SEAFOOD: Fresh Frozen vs Fresh
As much as I love my line of Beef, Chicken & Pork; my Seafood Line is what I am the most excited about and what I sell the most of. In fact, I don't talk about it much, but my family also owned a retail fish market. Two actually. The Fisherman's Market, in Eugene (which is still owned and operated by his best friend, Ryan) and Bend Fish Company, in Bend which closed literally the day after my dad passed away, 10 years ago this month.
Here's some info on the line of seafood on my truck and some recipes to go along with what I sell.
All of the fish on my truck is what is known in the industry as F.A.S. (frozen at sea).
F.A.S. is a great way to treat seafood and believe it or not, in most cases, is BETTER than buying fresh. Unless of course you are buying from a Fish Market or direct from a boat AND you are planning on eating it THAT DAY. Even then, in my opinion, this is better. Why? Because you can keep it on hand and it's portioned, which will make it easier to eat it when you crave it because it thaws in 30 minutes and it's on hand. AND it's cut and packed and frozen at sea so there's no funny business for food borne illness or cross contamination due to poor handling techniques on the retail level.
At the end of the day, flavor is king and as a 25 year food professional, I'm telling you; this stuff is amazing.
Here's a closure look at some of the items in my seafood line. As well as some recipes and techniques to go along with the items I am writing about.
I am a salmon snob. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and I worked in a fish market. During wild salmon season sometimes we would have up to 5 different kinds of salmon in the case. But when it came to running restaurants, farm raised was and is better. It's more consistent. Fat content, size, filet structure. It's always the same. Now you can have that consistency at home and this salmon from Norway is one of the best farm raised salmon products on the planet.
These are Atlantic Salmon which are the most widely populated in the world. They are raised in open water nets in the fjords at the bottom of the Norwegian mountains. Looks super dreamy. These fish have great oil content but are also nice and mild in flavor and you can eat it raw or you can cure it and smoke it! (Got Traeger?)
AHI TUNA FROM INDONESIA
Indonesia catches a lot of Tuna. One by One. These Yellowfin Tuna are line caught and processed at sea. They are packed with protein too at 26 grams per portion, I like to think of them as a swimming steak. Because they are frozen at sea, they are also safe for raw consumption.
This is Ahi Poke
It's also great seared
Try this out the next time you are going to sesame crust and sear a piece of tuna.
Take about 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce and however much wasabi you are comfortable with and mix them together in a small bowl. Take your ahi steaks and dip them in this mixture on both sides prior to crusting them in sesame seeds. It's a flavor bomb!
The Alaskan Halibut I carry is Wild Caught out of, you guessed it, Alaska. This is a great white fish with tons of uses. Much debate has been had about which are superior, Californian or Alaskan Halibut. Growing up I only ate Alaskan because it's what we got at the Fisherman's Market. I don't think there's a big market for California Halibut outside of California. The difference is that Alaskan are going to be more firm than Californian. In fact, that is and has been my principle complaint about California Halibut; they can be really soft and mealy. I've never seen that with Alaskan Halibut.
I like to think of Halibut as a blank canvas. It goes with so many things.
We used to do a Halibut dish with sprouted legumes from Ojai Valley Sprouts, Grilled Broccolini and Chermoula. So simple but it had so much flavor. Check out this recipe for Chermoula.
1 Red Onion, Skin Removed, Quartered
1/4 Cup Garlic
2 TBSP Cumin
2 TBSP Corriander
2 TBSP Paprika
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Dry Ginger
2ea Preserved Lemons **These can be purchased from Hill Top Canyon Farms**
1 TBSP Saffron
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
2ea Jalapeno, Halved, Seeds Removed
2 TBSP Black Pepper
1 TBSP Cayenne
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 TBSP Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 Bunch Cilantro, Finely Chopped
1 Bunch Parsley, Finely Chopped
In the bowl of a food processor add all the ingredients except the olive oil, cilantro & parsley. Pulse the ingredients scraping the sides of the work bowl as required. Continue to pulse until it's worked into a dry paste.
Then, with the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. Once all the olive oil is combined add your chopped cilantro & parsley and pulse the machine a couple more times until it's just combined.
This can be used as a finishing sauce directly from this state or it can be used as a marinade. It's great on fish, shell fish (lobster tails or shrimp), chicken, quail, rabbit... or if you are vegetarian, try it with a mixed grill of veggies.
It holds pretty well in the fridge for up to a month.
White Shrimp are known for their delicate texture and have become so popular that their production has surpassed black tiger shrimp. And let me tell you, the world eats a ton of shrimp and as you might have guessed, in the world, America eats the most. White shrimp are the most successfully aquacultured species of shrimp, accounting for more than 60% of production overall.
What I really like about the shrimp I carry is that they aren't pre-cooked, first off. So you can thaw them and cook them how YOU want. Second they are peeled and de-veined already. So they are super easy to cook with. Like no work at all. Lastly, they are (another industry term) I.Q.F. (individually quick frozen) which makes thawing them super fast, I usually just place however many shrimp I intend to use in a bowl of cold water until they are thawed.
I like to grill my shrimp, even if I am going to chill them and eat them cold, I will grill them and chill them. I like that grilled shellfish flavor... I usually season them and toss them in some sliced garlic and olive oil prior to grilling.
Here's my recipe for Coctel de Camaron.. This is so insanely good and so easy to make. I bet you'll find other used for it. This recipe is just the juice part (the Coctel).. I like to add avocado, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and saltines.
At Julienne we did this with Pan Fried Octopus (Coctel del Pulpo) Pictured below. Amazing.
This recipe is in Metric, I apologize to those of you who don't have a gram scale.
Get a gram scale. You won't regret it.
946 mL Clamato Tomato Juice
1360 mL Tomato Juice
250 mL Orange Juice
150 mL Lime Juice
50 mL Spicy Vinegar
165g Red Onion
1g Coriander, Ground
5g Celery Salt
1g Cumin, Ground
4g Garlic Powder
3g Dry Oregano
5g Black Pepper, Ground
100mL Tapatio (or more or less depending on how spicy you do or don't want it)
100 mL Red Wine Vingar
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Holds in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Thanks for reading! Happy cooking!!