I cannot believe I am talking about fish in Lafayette, Indiana. If it's not shrimp, I will admit, I am usually a fish snob. Why? Unless you find some from Chicago (which D&R gets sometimes), most seafood sold around here is farm raised, overpriced, and borderline gross. Scoff at me all you want, but even I have standards. But it also puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage because cooking fish is my weak spot due to my lack of experience with it.
Enter this precarious new shop on 4th street, North Shore Seafoods. A few weeks ago while perusing the farmer's market, I smelled salmon cooking. And it certainly smelled good. I investigated and found a small booth cooking up fresh, wild salmon. And it was good! I mean, really good. I got some more information from the shop and found out how they operate. They only sell more sturdy fishes, such as salmon, tuna, swordfish, and halibut. The reason for this is because all of the fish they sell is frozen. Not bagged and frozen but rather Individually Quick Frozen (IQF), this is done on the boat and is becoming more and more common in seafood operations. This process freezes fish as well as sealing it, preventing ice crystals and cell destruction. Chefs and cooks across the globe are big fans of this if local and fresh are not available. North Shore is also able to keep their prices pretty low (actually lower than the grocery store) because the fish has a longer shelf life in the freezer than the slimy case.
I bought some salmon for dinner to accompany the vegetable risotto I was making for dinner. I, at the recommendation of the proprietor, baked the fish frozen. I have heard of this before and figured it was worth a shot. I baked it at 350°F for about 30 minutes until the salmon reached an internal temperature of 130°F. Well, the results were alright. The middle was quite delicious, but the outside was a tad overdone by the time the fish cooked on the inside. Not a huge deal, but I will thaw the fish next time I cook it and experiment some with the cooking methods (for another post). The quality, however, was very good. The fish was firm and had a great flavor. At least I know that I have a local source of high quality fish any time I like. That's something I take great comfort in. Now if I could only find a good source for lobster…..