Lovely Farmer’s Markets and Grilling Cod

The schedule for the markets in the surrounding towns is being figured out.  We went to our first one in Noyant and what fun!  It isn’t a big one but you won’t lack for food.  Though for this one, in order to get fresh herbs I had to buy a thyme plant.  Where there’s a way!

 
It wasn’t expensive and my in-laws can keep it when they go home.  

  

With our phrase book, little French, and the vendors’ little English (or sometimes big English!) we managed to get everything we needed for the special dinner of celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.  Quite the accomplishment these days!  

  
We also managed to find some lovely cured meats, cheeses, and the most amazing crevettes.  They are very messy to peel and eat but it’s worth it.

  
The fish monger had a very good selection of fish so I bought some cod to grill.  The stall that sold cured meats also sold spices and we got a mix that was like a citrusy dry rub that had paprika in it.  I thought it would be perfect for the cod.  We found some ready prepared kebabs made with turkey and beef for the non fish lovers to round out the meal.

I prepared the cod two ways.  First I rubbed the fish with the dry rub and added olive oil.  I wrapped it in the tin foil and put it in the fridge.

  
For the second preparation of the cod.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper, added lemon slices, thyme sprigs, olive oil, and dry white wine.

  
Wrap in tin foil and place it in the fridge until ready to grill.  I also prepped aubergine with salt and pepper and olive oil to grill.  The mushrooms I dipped into a lemon thyme dressing I made for the salad.

  
  
I’ve gotten the hang of the charcoal grill but it is very hot work in this heatwave!  Yesterday was 100F/38C.  Even in the shade, trying to be an asthmatic bellow to get the flames going nearly did me in.  But I was successful.  Given that it’s not a large grill I had to do the food in stages with the aubergine put on last.

  
Keep the lemon thyme cod in the tin foil so it poaches in the olive oil and wine.  I decided to be brave and place the other cod directly on the grill.  Conor from One Man’s Meat was kind enough to give me a tip of about five minutes.  This was quite the thick piece so after a few minutes I checked to make sure it was starting to flake before flipping it over to cook on the other side.

  
So far so good!  The kebabs were done so I added the leek to the grill.  You want the fish to be flaky but not dry.  It’s ok to have it medium well rather than well done.

 
My husband made delicious garlic bread and his aunt made a salad.  I have to say, I was really pleased with how the fish came out.  Both ways.

  

We are enjoying the countryside and I love the sunflowers.  Though if you stop on the roadside beware!  I don’t know if I stepped in stinging nettles or some stinging insect nest.  Either way it was painful getting the shot.  Taking the suffering for your art a bit too far I think.  😊 

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Ceviche with Avocado Salsa

My daughter and I love seafood while my husband and son don’t.  So if we do seafood it is usually on the grill.  But my daughter wanted to try ceviche and I found this ceviche and thought I could try it out.  Because hers looked a bit too spicy for a kid’s palette I changed it a bit for our family.

I bought flounder as it was wild caught and fresh.  Turns out tilapia is only farm raised.  I avoid that as I don’t like all the antibiotics they use.

I chop them up into small cubes and put in a bowl.  Then cover with lime juice.  Do this for at least 45 minutes.  Next time I make this I will probably do a blend of citrus juices as pure lime juice is overpowering for me.

Chop up some onion, garlic, and tomato.  Mix in cilantro and a bit of lime juice.  Instead of hot peppers I added chili pepper and adobe seasoning.  Stir well and set aside for a bit so the flavours mix.

Then chop up an avocado and add.  If you aren’t going to serve for awhile add the pit to the salsa to keep the avocado from browning.

For my husband and son I served the salsa before I added the fish.  Add the fish and serve.  A nice accompaniment to this would be lime flavoured tortilla chips.

This is easy to make and the prep time is minimal.  The length of time is primarily waiting for the fish.