It might seem weird for a Minnesotan to have a fear of fish, especially a Minnesotan who grew up in a part of a state with a lot of Finlanders, where practically everybody went fishing, but I do.
Sure, I may have lived a little dangerously, sneaking the occasional crab cake, but I have generally avoided fish for all of my fifty years.
I think it might have started with the almost weekly news reports when I was a kid, telling of other kids swallowing fish bones and choking to death. Then there were the fish the neighbors would bring us- they would float morosely in the laundry sink, their last view of the world the basement ceiling shortly followed by the sickening raspy crunch of mom taking their heads off with her knife. And of course, there was that fishy funk that would hang around the house for a day after the deed (the rest of the family had no problem eating the stuff).
So lately I figured that I really ought to try exploiting this source of protein, so I went to Morey's, our local purveyor, for some advice. A taste of their own pickled herring (very creamy with a touch of dill) with a bit of advice and a handshake from the manager saw me off with a couple nice fillets of flounder.
I prepared them simply by dusting them with salt and pepper, dredging them in flour and egg, and quickly sauteed them in butter with orange zest and minced shallot. I made a quick pan sauce with the juice of the orange I got the zest from, along with some cream and chives, and served the whole mess with some basmati rice from the Co-op. It went very nicely with a local apple wine.
And that was the story of the first fish i ever cooked. I plan to continue exploring fish, wary but interested.