?
But Portland being Portland of course we stopped by Kimi’s friend at Flying Fish who is working with local fisher people to provide fresh and sustainable fish for the everyday person. His passion is contagious. We bought a big old Salmon from him and several smaller varieties, as it is time for Tami to learn how to filet a whole fish. Why? On big shiny white boats there is always some dude (dude being genderless) who will perform this chore on the back deck. And I already have enough to do. But a gal should know how to filet a fish, so I did me some fileting and learned to honor the gift and conserve every scrap.
My goal for cooking with Kimi is to start with the whole and take it to plate. So we started with the whole and ended up incredible. One stand out was the trout dusted in almond meal with cherry compote. Part of the lessons was terminology so is compote the correct term? It was cherries, heated with a bit of vinegar and plopped on top. Portland was smack in the middle of cherry season and just a bit of heat turned this ripe bloom of bodaciousness into scrumptious lusciousness. The cherries were Plato’s notion of the form, i.e. when Webster defines cherry, a picture of Oregon cherries is right there.
But the cherries were there; going from tree to table in maybe a day, try doing that in Florida. Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck offered a very poor substitute.