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Rockfish and Cabezone, I love you.

rockfishA friend went fishing yesterday on the coast. His party caught their limit, and as a result had more than they knew what to do with since they don't have a freezer. As a result, Scot was gifted with sides of rockfish and cabezone, along with three very good sized Dungeness crabs.

We took our bounty over to Leah's, and invaded her kitchen. With no fillet skills, I did my best to debone, and then dipped the fillets into beer batter (using Rogue's American Amber) and fried them up in a pan. Fresh fish is a beautiful thing; you are close enough to the reality that something has given its life for you that it's a sobering experience to prepare it. The flesh of rockfish is substantial and firm, and fresh fish has no "fishy" smell, and the texture is squick-free. The only smell you can catch is a slight whiff of saltwater. Perhaps it helps that many of these fish don't have scales, for I remember the fishing of my youth (bass, etc. in Indiana) to be much more fishy.

dungenessThe results after a quick bath in hot oil was buttery fish that fell apart, with a firm texture and sweet taste -- just how I like my fish! A light crunchy batter only accented it.

One would swear the boil used by our benefactors was pure butter, as the crabs were rich and sweet. They were boiled but not cleaned, so Scot went to that work, and showed Leah how to do it. I did my part by standing in close and watching. I can do it, but I tend to pull off the shell and then turn my head away, blindly pushing stuff off and flinging the crab around, spraying who knows what who knows where.

None of us have sets of proper tools for eating crab. When we last had Alaskan King Crab legs, we used a meat mallet to break them. They got out a pair of wide nosed pliers to act as a cracker, and we used fondue forks to break/reach inside.

This lead to the unexpected; one leg exploded in my hand, spraying us all with crab. Dan had some smack in the middle of his forehead.

They live out in the middle of nowhere, but I'm sure the closest neighbor heard us laughing.