Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Business in the Front, Party in the Back: Red Mullet Madness

The only "tasteful" mullet out there: the red mullet.

Inspired by a previous entry which, only in passing, referred to one of my favorite "mulleted men," and the fresh summer weather, I have decided to devote a post to all (or as many as I can think of) my favorite and, IMHO, the most noteworthy of mullets.

First off, no, I don't know whether "mulleted" is a technical term, but I'm going to continue using it, and if it catches on, I'd like to take full-credit. :)

Secondly, in writing this entry I also came across several sites I find worthy of passing on (mainly because they are borderline disturbing):

Mullet Madness: Where terms like "Tennessee Tophat," "Kentucky Waterfall" and "Canada Passport" are thrown around with respect and knowledge.

Rate My Mullet: Where real people go to have their mullets rated. (Seriously?)

Mullet Junky: If you can make it past the introductory warnings about being a true lover of mullets, you'll enjoy the pics. My personal favorite is the "Animull."

Finally, and most tastily, today's recipe is inspired by the madness of the mullet. As mullets go, my favorite by far is the Red Mullet, or a delicious little red fish once regarded as a delicacy in antiquity and still prized as a good catch today around the Mediterranean. It is also known as the "Woodcock of the sea" because its liver is considered an especially delicious treat left in the fish when cooked, unlike most other fish where all innards are removed (why the term "woodcock" would refer to that is beyond me, but I'll just roll with it and pretend I understand).

* * *

My Top 10 Favorite Mulleted Men Out There
(or the ones that come to mind, anyway)
because, apparently, you're never too rich, too famous, or too talented to go there

10. The guy on the Mungo Jerry video.
Yeah, THAT guy.

9. Jerry Seinfield
Like it or not, that definitely qualifies. Sorry Jerry, your hilarity cannot excuse the shameless weirdness of your hair. And yet, you own it. I salute you for that.

8. Andre Agassi
I bet you forgot about that one eh? And if you didn't, then admit you at least tried to (God knows he did). Now that I see it again, I feel like he kind of resembles an elf in the Lord of the Rings. Odd.

7. Patrick Swayze
Hot. Sexy. Sweaty. Patrick was all this and more. And let's face it, we all had "the time of [our] life" watching that mullet spin as Baby got tossed in the air. That fact cannot and will not mask the reality that Patrick had a mullet. Worse than that reality, however, is the reality that we all loved it and wanted to grind with it - err, him. :)

6. Angus McGyver
Nothing do-it-yourself about this professional-grade mullet.

5. Chuck Norris
This just confirms two things: a) that Chuck Norris is nasty looking in every way imaginable and b) that Chuck Norris is so much of a badass that even with a mullet people still devote time to writing long lists about why Chuck Norris is a badass.

4. Michael Bolton
"For my money it doesn't get any better..." than Michael Bolton's mullet. :) I'm not ashamed to say I am a fan of that "no-talent-ass-clown's" music too. Bonus points for the mullet a) being curly and b) for him being half-bald. Both things add to the "grotesque aesthetic" I believe this gets categorized under.

3. Slater on Saved by the Bell
Sexy Latino Mullet? Check.
Amazing how he looks incomplete without it and the trademark ringlet curls covered in gel that used to flop around tantalizingly while he did his signature dances wearing MC Hammer pants...

2. Billy Ray Cyrus
This definitely gets the prize for nastiest mullet of all. A couple of issues contribute to this: the length and yet ratty thinness of his mullet, combined with its high ratings on the "ubiquity of the mullet" scale. Billy flaunted his party like nobody's business. Sorry Billy, you broke my achey breaky heart when you cut that thing off.

1. Romanorum Master of the Forum
Yes, you read right: shockingly enough, my own darling-of-an-offspring is currently sporting a mini-mullet of sorts. Certain other-halves insist we should not cut it off because it's his baby hair. I sometimes have to reference mulleted man number 2 on this list for Continental Europeans to understand what I mean by the term "mullet."
That fact alone is starting to get the old husband to admit perhaps it is time hair met steel...

My favorite mulleted man; 3 days old and rockin' it.

* * *

Baked Red Mullet with Oregano and Garlic
in the spirit of delicious mullets

Serves 2

Red Mullet to me is a summertime fish. Bright, red, and delicately tasty. It's best when small, so serve two small ones per person or one medium sized one. The skin is thin and not too fishy, and if you're brave of heart, eat the liver too.

Because the red mullet was popular among the Romans, I've invented a recipe as a small ode to my favorite ancients. It uses oregano, a very mediterranean herb and white wine (a little nod to Bacchus there ;) ), and is perfect on a warm and dusky summer eve, with a dewy glass of pinot grigio and the ripest of tomatoes in the mix...

3-4 small to medium red mullets, gutted, cleaned and scaled (with tail intact - head too if that's how you roll)
3-4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced finely
4-5 tbsps (a handful) of fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsps good olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F) and take out a large oven-proof casserole dish or baking pan.
Lay two layers of foil in the middle of the casserole dish and create a "pouch" with sides raised, so mixture will pool around the fish.

2. Place the fish in the ovenproof dish, within the open foil pouch, about an inch or two apart. Salt and pepper the fish on both sides, and inside and place a bay leaf in the cavity.

2. Mix the oil, garlic, lemon juice, zest, wine, oregano and 1 tsp of salt together in a bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.

3. Spoon the mixture over the fish evenly. Salt and pepper again over the mixture.

4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the mixture looks browned and the fish is tender.

Serve with white rice and a nice zucchini and tomato bake with feta sprinkled on top!

feta-y-goodness :)

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  1. Mullet, the fish dish, looks fantastic but I'm not sure if I can find it here in MN. (We are nearly as seafood challenged as your current habitat). But your tribute recipe is too good - I'll hopefully find a suitable substitute.

    Mullet, the coif, simply defies explanation - only a visual image can do it justice. Your top 10 is spot-on but does Master Roman still have his 'do?

  2. Sadly yes, he is still sporting the mini mullet. I'm drawing the line at Christmas - I will not have a mulleted elf on my hands.

  3. I loved this post, and have to tell you a funny story. A few years back there was a movie about the history of the mullet - I think it was called American Mullet, showing its strength in various corners from American culture from cowboys, to wrestling to lesbians the whole range. When they were interviewing the lesbians when my husband sits straight up in his chair and says "oh my god - I went to school with that girl" Apparently the writer, director for the movie grew up in SF with my hubby. Made the movie that much more interesting with that personal connection. I gave my hubby a slew of mullet magnets that I do not think he ever used. He may have conveniently "lost" them but they were fun in that they showed the different types of mullets of which I had not idea existed.