Red Hake

Red Hake (Urophycis chuss)

Red Hake (Urophycis chuss)
Image from plate 88 of Oceanic Ichthyology by G. Brown Goode and Tarleton H. Bean, published 1896

A. k. a. squirrel/white/silver/black hake, whiting, ling, or cod is this week’s selection for New Hampshire Community Seafood’s Underdog Members.

NH Community Seafood Underdog Selection of the Week - Red Hake

NH Community Seafood Underdog Selection of the Week – Red Hake

The fish were approximately 1/2 pound each, fully cleaned and scaled. All I had to do was figure out how to cook them. Last week our selection was the ever popular Dogfish and fortunately they always have extra fish on hand as I was cooking for 10 and needed to pick up an additional 3 pounds. Although I feebly attempt to avoid fried food, the Dogfish is just too good fried to pass up.

There were only 4 for dinner this week and I decided to roast the fish much like the Butterfish from a couple of weeks ago which was also quite popular. The Red Hake was not as boney as expected, the meat was white, tender, flaked off the bone and had a very subtle flavor. Attempting to eat fresh and local, I decided to accompany the Red Hake with a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad and sliced tarragon cucumbers. I do admit to buying the olive oil, vinegar (but not the tarragon) and mozzarella.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago as I was harvesting and juicing blackberries and pushing the slurry through a fine tamis (sieve) that I should not be so quick to discard the seeds and bits of skin that remained. Accused of being a hoarder in the past and, honestly coming by it, you really never know just when you are going to want what others would discard. So I brought milk, heavy cream and sugar to a boil and then removed that from the heat and added the blackberry lees and a tablespoon of vodka and let it sit on the counter infusing the ice cream mixture before straining. The ice cream had an inviting lilac appearance but the flavor was muted and at times the heavy cream dominated. It seems like a good idea but the addition of a little blackberry juice or perhaps a blackberry liquor would help boost the flavor. Being late in the season for this idea, we now have one more reason to anxiously await berry season 2014.

Waste not, want not.

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