Late Summer’s Bounty

Written By: Paulette Kenyon, October 1, 2012

Eric arrived home the other day with a sack of the most beautiful pomegranates I’ve every laid my eyes upon. I know they are labor intensive (or, seem that way) and they are messy. 

Yes. This all is true… But, if you just resign yourself to the task at hand, they’re worth the venture. Just make sure that when you separate the sweet red kernels from the white skin inside, that you really toss out every bit of the white skin, carefully peeling off the tissue white skin that adheres to the fruits. That’s where all the bitterness can be found – in that thin white skin that encases the juicy red kernels. 

Once you do that, you have a delicious, crunchy snack; or, in the case of our recipe, a tasty fish topping. Pomegranates were used in the old harvest rituals of the pagans when they prayed for whatever it is they wanted for the coming year - -probably rains at the right time and bountiful harvests.

 I know this month with the sack of pomagranates, some gorgeous Meyer lemons from some other friends, and the fish Eric has been bringing home, I feel like we’ve had a bountiful harvest this summer. I wish I could say the same for my backyard. Didn’t plant much this year; and, got a late start. So, all I’m getting out there is some fresh basil , some herbs, and dinosaur kale that sprouted off last year’s plants. 

Last weekend, Eric brought back two lingcod from Half Moon Bay along with a stringer of rockfish. Not his rockfish limit; but, he got his limit of lingcod and didn’t want to chance hooking into another ling that he couldn’t keep. 

I thought that pomegranate seeds would taste good on the ling cod; so, I dug up this recipe that I’ve used before. I changed a few things in it to make it more convenient for what I normally have on hand. I’ve used this on thinner fish; but, it was just absolutely perfect for the lingcod as well. 

I can’t recall where this recipe first came from; but, thank you whoever gave it to me. Forgetting things seems to be happening to me lately with great regularity. It comes with aging, I am told; but, we all fear Alzheimer’s, I guess… My mother says that when you get that way, start looking at everything as if you have a camera in your hands. 

Look at the thing you wish to remember and “snap a picture” for your memory album. She says that works pretty well for her. I’ve been trying that; and, I think there’s something to it. There’s nothing like learning from our elders. As I get older, I realize what a wealth of information they are to us if only we take the time to listen.

 I won’t lie to you; grating ginger root is not the most fun thing to do; but, if I can do it, you can do it. Just use the smallest size grate you can find where you will have something that falls out on the other side. I wouldn’t recommend using a zester for this, unless you want to drive yourself insane. 

This recipe is for two; but, you can increase the ingredients to make enough for more

 

Lingcod with Pomegranate Relish

2 Lingcod (or other light fleshed fish) fillets 

1/4 C peeled & shredded ginger root 

1/2 Tbsp. crushed red chili 

3 Tbsp. crushed or finely minced fresh garlic 

2 Tbsp. Meyers lemon juice (or other citrus juice) 

1/2 tsp turmeric powder 

1/4 C flour 

Light olive oil or other vegetable oil 

Seeds from 1 pomegranate 

1/2 tsp. cumin powder 

Salt (opt) 

2 Tbsp. each fresh basil and cilantro leaves, minced 

2 fresh green, orange, or yellow Heirloom tomatoes 

2 Tbsp. each fresh basil and cilantro leaves, minced 

 

Take half the garlic and ginger root and combine with lemon juice and turmeric in a small bowl until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Laying the fillets on a piece of wax paper, lightly salt the fish, then, press the resulting paste onto each side of the fish. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes so that the paste will soak into the flesh and won’t fall off and the flavors will penetrate into the meat. 

Heat up a heavy skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil to medium high. Take a sifter or use a fine strainer, like a tea strainer and sift or lightly push the flour through the strainer to dust the tops of the fillets. Place the fillets flour-side down in the hot skillet. (Not too hot or It will burn – make sure it is at lightly browning cooking temperature; not burning temperature). 

While it is starting to cook, lightly dust the side that is up without getting flour all over the inside of the pan where there is no fish. That’s why I like my tea strainer for this. I can nudge a little flour out of the strainer with the reverse side of a spoon. 

After the fish is cooked, put on a warm plate and cover to keep warm. Add the pomegranate seeds, the remaining ginger, garlic, and cumin to the pan. Stir for a minute or so and add in the tomatoes, basil, cilantro, and a little dash of salt. 

Heat and cook for a minute or two until it is warmed through. Serve the fish with this mixture poured over the top. This is delicious and healthy, especially if you use olive oil as your oil choice. I served this with Mexican-style rice and fresh broccoli. 

If you have any questions, comments, recipes, or cooking tips to share, feel free to contact me at cookcatch@comcast.net or mail me at: Paulette or Cookin’ Yer Catch; c/o The Fish Sniffer; PO Box 776; Colfax, CA 95713-0776.

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