What’s a Sand Dab Fillet? The question of the day from many tourists that visit us down at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is “what does a Sand Dab look like?” The Sand Dab is a small flat fish that belongs to the Flounder family on the West Coast of the US. Our Sicilian fishermen would eat Sand Dabs often when out at sea for days harvesting fish. Sand Dabs harvested in the Pacific Ocean grow to 16 inches in length and have light brown skin. At first restaurants in San Francisco would sell Sand Dabs only in trim form. Trimmed form means the head and tail are removed along with the top fin and the stomach. I know that doesn’t sound very appetizing but they are delicious. The restaurants would pan fry them and then remove the center spine in front of you. We prefer to fillet the Sand Dabs. Some fish have a very short fresh off the boat shelf life – Sand Dabs are one of those fish. They are very thin and tender so we sell as frozen IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) fillets. The Sand Dabs Fillets hold up much better in a frozen state. Nutty flavor. The skin is paper thin and is eaten when cooked. Next time you are cooking fish for dinner try the Sand Dab Fillets.
Wash and dry the San Dab fillets.
Season the flour with salt and pepper.
Dip San Dab fillets in liquid - milk or brush with olive oil then into the seasoned flour.
Heat olive oil in pan on stove for sautéing or use Cooking Spray with olive oil.
Saute' the Sand Dab Fillets about 2 minutes on each side. Do not over cook.
Serve with lemon or tartar sauce.
CalamariMarinara Sauce is a delicious sauce for spaghetti. Three of our favorite foods – Calamari, Tomatoes, and Spaghetti. Comfort food for us. Calamari or Squid as its also referred to is harvested from Monterey down South off the California Coastline. If you visit Monterey you may be lucky enough to see the Italian fishermen mending their fishing nets across from Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Stores sell it fresh or refreshed or frozen. We sell it frozen and let you thaw it out when you are ready to cook. Calamari or Squid is cleaned and packed as tubes and tentacles. This packaging saves you time in removing the skin which can be very tedious. The ink sacs have already been removed. Our Dad, Serge was a fantastic cook as I’ve mentioned before. You’ll see Serge’s secret ingredient again – brandy or bourbon added to the sautéed onions to ensure the Calamari Marinara Sauce is finger licking good. The only thing we all hated when we saw him cooking was the amount of pots we’d be cleaning after dinner! Next time you are planning to make a Marinara Sauce make this Calamari Marinara Sauce which is sure to please your family and friends.
Saute chopped onions, garlic, and herbs until golden brown. Add mushrooms to saucepan and cook 2 additional minutes. Optional but suggested - for more flavor add the brandy or bourbon to the sauce pan. Add Calamari or Squid to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Puree can of whole tomatores, add to saucepan and stir. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until squid is tender. If the Calamari Marinara Sauce is too thick add wine to the sauce. Serve over spaghetti. Or try adding it to Risotto.
Albacore TunaSandwich is a good old-fashion favorite of our family. We only use the best quality AlbacoreTuna to start our good old-fashioned sandwiches. In the old days, we would only eat the Albacore Tuna our grandfather, Tom Lazio canned. He used to can his Albacore Tuna in olive oil. The Albacore would be small bullet sized at around 10 lbs each. Now we hunt high and low throughout the country for the best canned Albacore Tuna in natural juices, or olive oil. One of my sisters simply mixes the crumbled Albacore Tuna with mayonnaise for her sandwich. I like to add a few more ingredients! Scallions, Celery Seed, Dill Pickle Relish, Mustard are just a few of the ingredients I like to add to my good old-fashioned Albacore Tuna Sandwich! We have some customers that will ask us to throw a fork into the bag so they can walk down the street to Aquatic Park at the end of SF Fisherman’s Wharf – pop open the top of the Albacore Tuna and start eating. I like my Albacore Tuna Sandwich on 12/9/7 grain sliced bread. Sourdough and Dutch Crunch rolls are more favorites to make an Albacore TunaSandwich on. Looking for a quick delicious lunch – make an AlbacoreTuna Sandwich.
San Francisco’s Cioppino is simply a delicious fish stew. San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf is known for Cioppino a dish full of seafood with a tomato sauce base. The main ingredient is the Pacific Ocean’s Treasure – Dungeness Crabs. Sometimes we get told that it can only be made with live DungenessCrabs. Not true! Our Dad, Serge, made San Francisco’sCioppino sometimes using local live Dungeness crabs and other times he used cooked crabs. His secret was in the sauce. He would always add brandy or bourbon -as he sautéed his onions. The flavor that the brandy or bourbon gave the San Francisco’s Cioppino had us dipping the bread in the sauce or licking our fingers after we ate the crabs. I’ve taken the dish to a potluck dinner where there were lots of teens. I thought that only the parents would eat it. Lo and behold as the teens went by I saw Cioppino on their plates! Everyone needed a wet towel to clean their fingers after enjoying the last drop of the San Francisco’s Cioppino. Don’t forget the Sourdough bread!
Lots of tourists visit daily at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and eat Cioppino at one of the many seafood restaurants. For those in a rush and don’t have time to make the sauce from scratch we sell a Cioppino Sauce in a jar that is the perfect base for your fish stew. It’s really hard some days walking up and down the wharf looking at those tourist indulging in delicious Cioppino. I want to sit down and eat with them!
1. Detach the legs and claws from the bodies of the Dungeness Crabs.
2. Place the clams in a pan with 1 cup of wine and steam covered for 5 minutes or until the clams open.
3. Remove clams from shell.
4. Save the clam and wine juice.
5. Heat oil in a large pot.
6. Saute onion, garlic, and herbs for about 5 minutes.
7. Add the bourbon or brandy for flavor.
8. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining wine, and clam juice.
9. Simmer for 20 minutes.
10. Add fish, scallops, prawns, and crabs.
11. Simmer for 5 minutes. DO NOT STIR.
12. Add the clams and heat for 2 minutes.
Serve the Cioppino from the pot!
When I make this recipe I leave my clams in their shell. I also add some mussels too.
Broiled Sablefish is a luxurious fish according to its different names. Sablefish – Black Cod – Butterfish are some of the names for this sustainable fish is referred by. Sablefish is high in Omega 3s. It is an oily fish which is good for you. Japan buys most of the world catch, of which the US is the largest producer. The Japanese prefer to buy the fish headless and over five pounds. Locally out of the San Francisco Bay Area the Sablefish is caught in a 3 tier method. So many pounds are harvested during each tier to maintain that overfishing does not occur. The fishermen use long lines to catch the fish preserving the best quality of the sablefish. I’ve tried several recipes but this is one of my favorite. You can add a dollop of Anchovy Butter to Broiled Sablefish.
Even though our grandfather started the business it wasn’t until recently that I’ve ventured out of my comfort zone to cook seafood other than what we were raised on. Black Cod was not served to us and I’m not sure why. Perhaps since the content of Sablefish is oily my Mother didn’t know how to cook it the way my Dad liked it. We all need to remember not to overcook seafood – it keeps cooking after its removed from the heat source. Preheat the broiler and broil up some Sablefish/Black Cod.
Spray pan - nonstick spray of choice. Place fillets skin down. Spread Anchovy Butter on top of fillets. Broil the Sablefish for 3-5 minutes.
Anchovy Butter - I used a whole can of white Anchovies increased the recipe accordingly.
1-2 fillets rinsed and chopped, zest from 1/2 lemon, grated and finely chopped, pinch of black pepper, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 tsp capers, 2 ounces of butter. I made a roll of the butter in plastic wrap and froze anything extra.
Wild California King Salmon is for sure the top of the line when we talk salmon. Nonno Tom, our grandfather, taught us that there was nothing better than the Kings! He taught us how to hold a Wild California King Salmon like a baby so we didn’t damage the flesh.
I’d like to say that he taught me how to fillet but that was just for the men. “Back in the old days” women in the family were only allowed upstairs working on the books and doing paperwork. However, I always wanted to know how things worked. I actually taught myself how to fillet Wild California King Salmon by watching the men filleting on the line. The secret is to get as close to the spine as possible. I feel with the knife or listen for that contact when the knife meets the fish’s spine. My goal is to get as much meat off the bone. A very sharp knife helps to ensure that the flesh of the Wild California King Salmon remains intact and undamaged. In fact, one of the local retired fisherman would make a point of dropping by once a week to sharpen my knives. Thank God! I use to watch my Dad using a steel and sharpen the knives 1-2-3. Then there’s the sharpening stone which I prefer and do not feel intimidated by memories of my Dad’s sharpening technique.
We love to grill the fish for that flavor that comes from the barbecue. What are you waiting for? Its Wild California King Salmon Season – opened May 1st and closes October 15th this year!
Mix the marinade. Place side down Wild California King Salmon in baking pan. Pour marinade over the salmon and let sit for a couple of hours. Grill the Wild King Salmon skin side down for about 15-20 minutes.
Skin comes right off! You don't want to overcook. Fish will continue cooking after you take it off the grill.
I’ve just discovered baking seafood in parchment paper. Last night, it was Baked Shrimp in Parchment. Boy, was it easy, moist, flavorful, and delicious. I’m always looking for easy recipes to cook since I work long hours. By the time I get home I don’t want to do very much thinking about what’s for dinner. Before I leave for work in the morning I look to see what’s in the refrigerator. As I’m driving to work I think about what fresh fish I’ll be unloading off the local boats that day. The wheels start turning in my mind. I remember seeing a recipe online and decide to follow or change it up a bit. I can help myself to the catch of the day or defrost some other type of seafood for my recipe. Yes, we are all pretty spoiled when it comes to fresh quality seafood. We definitely don’t take it for granted.
I baked the Shrimp in Parchment but changed up the recipe a little. Parchment paper has become a pantry staple. Parchment paper makes cleanup easy. Baking seafood in it locks in the flavors and the juices. For a special occasion like Valentine’s Day, the parchment paper can be cut in a heart shape. All-in-one meal hat I can just bake and serve. Lucky husband since he doesn’t have to clean more than one pan!! My family enjoyed the Baked Shrimp in Parchment and hope you do too.
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Fold the parchment paper in half. In the crease layer the garlic, then vegies, then shrimp or prawns. On top of those ingredients zest from 1 lemon. Slice of lemon on top of the shrimp. Spoon some of the Scamp Butter over them.
Seal all the sides of the parchment paper by folding and folding and folding. Bake in pan with sides in case of any leakage 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Be careful when opening up the parchment paper.
California Halibut with a Roman flair is a recipe that has been passed down for generations. Sometimes I like to add chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce or capers to this recipe. Fresh California Halibut is the main ingredient. Our family has always preferred the local Halibut which is much smaller than the northern Halibut. The fish range in 8 to 20 lbs. We only fillet the fish. The meat is white and firm. Halibut tends to be a dry fish that’s why we bake with wine or a liquid of your choice. Do not overcook the Halibut. It is not suitable to make a steak from the local catch; just the larger Halibut from the North. On the East Coast the local Halibut would be comparable to Fluke.
Each generation likes a different type of cheese. My mother would use Parmesan Cheese. I prefer Romano Cheese since its a little stronger with more of a bite which I believe gives the California Halibut the Roman Flair! Fresh quality fish, good tasting cheese, and your family will be delighted with your choice of dinner. Guess what my mother is fixing tonight? Just the thought of it has me salivating for some.
Make a paste with the breadcrumb, oil, cheese, herbs, and pepper. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Spread the paste on top of each fillet. Place each fillet on top of each other. Coat the bottom of the baking pan with oil. Place the fillets in the pan. Pour the wine in the pan. Add more liquid during cooking if evaporates. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Most of the times when I make this recipe I will place both fillets flat in the pan. I will add a chopped tomatoes and capers to the wine when baking the fish. I usually add more than 1/2 cup of wine so I ensure the California Halibut being moist. Serve with rice or mash potatoes or quinoa with kale and sautéed onions. Delicious!!!
This Shrimp Meat Salad recipe is a favorite of our family. Ideal for family night dinner or potluck for a crowd. Coldwater Shrimp from Oregon or Washington. The shrimp are already cooked and peeled. I like that since that just cut down my work load. Sometimes people refer to these Shrimp as Bay Shrimp. I think this might be because a bay is smaller than the ocean? This explanation sounds good to me. They come frozen and you just need to thaw them out for your recipe. Use 1 pound or 5 pounds of Shrimp Meat depending on how many you are serving. Most of the time I just eyeball the ingredients that I add to the Shrimp Meat Salad. Its so good left over!
Sunday nights I’ll add it to the menu for our 3 generation family dinner. I send my Mom home with the left overs Shrimp Meat Salad for her lunch. She grins from ear to ear! The Shrimp Meat Salad turns out to be the best present I can give my Mom when her birthday comes round. It’s great when the summertime heat reaches into the 90 degrees and no one feels like eating. Sweet tasting meat that’s firm and lends well to the Apple Cider Vinegar dressing I whip up. Who can resist the little shrimps? Enjoy!
Mix all the ingredients together. Add more or leave out ingredients according to your taste. Then add the Shrimp Meat and mix thoroughly.
I make early in the morning and let the Shrimp Meat sit in the marinade for a few hours. Serve in a bowl or add lettuce leaves around it.
Some people do not like Mustard so I won't include it. If I want more kick I will add more Apple Cider Vinegar. I love Celery Seed so I tend to add more.
I love this Scampi Butter Sauce Recipe. Its easy to make after a long day at work. I first made it for a sauce to go on the Calamari Steaks. The Calamari Steaks didn’t need it but I was looking for something to add special for my husband the night of our wedding anniversary. Wow – what flavor! I made some the other night and am going to use the leftover for another seafood recipe tonight. I’m going to try a Baked Shrimp recipe in parchment tonight. Although the Baked Shrimp in Parchment paper just uses lemon juice I thought I would take it up a notch by adding the Scampi Butter Sauce Recipe. The sauce has lemon juice in it! I sautéed the largest Petrale Sole I’ve seen lately adding the Scampi Butter Sauce at the end along with a few capers. Delicious!
I have three lemon trees in my backyard. Two of the lemons are Meyers lemons. I was amazed the other day at the sight of all the green small lemons growing on the trees. One of the trees looks like its on steroids! I don’t know what I’ve done right since we are in a drought. I’m looking forward to all the recipes I can use those lemons with. I’ve even begun adding slices to my water daily because the aroma from Meyers lemons is so incredible. Its time to make another batch of the Scampi Butter Sauce Recipe and this time I’m adding it to the largest Shrimp I’ve ever seen!.