Okay, I know I’m supposed to be “shopping” from the freezer/refrigerator/pantry….but I couldn’t decide what to do with the 10 pound hunk of pork shoulder…so I put it in the freezer.  Yes, I did find space by moving some things around.  I’ll think about what to do with it another day.

My excursion to my favorite fish place was a bit of an adventure – Citerella’s has three locations in Manhattan and I had never been to the upper east side location – and considering that I was in that neighborhood (where I grew up) it made sense to shop there.  It’s slightly smaller in size than the Greenwich Village location (the old, now defunct Balducci’s) but I was headed for the fish counter and as always, I was wow-ed by the selection of fish and shellfish at Citerella’s.   They have a number system for customers and when I took my ticket I was only a few customers away from being served.  This allowed me to peruse the selection….of course I wanted one of everything, but even being an obsessed food buyer, I was limiting myself to just three – lemon sole, arctic char, and a Norwegian farmed salmon.   I selected my fish, asked for a freezer pack to keep the fish cold on the way home (you never know if there will be a delay on the subways) and I was almost at the line for the check-out…..when…..I started to think about which fish to have for dinner (okay the lemon sole) and what do I have to go with it?

$107.00 later….I’m leaving the store with lots of wonderful foods besides the pristine fish;  fresh spinach, tagliatelle pasta, Citerella’s own Vodka Sauce,  baby carrots with the stems still on, Dutch Primadonna (a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese) Wild Boar dry sausage by D’Artagnan, and who knows what else.  The fish was expensive, however, I always keep in mind that when I buy pristine fish from Citerella’s such as the Norwegian Farmed Salmon I cut the large piece into 6 servings (that’s 3 meals) and that’s makes for a very reasonably priced dinner.  Ditto with the Artic Char.  The Lemon Sole piece yielded last night’s two dinner portions plus 2 portions in the freezer.

The Lemon Sole was delish.  One of my favorite coatings for fish is egg/parsley/parmigiano cheese, then breadcrumbs.  Sauteed in vegetable oil.  The oil must be very hot before added the coated fish – if the fish doesn’t sizzle immediately upon contact with the oil, wait another minute or two.  That’s the main reason people are afraid of fried/sauteed foods – they think that they have too much fat.  Yes, if you put foods to fry or saute into fat that isn’t hot enough, the food will soak up the fat.  If the fat is hot enough to sizzle the food immediately, the food will fry/saute quickly and not absorb too much of the oil.  At least that has been my experience.

The side dish was the tagliatelle pasta and the Vodka Sauce.  I was never a big fan of jarred pasta sauce – until I gave this one a try.  It’s Citerella’s own brand name and it tastes as if I made it!  I know Italian purists will scoff at my serving pasta along side the fish – I know pasta is the first course and the fish should have been the second course, but so-be-it.  I love the combination of a sauced pasta with fried fish.  We opened and drank a bottle of Pinot Noir – and yes, we like red wine with fish.  I’ve broken about three “food rules” just in that one dinner!

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