My quest to find a recipe for salt-crusted fish was successful. I found a book at my beloved public library, the Monroe County Public Library, aptly titled "Fish: Without a Doubt." There's a recipe in there for "whole fish roasted in salt." Pretty perfect.
It seems the process is a very simple one. You basically make a paste with sea salt and egg whites, which covers the fish completely. Any small, whole fish will work. You roast it, then crack the salt crust off. The crust is supposed to seal in moisture and flavor. I plan to stuff the fish with fresh herbs from my garden.
Now, something tells me it might be hard to find a whole fresh fish in landlocked Bloomington, Indiana. If I can't find a fresh one, I'll look for the next best thing. According to a wonderful beast of a book called "On Cooking," if a fish is labeled "fresh," that means it has never been frozen. If it's labeled "chilled," it indicates refrigeration (and I guess is replacing "fresh" in some places). If it's labeled "flash-frozen," it was quickly frozen after being caught; "fresh-frozen" is not quite as quickly frozen as flash; and "fancy" means previously frozen. "Glazed" is a term I'd never heard, and it means the fish was dipped in water while frozen, creating a protective glaze that prevents freezer burn.
My goal is to find a fresh fish, or at least a flash-frozen one. We'll see!
The question of the day: What's your favorite kitchen utensil?