I don't mind branching out every now and then but I tend to stick to the tried and true. Particularly when it comes to suppliers. I shop at the Prahran Markets a couple of times a week and after several years of buying here there and everywhere, I think I've got my sources sussed. And there I tend to stick. Like glue.
Take Christmas. My mother accompanied me to purchase some seafood for the festive feast and was making eyes at the middle fishmonger. "No, no, no" I said and shoved her in the right direction. "This is the best place to buy prawns." And they were pretty good. I have a long history with this place and by now I don't even glance at the other fishstalls in the markets. But on Saturday, stocks were a bit low and nothing grabbed my attention at my regular vendor. Unlike the boisterous fishmonger shouting out "$10 a bag, 2 for fifteen". I turned my head and he pounced. "Rainbow trout, 2 for $5!". Now I haven't bought fish from these people in ages, but the trout were so plump and glistening, shiny with freshness, I could not say no.
Now I had 2 rainbow trout and I have to confess, cooking fish is not my thing. In a house where I like to prance around in what I claim is my kitchen, the Figman reigns supreme when it comes to seafood. I don't have much confidence in my ability to judge when each side is done, though under Figgy's tutelage, I'm coming along. I decided to cook the trout simply, just as they were with a bit of olive oil (trust me, my heart was singing out for butter and almonds, but this IS detox month after all). "Five minutes a side" said Figman and went back to his computer game. A little later he called to me "don't have that flame up too high" and I adjusted it accordingly. (This, by the way, is the only time I can be considered meek in the kitchen). And the fish was, amazingly, perfectly cooked. Succulent, fresh, and reminding me why I like fish so much. A simple salad of rocket and avocado and lunch was done.
So, this year I'm going to try to get out of my piscatorial rut. And shop around a bit more for fish. Becase who knows what I've been missing?