Shopping the Boulevard Raspail Market in Paris: A little late, a little lucky + a recipe from M. Fishmonger
So this is why savvy shoppers wait until noon to come to the market! It’s give-away time and, unless you’ve got your heart set on a particular menu, it’s the chance to pick up good stuff at low prices and think of it as a Mystery Basket.
After thanking the fish guy, we asked him how he’d cook this catch. His answer: rub the fish with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes.
“Wouldn’t the fish be nice with lemon and thyme tucked into the cavities?” I asked.
“NON! They would not be nice that way!” he exclaimed. “You’ll cover up the fish’s good flavor.” Clearly, I’d found a fishmonger with opinions.
But I had opinions, and so I rubbed the fish with olive oil, salt and pepper, I stuffed them with slices of lemon and lime, sprigs of thyme and leaves from the celeryroot. I roasted them as instructed (they weighed about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each and I put them in a 400/425 degree F oven for 20 minutes), and then, still in gilding-the-lily mode, I made a sauce for them.
I had a small jar of fresh tomato sauce – unseasoned, unanything – which I heated with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. I tossed in some chopped preserved lemons (there’s nothing they can’t perk up and make special) and capers (ditto on the perk-up factor) and served it alongside the fish.
By the way, the flavor of the fish shone through the stuffing and the piquant sauce. However, I’m not about to mention this to M. Fishmonger. There’s no reason to have him think of me as a disobedient customer.
And that third fish, the one we didn’t let get away? I turned it into tacos, very much like these, the ones I made when I had leftover bluefish in the fridge.
Actually, maybe I won’t tell M. Fishmonger about these either. I can’t imagine he’d approve of the hot sauce.