So without further adieu....
Call me Ishmael. (I’ve been called worse … today even.) In the
I like to do things in reverse. This story ends – and begins – with fresh rockfish, having been grilled on cedar planks. And with that mouth-watering teaser, I realize you already desperately want to know how to copy my magic. Read on. There is no shame if you are overcome with awe – I’ve most certainly had that effect on better men than you. (Right, Smokehopper?)
Take a look at those pictures. Study them. Second, you better believe that’s real charcoal. No briquets or propane or other girly-man cooking methods; Ishmael throws down old school. First, you’ll want to soak the planks for a few hours in advance, and get a good, hot fire going. Finally, once that’s complete, it takes no time at all until your fish is perfectly done – white, moist, flaky and no risk of burning from the charcoal below. Stay with me here, we’re moving fast and not always in a straight line. You’ll be okay.
And you know Ishmael (that’s me, remember, aka ODB, aka Dirt McGirt, aka “The Fishmonger” … okay, I just made that last one up, but I think it sounds cool anyway) keep’s the cuisine fresh and simple. Bring on the fish. (Where did you get the fish, you ask? Patience, grasshopper, and all will be revealed in time as we skip backwards towards many revelations.) Rinse the filets, and pat them dry. A sprinkle of Old Bay – you’re cooking on the Eastern Shore of Maryland now, folks, so get used to it and embrace our customs – and just a touch of fresh-ground Himalayan salt. (Frankly, if you’re still using regular table salt for your cooking, you are excused to go visit Red Lobster or Long John Silver’s. Go ahead. Good riddance, really.)
Now buckle your seatbelts, ‘cause I’m about to pump another 1.21 gigawatts through the flux capacitor as we go back a bit further in time to the very genesis of this grand experiment …
As stated before (or later? this time travel storytelling is confusing even to a man of Mensa intellect) it’s okay to be jealous of me and my wily charm; you’ll get used to it. You see, grilling up some nice, fresh rockfish fillets for dinner is the reward for life on the
Sadly, our journey into the past has served its purpose and we must now transition Back to the Future. So, how’d the cedar plank rockfish taste? Let me assure you that planks almost always provide a reliable, easy and tasty alternative to shake up your backyard barbeque routine. Stock up on grilling planks in advance at the local hardware store, or at specialty stores for a better selection … they are excellent for cooking a righteous pork tenderloin, among other uses. In fact many fish – salmon being a great example – are really excellent off of a plank, which imparts a subtle smoke and guarantees a moist, indirect heat.
Unfortunately, today revealed that rockfish may be the exception to this rule, it’s flavor being just a bit too mild. My masterpiece looked excellent and cooked up perfectly done (no, I’m not showing the picture again – time travel your ass back to the top of this post and refresh your memory if necessary). But, just as I used my manly musculature to bully that fish from the sea, the planks and charcoal similarly overpowered the filets with a bit too much smoky flavor. It wasn’t bad – I ate it anyway (there was no plan B for dinner). But it could have been better. It should have been better. Dammit.
We now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast with El Smokeador y Smokehopper.