My local fish purveyor (Santa Monica Seafood, for those who are interested) has absolutely stunning offerings. The problem is that all the really good stuff is $20+.
For the first time ever I actually looked at the whole fish for sale, which included sardines, seabass, salmon and others. I noticed that these are selling for about 10 bucks a pound. Assuming that I could actually manage to clean and fillet a whole fish on my own, would this be worth it, given all the waste from the head, fins, tail, etc. I know you can use these for stock, which I guess I would do if I actually bought the whole thing.
I am just not sure if the whole thing would be worthwhile, and must admit to some performance anxiety about failing to produce the beautiful filleted steaks ready to be selected in the refrigerator section. Also, I'm not sure how much to ask the fishmonger to do. Would they cut and gut the fish for me?
By the way, Joy of Cooking has helpful info on this topic, but I'd like to hear from someone who never prepared their own whole fish, then learned how to do it to see how involved and/or worthwhile this is.