I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are lucky to have Kirkgate Market in Leeds. I know you can buy much more than food, but food is the reason I use the market. I try to go every week but more often than not it's a couple of times a month tops.
I have even managed to change how I shop when visiting the market. If I'm going to a supermarket I will have a list and slavishly follow it, only diverting from the written word if I stumble upon a bargain. On the market my list tends to be a whole lot more generic. For example my list today had Vegetables, Fruit (lots) and Fish*. I keep the market list simple so that I can buy what looks best on the day. If I have a particular recipe in mind I will be more specific but I have learned never to do this with fish.
Even in the height of mackerel season there is the chance that all of the good ones will have sold before you get to the market. The cod you fancy might be more expensive than you budgeted for or, as happens to me all too often, there is something that just looks better than the fish you were looking for.
Today Fish Row was heaving with brilliant looking mussels. I'm a sucker for moules mariniere but my eyes were turned by marlin steaks. I'm all in favour of trying new things, so when young Mr Bethell from Bethell's suggested that the marlin was superb, we were in. He also told us that unlike tuna, the marlin wanted to be cooked through but definitely fried, not baked or stewed.
Taking the fishmonger at his word, I fried our two marlin steaks for a few minutes a side. They were cooked perfectly and tasted wonderful. Not as fishy as tuna, not even as fishy as salmon but a good meaty fish. I cooked some home made oven chips while Z knocked up a salad to have with our posh fish and chips. The final touch was a garlic and parsley salsa verde that really lifted the fish and was great to dip the chips into.
I'm not sure if I'll get marlin again. It was really good, but somehow it was just not fishy enough. If you're not keen on fish, either the taste or the threat of bones, it is probably a good bet. I have no fear of bones and love the full on fish flavours. Perhaps next time I'll have mussels.
*I know I didn't really need a list for so few items but I do like a list.