Pan Seared Escolar with Cherry Tomato, Corn & Basil

Being the overzealous type of person that I am, often times, little pit
stops leave me riding my bike miles and miles with a freaking melon in my
backpack. A sad but true story. Usually, it's safety first. Big, dorky helmet – check! Epilepsy-inducing blinky back light – check! I put my foot down at wearing an orange reflective vest, but you get the idea. That fillet of escolar, pictured above, is the only thing that has deterred me from my usual code of conduct. How you ask?

After work last Tuesday, I made a bit of a detour to go pick up parchment paper and chocolate at Surfas. The Ballona Creek bike path picks up right by work and literally drops you off right in the heart of Culver City. Get to where you want without dealing with cars. Conveniently enough, the Culver City farmers' market was going on that day. Maybe subconsciously I had planned it that way. Dunno. The mind works in mysterious ways, I'll say. I had only meant to poke my head in, but was immediately enticed by the West Coast Fish Truck. Beautiful,  giant, glistening fillets of fish chilling on ice. How can a girl resist? Give me fish over diamonds any day. :) After a quick survey, I decided upon a pound of escolar. It had just come in yesterday and at $13 a pound, the price was right. The guy, in all his expertise, sliced off a piece that measured to exactly a pound. He wrapped it up with a bunch of crushed ice and as I walked away, I realized that I had a dilemma on hand. Pun intended. The bag reeked of fish. My backpack which contained two pounds of Callebaut chocolate, parchment paper, stilettos and my change of "business casual" clothes, left no room for a condensating, stinky bag of fish. That would just not work. Fishy chocolate!

Against my better judgment, I slung the flimsy plastic bag over one of my handle bars. I have heard horror stories about bags getting tangled with bike tires, broken arms, etc. I was equally worried about the plastic bag giving way to the weight of the fish/ice. There I was, huffing and puffing all the way home, trying to make good time. Me versus the sun. Needless to say, I won.  And with all the hard work that went into procuring this slab of deliciousness, I decided to keep the preparation nice and easy. Sweet corn and garden fresh cherry tomatoes (thanks Helene) dressed in lime juice and basil topped my pieces of pan seared escolar. It doesn't get much easier than that.


  • Purplesque

    28 Jul 2008 07:07 pm

    [this is good] Love the story.

  • shippouchan

    28 Jul 2008 09:07 pm

    [this is good] mm, delicious. especially so after the hard work of hauling it home on your handlebars. i like!

  • MoOgooGuypAN

    29 Jul 2008 11:07 am

    I’m really impressed that you use your bike to commute back and forth.  Your gonna be one of the trend setters for “living green”.  I know your whole blog is on food, but I know your also into photography.  You gotta get a shot of your bike.  I wouldn’t mind seeing your bike or bags of groceries and your bike.  haha.

  • Kimmie

    29 Jul 2008 05:07 pm

    would have been funnier if you slung your stilettos over the handle bars instead. all that hard work probably made the meal fantastic. kudos!

  • Mexid Cocktail

    29 Jul 2008 06:07 pm

    I wonder if today’s quake knocked that cherry tomato off your Escolar . ; )

  • TahoeGirl

    31 Jul 2008 09:07 am

    [this is good] I totally empathize on the bike commuting/shopping thing.  I broke down and bought shopping bag panniers at REI (’round town’ panniers is their name) that help tremendously – and can keep chocolate and fish separate!  

  • Food Rockz Man

    04 Aug 2008 02:08 pm

    You just had to do it . . . you just had to mention Surfas . . . and send my heart racing back to West LA.  Wow, I miss that place.  There’s nothing even remotely similar to Surfas here in DC.  And the escolar looks delicious too!

  • White On Rice Couple

    05 Aug 2008 11:08 pm

    Hey! I just love the Culver City farmers market! There’s a really great plant guy on one end who sells some of the best plants for only $1!! We’re his #1 customer during spring! We got TONS of stuff from him a few months back. You’ll be able to see it all in the garden soon! 😀

    What a trooper you are, riding your bike like that. I am so out of shape when it comes to bike riding that I avoid it all together. I rode about 4 blocks and back home and it just pooped me out, really it did. Just as Todd, he’ll tell you what a wimpy biker chick I am!

    Lovely, lovely, dish Julie. Just perfect for summer and so fresh too!

  • julie

    13 Aug 2008 06:08 pm

    Panniers! Thanks for the tip. That’s just what I’ve been needing.

  • Yeehaw Murghi

    19 Sep 2008 07:09 am

    [this is good] Man, the field of depth is about half an inch, in this picture. Yet it looks absolutely magnificent. I don’t know what skills I envy you the most for — cooking, or photography? Very good stuff; hell, it’s positively inspirational.


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