It is (not) a most elusive fish ...

From The Sideboard: bagels with smoked fish

Okay first of all: don't ever buy smoked fish. I picked some up a few weeks ago at our local giant Asian grocery. They were affordable, looked like fun, and I adore smoked things. The plan was to get some cream cheese elsewhere then make bagels — yum. But duh, I was in the middle of prepping for our annual open studio, during which no quality cooking is possible. What was I thinking? There is only sewing, moving things, sleeping, then moving more things. (See scrambled eggs / hot dog confession here.)

My point is: everything in our refrigerator smells like smoked fish. Shortly after I got them I wrapped an extra plastic bag around their original package. But people: the ice cream container IN THE FREEZER smelled like smoked fish. So Mike transferred them into a canning jar, I found some electrical tape, and we double-resealed them. And then just to make sure nothing could escape he stretched a latex glove from my dyeing supplies over the top. So now we have a fridge that looks a tiny bit like that of a serial killer, just up in one corner, so you know, not that much really, and only sort of smells like smoked fish. The photo is so ... wrong that I will only post it at the end of this tale.

bagel dough blobs

So the open studio ended last night and today I'm making that batch of bagels. And instead of the recipe I always use, which is elegantly simple and works every time, I decided to mess with success and substitute a half cup of my normal flour with teff flour. And I don't feel like sprinkling stuff on top so I mixed some chia, flax, and sesame seeds in with the dough. It has a mild nutty smell that I like. The dough was a bit soft so I kneaded some extra flour at the end. I'm boiling them right now, so we'll see if it works. Yes I'm writing this in real time. I know, it's thrilling to me as well.

The boiling:

boiling bagels

Does this mean they're witches or not-witches? I get confused.

Did I mention that these fish are whole, replete with heads and dead vacant eyes? And that I had to ferret through the rubberiness of one to pick out the eatable bits? There is no Wegmans-esque molly-coddling over at the Asia Market. Luckily I grew up catching and cleaning my own fish so I barely batted an eyelash.

From The Sideboard: bagels with smoked fish

Okay they're done. The fish is so salty that I can't tell if I like the bagels or not. I can feel the moisture being sucked out of my brain and I instantly grew some of those medicine-ball-sized bumps on the roof of my mouth. I'll have to find out on another one later. But at least I'm a few flecks closer to getting rid of that smell. 

Nothing to look at here folks. Move along.

Nothing to look at here. Nope.


oak cyborg

From The Sideboard is where I ramble about food, cooking and eating. We really have a sideboard at our house — but we call it The Cyborg. If I called this From The Cyborg you might be confused or perhaps even feel cheated. Nobody wants that. I cook extemporaneously, make a lot of spicy pastes, and rarely cook the same thing twice.