Shrimp Avocado Salad is the perfect heat buster. There was a hurricane coming up from Baja Mexico over the weekend. The weather heated up. High humidity which we are not used to started heating things up early. In fact, when I got up at 3 am it was already 62 degrees in San Francisco. Under those circumstances I only wore a t-shirt and 1 sweatshirt; instead of wearing 5 layers like normal.
What to cook for dinner when everyone is hot and sticky? I didn’t want to turn on the stove or the oven. A salad would be the perfect solution. I began mentally checking off the ingredients I had in the refrigerator at home. No need to head to the grocery store. Cooked prawns were in the freezer at home which I had been looking at for a week. All I had to do was defrost them after work.
Needless to say I got home and forgot all about defrosting the prawns (large shrimp). I fixed a sprinkler head, someone’s computer, unloaded the dishwasher, and played with the dog before I realized I forgot to take the prawns out of the freezer. No worries I put them in the colander and rinsed them with cold water while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. The Shrimp Avocado Salad was a big hit. Delicious tasting and cool. The weather today has cooled off at least 15 degrees. My Mom used to make this salad all the time as I was growing up minus the Shrimp. I love how all the vegies meld together after sitting in the Balsamic Vinegar. Dip some sourdough into the bottom of the bowl!
Baked Calamari tubes saved Bubble’s life. The doctor warned one of our Italian fisherman, Bubbles, that he had to cut out the fried foods after having a heart attack. Bubbles loved to cook, loved to eat, and loved his fried Calamari. Who doesn’t?
Calamari is a comfort food. The little fish that swims tail first pumping water through the valves near the head. Usually Calamari is packed with tubes and tentacles. There is no change to the flesh frozen which is most likely how it comes. We like to try Fried Calamari at different restaurants. When we are eating it at home of course I love to make the baked calamari tubes. I don’t like the word “FRY”. Remember we live in California and its not the thing to do. Every where I read, fried foods are not good for any one’s health. I figure an occasional fried calamari won’t kill us. Its better to try it out instead of at home.
Bubbles followed his Doctor’s orders and came up with this baked recipe which we all are thankful to him. He lived for many more years after that heart attack. Bubbles didn’t have to give up his favorite fish just the way it was prepared. He would bread the Calamari tubes and bake instead of frying. Baked Calamari tubes was so much better for his heart health and ours.
It tastes so good either way. Tartar sauce or Aioli sauce or Cocktail sauce are delicious added to the baked Calamari.
Grilled whole King Salmon is perfect for a party and definitely a crowd pleaser. Can you imagine the responses you will get when the finished Grilled whole King Salmon is presented on a buffet table. It will always one-up anything else! It doesn’t get any easier once you close the grill’s lid. Amazing aromas will fill the air as you mingle with your guests. Everyone will start salivating for the first taste of the grilled whole King Salmon. I like to cut the head off when grilling the whole King Salmon. Also, scale the skin of the King Salmon. I have a habit of wearing lots of scales at work. Funny, sometimes my sister wants to know where that scale on the office counter came from. Oops! Guess what we’re serving for our 4th of July party? Yes, Grilled Whole King Salmon is on the menu.
Local wild caught King Salmon season is determined by our Federal Government. It used to be that May 1st was the opening day. Due to the limited supply in the last few years, a Salmon Council was formed to help the Federal Government with their decision of starting time and length of the fishing season. This year is a good year for the timing and length of fishing King Salmon. However, there are other variables that play havoc with the season – wind, water temperature, and location of the King Salmon. The King Salmon caught are bled immediately on board to ensure the freshness of the fish. The local fishermen only use the troll caught method for fishing. This method ensures that your Grilled whole King Salmon will be in the best condition.
Heat the grill to 300 degrees.
Cut across the outside of the salmon every 3-4 inches without going completely through.
Layers inside of the fish with lemon slices, onion slices, and herbs.
Brush the skin side of the King Salmon with olive oil.
Place lemon slices and herbs in the slits on the King Salmon.
Wrap in foil and lay on grill. Check in 25 minutes. If need longer time check every 5 minutes. Look at the meat through the outer slits.
If looking to baste the whole King Salmon while grilling add a little apple cider vinegar. I'd use a small bunch of parsley as my dipping tool into a small bowl of apple cider vinegar and dab into the slits. You can also add butter into the salmon's cavity if you are looking for a richer flavor.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!.
We love CalamariSteaks. More and more doctors are telling their patients to lay off the steaks. No problem. No more beef steaks and instead cook a seafood steak. Start by trying the Calamari Steaks.
They come from very large squids that are then sliced. Calamari Steaks come frozen in either 1 pound packages or 5 pound boxes. The texture of the fish in unchanged when freezing and thawing occurs. We usually pound the Calamari Steaks after they thaw out. We can not stress it enough that the Calamari cook very quickly so don’t overcook the steaks. The Calamari Steaks will become tough and rubber like if over cooked. You know you’ve done a great job when you don’t need a knife to cut the steak. Each morsel simply melts in your mouth! Calamari is inexpensive and versatile. The meat is mild in flavor with a slight sweetness to it.
Calamari Steaks have become a mainstay on restaurant menus. A big steak can fill the plate along with a side dish of vegies. The Calamari is still reasonably priced for the consumer and restaurants. Most restaurants serve it as Calamari Dore – egg batter and quickly sautéed. Enjoy!
Pound flat the thawed Calamari Steaks. You will need to put in three different bowls or plates the flour,beaten eggs, and breadcrumb in that order. Dip in the flour first. Next, dip in the beaten eggs, and then in the breadcrumb. Make sure your skillet is hot and ready to go with the oil. Brown on one side flip and brown on the other side.
I like to pound the Calamari Steaks out flat. Its important to have that skillet hot so 2 minutes on each side and its done. Important not to over cook Calamari or it will become tough. To finish off the dish I take the pan off the heat and added a scoop of Scampi Sauce. Unbelievable. Fork cut melted in our mouth.
Our grandmother( Annetta Alioto Lazio) had 7 brothers. Her brother, Sal Alioto, was an incredible cook. By day Uncle Sal would the sell the local catch working along side my grandfather. By night he’d would spend hours in the kitchen working with his seafood recipes. Dungeness Crab was one of his favorite ingredients in his recipes. He liked to serve the crabs at room temperature. Uncle Sal whipped up one night the Dungeness Crab Marinade. He just poured it over is a platter of cracked Dungeness Crab. The juices of the crab mixed with the Crab Marinade. “Oh, my gosh!” is what everyone says when everyone tastes it. Many family and friends enjoyed his meals.
To this day the only way we serve cracked crabs is by making a batch of the Dungeness Crab Marinade Uncle Sal created. There are two ways to crack Dungeness Crabs. The first way is to detach the legs and claws from the bodies; we call the Old-Fashion Way. The second way is to quarter the crabs; Our Way. Our Dad and one niece love the Old-Fashion way which but they would hog all the bodies and leave the rest of us with the legs and claws. Our Way gives part body with a group of legs sharing the wealth of Crab Meat. Either way of cracking the Dungeness Crabs makes no difference as long as Uncle Sal’s Marinade is mixing with the crab juicing.