Friday, June 24, 2016

Fish on a Bun & Fireworks for the 4th

There are generally family traditions that we all do every year on certain holidays. Because so many people grill out on the 4th, they tend to gravitate towards hot dogs, hamburgers and brats - just throw 'em on the grill, and if they get over cooked, no one seems to notice.
     Question: do you know what's in those hot dogs etc.? Read the ingredients on a hot dog package - you may want to sit down first.
     I know we're in the fish business, so people expect us to serve fish for every holiday, but when we offer an alternative to the fish items, as we did for our daughter's wedding reception (a backyard barbecue - it's what she wanted, and it was great) - 75 people chose the seafood, one chose the chicken.
     For barbecues, there are many options -  kebabs are both protein and veggies on a stick, plus there are salmon burgers and crab cakes for serving on a bun, and many of the meatier fish, like tuna, halibut, salmon, ono, mahi mahi, Chili bass etc. can be served on a bun as well -- just have us (or your local fishmonger if you can't get to us) slice the fish a bit thinner for steaks and in portion size for fillets. Fish should not be just left on the grill unattended - it cooks very quickly, much faster than beef or chicken, and in the case of tuna, you just want to cook it about a minute per side if the steaks are cut thin.
     Our stone ground mustard sauce is amazing with salmon burgers and crab cakes, and on all of the fish mentioned above. I also like to put some of our creamy coleslaw on the bun, yummy with all fish I can think of, or a slice of farmer's market tomato and some fresh greens.
     Put everything out on the table and let people build their own sandwiches - healthy, delicious ones that won't clog their arteries. In our family, our kids always chose seafood; if you train them right, your kids will too.
     So you can certainly stick with the buns, just make a better choice about what you put on it!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Doing something seafood-special for Dad on Father's Day

Our dads have been gone for many years, but I always think of the many Father's Days when Grandpa R (my dad) got his favorite dinner - grilled salmon. My dad was an avid fisherman, going up to the Minnesota/Michigan border every summer to brave the mosquitoes and eat fresh fish for lunch every day - shore lunch. That's where he was when he died - on his annual fishing trip. I'm guessing it was part of his plan to stay there forever. We brought his remains back, but his soul is paddling a canoe out on a lake in southern Canada.
     We are always amazed by the number of men who shop with us, and many of them we've found are fishermen as well - they know what fresh fish looks and tastes like, so we're especially pleased to count them among our customers.
     So what ideas do we have for the dads out there? Here are some things that the kids can help with that will please Pop no end:
Treat Dad to some of our crab cakes topped with a fried egg - or scramble some eggs and add some bits of hot or cold smoked salmon and some fresh chives. These are simple dishes that the kids can help with, whisking up the eggs, serving them to Dad.
Kebabs - all ready to cook, either on the grill or in the oven, just brush with oil and marinade. We always have salmon kebabs, and usually shrimp, but we can make almost any meaty fish into kebabs for you - tuna, mahi mahi, ono, swordfish, halibut - then serve with one of our cous cous or rice dishes on the side.
Grilled Fish: Our recommended fish for the grill include salmon (wild salmon is in and it's beautiful - both king and Copper River sockeye); Alaskan halibut, ono from Hawaii, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, marlin, swordfish, Chilean sea bass and more - ask us for suggestions. We have a good selection of marinades and grilling sauces to go with. Just add a salad and one of our prepared side dishes, and everyone is a happy camper.
     Our rule of thumb for grilling fish: 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measuring at the thickest point over medium high heat (around 400 degrees). Since wild salmon is less than an inch thick, it will cook in less than 10 minutes - don't overcook! And make sure your grate is scraped clean before you put the fish on - you don't want a lingering taste of hamburger.
Softshell Crabs: These are a little trickier for the kids to help with, but they're great on a bun for lunch or dinner - just dust with seasoned flour and saute for 2-3 minutes per side. I like them on a toasted pretzel bun topped with some of our fresh coleslaw and a little of our Stone Ground Mustard Sauce. Let the kids prepare the buns, you plop the crab on it.
Salmon Burgers: We make these fresh on a daily basis from the trimmings of our fresh salmon. When we fillet a fish, there are always bits that we trim off. Some of it goes to the local smoke house for hot smoked salmon, and the rest becomes our tasty burgers. We use a unique blend of seasonings to make them extra tasty - great on a pretzel bun with lettuce and tomato or our mustard sauce and coleslaw.  These would be great for lunch of dinner - and a whole lot healthier than the other kinds of burgers that involve cows.
Lobster Tail: If Dad is particularly deserving this year, treat him to some lobster tail! We have them from Australia and Maine, and they can be cooked on the grill or in the oven - ask us for cooking directions, or watch our Lobster Tails 101 cooking video - half a million views! Click Here to see all of our cooking videos.
King Crab Legs: Another shellfish treat, these are already cooked, all you need to do is thaw them out and serve cold on a salad or warm them up in the oven or on the grill. We put ours in a roasting pan with a cup of water and cover with foil. Thawed legs will warm up in 15 to 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Every dad has a favorite seafood - treat him to what he loves because you love him!