My Seafood Summer continues! As you may remember, last month I had the experience of cooking local, wild Seabass that my husband caught. I thought that was living on the wild side! Lol! Then last week we took our annual trip to LBI, NJ and spent some time with friends and enjoyed all the fruits of living by the bay! One night we picked crabs as an appetizer. Picking crabs is very social and a little more work than eating lobster, but a delicious time was had by all! We also have a tradition of clamming while we are there. We are fortunate enough to be able to partake of our friends' permits and we enjoy some time in the mud clamming, sipping something cold while fighting off the Greenheads! The fruits of that excursion are always delicious. The clams this time were divided between chowder, white clam sauce on home-made linguini and the largest ones are used for chum or bait. Sometimes we make baked stuffed clams but it was too hot this year to stay in the kitchen and fire up the oven!
I can’t forget the Fluke fishing! Our host has a saying, “From Bay to Belly” in less than an hour! Any “keepers” are brought back, cleaned and fileted and then quickly fried in panko breadcrumbs and enjoyed for lunch or late afternoon snack depending on the time of the fishing excursion. Yum on a bun! With fresh cocktail sauce! Warm and delicious! Much better than a Fishamajig or Filet O Fish sandwich! All this seafood went very well all week paired not only with Whispering Angel and Miraval, but even some Hampton Water, too.
Rosé is a perfect pairing for a hot summer day served up with a side of seafood and great friends!
In this summer of seafood adventure, my friends kept telling me about catching Blowfish or Puffer fish! How they are fun and easy to catch and great eating, too! That they look like Fantail Shrimp when you cook them. In the back of my mind, I kept wondering, aren’t they poisonous? A dangerous delicacy in Japan called Fugu? Only served by experienced, certified chefs? As I was trying to avoid contact with my computer while on vacation, I did not look it up, but rather took their word for it and was open to the experience.
I was in a trusting mood, so off we went. We used the larger clams for bait along with squid. Yes, I baited my own hooks! It was a breezy evening and we ended up catching a variety of things; Kelp, seaweed, crabs, fluke, and of course, many Puffer Fish! To my relief, this variety is not poisonous, thank goodness! And I am proud to say I must have brought in at least 5 or 6! Woo Hoo! Everyone was laughing at my technique as I let out a lot of line as the current was strong, but it seemed to work! (Who’s laughing now? Ha ha!) They are cute little devils; they kind of grunt and grind their teeth as they puff up. The experienced crew took care of handling and cleaning the fish. I just had to wait till the next day to experience the delicacy.
In researching this newsletter for you, I found a few YouTube Videosthat are informative. One guy calls them, “Chicken of the sea” or like eating drumsticks or chicken legs. Since my friends called them Fantail shrimp, I am going to stick to that description as they do look like a fried shrimp with the breadcrumbs! As it was my first experience, I did not pick them up and eat them like a drumstick, but rather respected the centerline of bones, and used my fork to gingerly pull the tender white meat away from the backbone. I worked slowly and carefully so as to enjoy as much as I could and waste as little as possible. They really were delicious. I do love fried fish! This was a treat as I would never order it out as a rule, but that week was like enjoying a down home fish fry!
Do you have a favorite fish story or recipe that you want to share with us? I enjoying hearing back from you. Perhaps the infamous story of, “The one that got away!” Feel free to respond on Facebook or reply to this email. Enjoy the end of the summer! September will be here before we know it! Thank you for taking the time to read these newsletters. We value your business and referrals!