Fish, on its own, is a bit underwhelming. It always needs something, doesn’t it? Beer-battered fish. Deep-fried fish. Teriyaki fish. Glazed fish. Hawaiian fish. Pesto fish. Something-or-other fish.
Like I said, it always needs something.
Mr. S. and I were en route back from Kansas City on Sunday and happened upon one of my favorite NPR shows: The Splendid Table. Barton Seaver, author of For Cod and Country, was a featured guest. The gist of this interview? Eat more fish, and seasonal fish if you can.
Barton offered pairing suggestions for a variety of fish. And when he suggested salmon with guacamole, I knew what I was making for dinner Monday night.
Alarmingly, it wasn’t quite the home run I anticipated.
I always know something is up when Mr. S. asks for the salt. Later, when we discussed the meal over cocktails, he admitted that it wasn’t quite . . . flavorful. The guac was great, we agreed. The fish just lacked . . . something. It was fine; it just didn’t impress quite like I thought it would.
Holy whoa do I hate it when I do that. Botch things up, I mean. Sorry, I said. Hope it wasn’t too terrible, I sighed. Wish I hadn’t done it that way, I said.
Mr. S. wasn’t being hard on me at all. We like to challenge each other in our strengths, and we frequently talk about where we went right (or wrong). He wasn’t being hard on me; I was.
Dinner is, clearly, a more trivial example. But how often do we let our mistakes, our oops moments, our stumbles and trip-and-fall moments haunt us? How often do we resign ourselves to those moments as our identity, rather than an exception to the rule?
It was a good meal and with a tweak or two here or there, it would be a great meal. That’s it. Simple. Mistakes are opportunities to try again and rock it the next time. That’s it. And with that, I share it courageously.
If I would cook this again, I would brush the fish with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on it before baking. That’s what you should do too.
Salmon with Guacamole
2 medium-sized salmon fillets, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe tomato (I used the roma variety)
garlic, finely chopped (approx. 1 clove)
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place raw salmon on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes until done.
While salmon is baking, mash interior of avocados in a bowl with lime juice, garlic and salt. Chop tomato and add to the bowl.
Spread guacamole generously on salmon and enjoy.