Monday, May 05, 2014

Very Local Jacksmelt

Freshly Caught Smelt

Fresh Grilled Smelt 

This past weekend while sailing San Francisco Bay I noticed a school of bigger then normal fish swimming behind my boat, quick get the fishing pole and get a hook in the water with a chunk of squid on it. Minutes later I was reeling in a good size Jacksmelt, about 18 inches long. Smelt resemble a big sardine with a thin skin and small scales, oily but with lighter flesh. I cleaned it and marinated the filet's in extra virgin olive oil before going on a smoking hot grill, a few minutes on each side and it was done. It was delicious and not very fishy, Great with a squeeze of lemon, fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of capers. I am going to have to fish for more really soon.

Cobia, a Recent Find

Seared Cobia Fillet with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Its not that often that you will hear of a new fish that's available in the market place but I was recently told from my seafood guy at work about a less common fish called Cobia. Other common names are Black Kingfish, Black Salmon or Lemonfish. I did some research and found that it is a farmed fish raised in huge floating ocean pens. The biggest producers are from Mexico, Panama and Vietnam. I am normally against farmed fish but this one has the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch seal of approval as a best choice. I ordered a few sides to try and experiment with and I found them to be easy to work with a lot like Yellowtail Tuna, firm and meaty with beautiful edible skin. The cost was a little high, around $16 a pound wholesale, not cheap but worth the price if you want a great piece of fish.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Oven Dried Tomatoes

Sun Dried Tomatoes have been around as long as people preserved tomatoes by drying them in the sun, perfectly preserved because of low moisture and natural acidity. That's great in the summer if you have a lot of warm sun but oven dried tomatoes can be made all year, not so much to preserve them but to intensify the flavor and give them a more meaty texture. Roma tomatoes are perfect because of the thick meaty flesh they have, cherry tomatoes work great too.

Oven Dried Tomatoes
Roma or Cherry Tomatoes
Kosher Salt
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Garlic Cloves
Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Sage)

1. Wash and cut the tomatoes in Half, Lay out cut side up on a oiled sheet pan.
2. Sprinkle with salt, garlic and herbs (olive oil later)
3. Place in a low oven 150F-200F
4. Watch them after 2-3 hours for them to slightly shrink and dry out.
5. Remove and drizzle with the olive oil and they are ready to use.

Note: placing in a oven with just the heat of the pilot light overnight is almost fool proof and works well.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Hash and More Hash

Roast Pepper and Potato Hash with Poached Egg

I guess its becoming my signature breakfast now? A one pan meal of potatoes, vegetables and breakfast meats like bacon or sausage accompanied by a lone perfectly poached egg, Salsa Verde on this mornings plate. Perfect way for me to start my day with a big coffee.