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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cooking Up Sheep Head Fish Stew and Checking Out The New Open Air Fish Market in San Diego

I have been a big fan and supporter of the San Diego Fishermen's Working Group for years; so I was super excited they would be a part of the new open air fish market in San Diego (locate on Fish Harbor Pier, near Tuna Harbor between the USS Midway Museum and Seaport Village- from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays). The plan for the market (which is only a few weeks old) is to have the fishermen pull up to the pier to drop of thier catch to be sold whole that morning. The feel will be similar to a farmers market, (not vegetable vendors) but just tons of fresh local fish!!
FYI; you are going to want to get to the market early if you want to get what you really want.
I was on the pier at 7:30 am and the line was already about 50 people deep.
This past Saturday I was invited to be a part of a great seafood event on the pier. Where is did a little cooking demonstration (more of a cooking talk thanks to the wind).
 I made a fabulous seafood stew with local sheep head.
This simple fish stew is a great way to use all types of seafood (not just delsih Sheep Head) well as a wonderful way to use the whole fish you buy at the market. Once you have the fillets of the fish you can use the bones and the any fish scraps to make a fish stock to use in this recipes as well as lots of other recipes.
Here is the recipe...I will also be making a variation of this recipe on
Sunday August 24 for Collaboration Kitchen!

Fisherman's Stew
Serves 6

10                         Garlic cloves
¼ cup                   Tomato paste
4 tbsp                   Unsalted butter
1 cup                    Celery, small dice
1 cup                    Onion, small dice
¾ tsp                    Dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp                     Dried oregano
3 cups                   Fish stock
1 (14.5 oz) can     Diced tomatoes, drained
1 ½ cups               Water
2 sprigs                 Thyme
2                           Bay leaves
4 sprigs                 Parsley
4                           Peppercorns
Salt and pepper to taste

3 lb            Mixed seafood – Fish fillets, skin off and bones removed- cut into ½ inch cubes,   Scallops, Clams or mussels (cleaned and debearded),  Rock Crab, cracked and cut into pieces

8 to 12 slices        Baguette, cut on a bias, ½ inch thickness

3 tbsp                   Fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Place garlic cloves into a saucepot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove garlic from liquid and mash with the back of a fork, to a paste. Add tomato paste and small amount of “boiling liquid”, stir to combine.
In a large saucepot melt butter over medium low heat, add onion and celery. Sauté till translucent. Add red chili flake and sauté till fragrant.
Stir in dried oregano and tomato paste mixture, slowly pour in fish stock, stirring constantly to remove any lumps.
Add tomatoes and water.
Combine thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns in cheese cloth and tie with butchers twine. Add cheese cloth bundle to the pot and cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add fish, scallops, mussels, etc.* into the pot, cover and cook until fish is firm and mussels open. Ladle soup in to bowls, top with 2 pieces of toasted bread and sprinkle with herbs.

*When adding seafood to the pot; the larger items like crab would go in fist (about 15 minute total cooking time), followed buy you fish, mussels, shrimp (5 to 8 min total cooking time), lastly your small scallops and cooked seafood (2 minutes total cooking time).

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Grandma's White Cocktails Sauce with Jumbo Grilled Shirmp Cocktail

I will never forget my Grandma's Christmas parties, they meant one thing and one thing only- SHRIMP COCKTAIL TIME!!! This was both blessing and a curse. As we (my mom, aunt, grandma and I) gathered around the kitchen table to peel and devein shrimp; lots and lots of shrimp. That part was no fun, but it was all worth it for those wonderful shrimp and Grandma's white cocktail sauce.

Yes I said white cocktail sauce. This recipe had two uses that I can remember, and they were polar opposites. This sauce was used at Passover for Gelfite fish and at the Christmas party for shrimp. Not so Kosher I know, but oh so tasty.

Not sure where the origins of this sauce came from but I love it and relish any excuse to enjoy it. In a recent cooking class I updated the classic shrimp cocktail by grilling them and serving them with classic red and my beloved white cocktail sauce.

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Red and White Cocktail Sauce
Serves 6 appetizers

1/3 cup       Grape seed oil
½ tsp           Black pepper
1 ½ tsp        Old Bay
3 tbsp          Fresh lemon juice

Cut through shells of shrimp; along middle of back, using kitchen shears or a paring knife. Exposing the vein, devein shrimp, leaving shells and tail in place.

Prepare grill with medium-hot charcoal or gas grill.

In a bowl stir together grape seed oil, pepper, old bay and lemon juice.

Toss shrimp in in oil and spice mixture and marinate for 15 minutes. (no more than  15 minutes or texture of shrimp will change if marinated too long.)

Grill shrimp for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until pink and firm.

Remove from grill and serve shrimp hot or refrigerate till cold.


Red Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup                   Ketchup
1 to 1 ½ tbsp      Prepared horseradish
2 dashes              Crystal or a Louisiana style hot sauce
¼ tsp                    Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup                   Lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and chill till ready to serve.



White Cocktail Sauce

½ cup                   Mayonnaise

½ tsp                    Sugar

1 tsp                    Onion, finely minced

¼ tsp                   Garlic, finely minced

2 tbsp                  Fresh dill chopped

1 ½ tbsp              Parsley, chopped

1 tsp                    Prepared horseradish

2 tbsp to ¼ cup   Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Stir together all ingredients and add lemon juice to taste; chill till ready to serve.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Salmon Burgers for a Happy and Healthy New Year

With the New Year just around the corner;
 many of us (oh yes.....myself included) have vowed to eat healthier.
I thought I would share a recipe to help.
Salmon burgers can be a great way to eat more Omega-3 Fatty Acids! Those lovey little wonders that support everything from brain function to maintaing strong hair and nails.
The recipe for this burger is simple and full of flavor.
It can be made with just about any fish (from yellowtail to shark). It can also be flavored with all your favorite herbs and spices (I chose Asian flavors, but I encourage you to play with your food).
Salmon Burger
Serves 4 to 8

2.5 lb                    Salmon 
4                           Green onions, sliced thin
1 tbsp                   Lemon zest
2 tsp                     Fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp                     Mirin
1                           Egg, scrambled
½ cup                   Panko bread crumbs
4 tbsp                   Mayonaise (or low-fat Greek yogurt)
2 tsp                     Peanut oil
4                          Hamburgers buns
8 thin slices         English cucumbers
1cup                    Arugula


Salmon Burgers:
Discard salmon skin and any bones.

Finely chop salmon by hand.

In a bowl stir together salmon, green onions, lemon zest, ginger, Mirin, egg, bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste and form into 4 patties.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before cooking.

In a non-stick skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and sauté patties 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.

Transfer salmon burgers to buns and top with mayonnaise, cucumber, and arugula.

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