Can a food be too ugly to eat? That was the question recently when my husband went fishing and came back with some fish that looked like characters from a Muppet movie.
"What are those?" I asked. "Sea robins", he explained, as he plopped them down on the kitchen counter. They were almost comical looking with large eyes and pouty expressions. I half expected them to sit up and start talking like those talking bass everyone was giving as gifts a few years ago.
One of my favorite childhood movies came to mind, "The Incredible Mr. Limpet." It starred Don Knotts as a man who turns into a fish during World War II and helps the U.S. Navy battle Japanese submarines. The film combines real-life film with animation and I just loved it as a child. That's what these fish looked like and I couldn't imagine eating them.
Sea robins are bottom-feeding fish. They get their name from their large pectoral fins, which open and close just like a bird's wings, when swimming. They're called gurnards in Europe and are often used in bouillabaisse.
After filleting them, we dipped the sea robin fillets into some bread crumbs, salt and pepper and fried them up. They were delicious, the flesh white and tender, very much like monkfish.
Naturally I felt silly for my irrational fear of eating sea robin. If you are offered something to eat that looks a little scary, give it a try at least once. Too often people turn their noses up at food because it looks strange and miss out on some amazing dishes, so let's all be more adventurous out there.
For more, visit yourpotluck.com.