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Lake Superior Trout

Lake Superior Trout

Why is it that thinking and talking about food can often make you feel better mentally? It’s the strangest thing. Believe it or not, this post stems from putting my grocery delivery order together on Sunday.

As you may or may not know, I use Von’s Delivery vs. going grocery shopping myself. My knees are just so bad that it’s a much better option for me. The food is delivered to my back door, brought in and placed on the counter for me. So very much better! The nice thing is that if you order $150 the delivery fee is only $3.95. Since I order two to three weeks worthat a time that’s easy to reach. Not bad heh? Someone does the shopping and lugging for me, plus every week they offer a free item. One week it was Magnum ice cream bars. Yum! Another week it was a big container of one of their deli soups. Other times boxes of cereal and so on!

Anyhow, I was on the Von’s website and decided to look at what was available in fish. Well, the first thing listed under fish was Chilean Sea Bass fillet at…are you ready?$32.99/pound! A pound! I called Customer Service and asked if it was a mistake. They couldn’t tell and so called the store that serves my area.

Sure enough it was correct! Can you believe it? Two funny things…I had called about a week ago and was told that often when a product isn’t ordered it’s because it doesn’t “move” (aka:  sell fast enough) and then has to be tossed. [But I order it…. :(]

Obviously the store’s fish monger must have wanted a special meal. He could be pretty sure no one would be buying the bass anytime soon. Second funny thing was that the customer service rep had no reference as far as the cost because she doesn’t like fish and doesn’t eat it. Can you imagine not eating fish? I’d die without salmon, trout, tuna, anchovies and so on! I don’t get it that often but not to ever eat it? Can’t even envision that at all.

In fact, on my next Trader Joe’s order, I’m going to get about 10 to 12 little tins of their delicious Smoked Trout.TJ's Smkd Trout

It’s so good and it reminds me of summer days as a kid vacationing up in Door County, Wisconsin where there are all kinds of varieties of smoked fish available and they all taste so good!

Just like in Door County

Just like in Door County…yum!

I often will use a tin of smoked trout from Trader Joe’s (they’re small by the way – see image below) to make a dinner of lettuces, tomatoes, potatoes and whatever other fresh veggies are around. Maybe even a hard-boiled egg. If I have any special olives on hand, those are included. Actually even something as pedestrian as pimento stuffed greenies. Of course I do toss those in a small pot of water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or so, to remove some of the salt. Then drain, rinse, drain and cool.

I’ve even been known to use the oil I drain from the trout tin to make an nice, easy vinaigrette. Sometimes I’ll throw everything together like a big ole’ tossed salad.And other times separate it kind of like a Salad Nicoise as in the image below (though not a real salad Nicoise).

This is often the perfect dinner in the dregs of summer when I refuse to turn the oven on and even the idea of throwing something on the stovetop is completely undesirable. Plus I get some Omega-3’s this way.

From Stacey's blog

From Stacey’s blog

In researching smoked fish for this post, I came upon a number of interesting sites. First is Stacey’s post on her take of April Bloomfield’s recipe in “A Girl and Her Pig”. She has a good recipe modeled after April’s but using TJ’s Smoked Trout.

I called several well known delis in LA. “Fish? No, we don’t carry any fish.” In the Midwest no self-respecting deli would ever say that! You could always get some form of un-canned smoked fish, especially in spring, trout season. Heck, one of the first things I bought (after a gas grill) when I moved out at the start of the divorce was a smoker. Love smoked salmon. Used to get a slab of salmon (skinned both sides – important) from Costco and smoke it. Ooohhh, to die for. And I had the best “dip” to accompany it. Sadly my insane knees now limit me and I haven’t smoked anything in several years.  😦

Smkd trout3Another site yielded a number of ways to get your hands on some smoked fish if you don’t live on the East Coast or near a Great Lake. (Apparently being 30 minutes from the Pacific ocean doesn’t count for anything so I was happy to get this list.) Even if I only ordered once every two years from one of them it’d be worth it:

Smoked Fish: How to Get It

If properly packaged and handled, smoked fish will last 5 to 7 days, depending on the fish.

Abe’s & Son, Philadelphia, PA, 215-742-3800 ($50 minimum)

Barney Greengrass, New York, NY, 212-724-4707

Browne Trading Company, Portland, ME, 800-944-7848; www.brownetrading.com 

Murray’s Sturgeon, New York, NY, 212-724-2650

Russ & Daughters, New York, NY, 800-787-7229

Zabar’s, New York, NY 212-496-1234 (inside New York), 800-697-6301(outside New York), www.zabars.com

Why is everything on the East coast? We have fish here! Heck, we’ve got a whole ocean sitting next to us!

P.S. Just FYI: not affiliated with anyone in any way.

P.P.S. Recipe for “dip” for salmon coming next.