Salmon with herbs

salmonI love salmon!  And I love super fresh Salmon from my fish monger.  I call it the freshest seafood in southbay. I’m seriously lucky to have this wonderful fish available when I want.  Luckily, my friend was with me and wanted salmon as well because we had to buy the whole fish.  That’s what you get when you shop at a warehouse .  The big debate was how we wanted it split.  She wanted a filet with the skin off, I wanted a steak, but said fine for the filet, yet in the end, I had to have the skin off, too. I didn’t want Tony to do too much work, it was already a favor for him to clean the fish for us.   This decision dictated my preparations for dinner.  I had planned to grill it on the BBQ, but instead would bake it.  We each had enough for 7 -8 people each. So I guess you could say one big Salmon would have fed 16 people!  And it only cost about 24 dollars for the whole fish!!!

I peeked at recipes online for inspiration and decided to make an herb incrusted salmon in the oven.  I took what I had growing on the balcony.  I grabbed a bunch of fresh Italian oregano and some Thai basil.  I chopped it up and added some Chardonnay Salt from Sel de Cali and placed the salmon on a bed of thinly sliced and de-seeded lemons.  I baked the salmon for about 15 minutes at 350F.  In the meantime I steamed some asparagus that I bought from Jacques produce stand.  I set up the rice medley in the rice cooker.  Yet, something was missing, I needed color so I cut up some delicious tomatoes that I also purchased from the veggie stand.  I made a really simple tomato salad.  I used a few scallions and then just finished it off with Sel de Cali, the Cabernet one.  It was simple but added a deliciously fresh element to our dinner.  Yum.  We actually enjoyed it in front of the TV, which isn’t ideal fro great dinner conversations, but it was late.

salmon, asparagus, rice medleytomatoes


A smoked salmon dinner

This is so easy, yet so delicious.  I love simple dishes.  I bought some wild caught smoked salmon at the local market.  I made myself the easiest and not to mention healthiest dinner.  I wasn’t in the mood to cook, but I wanted something good.  I added some heirloom cherry tomatoes and some organic persian cucumbers on the side for some crunch appeal.  I cut up lots of lemon slices for my salmon.  There is nothing better than simple flavors with salt, I of course used Sel de Cali, for the taste and beauty appeal.  This is now one of my favorite, easy meals to prepare that can also transform into a great appetizer or  hors d’oeuvre platter.  I would however dress it up a bit more when serving it to guests.  I would add a few capers on the side, maybe some red onions, little crackers, blinis, or just simple pieces of  bagels or some type of vehicle to place the salmon and veggies on it.  A great cheese that goes with this is of course, cream cheese, but also a marscapone, ricotta, boursin or even goat cheese.  There are many possibilities.  And for those who are staying away from carbs, a great way to serve this is with Belgian endive leaves, they are a perfect little vehicles to serve the salmon.  You can also make it in advance by placing a bit of cheese, a piece of salmon and a few capers with an onion on a piece of endive… or play with the combinations.  I personally wouldn’t mix the lemon with the cheese, however.  If you don’t have time to prepare it,  in a rush, just add all the elements to a plate as nicely as possible and call it the deconstructed hors d’oeuvre.  Smoked salmon is something I always have in my fridge, you just never know when you will have an impromptu guest over.  Enjoy.  

Mexican Red Snapper and clams

How delicious.  I finally used my fish stock that I made and froze a few weeks back.

I steamed my clams in the fish stock with a bunch of chopped shallots that Paul had accidentally chopped when making Boeuf Bourgignon, when the recipe he was using asked for whole shallots, so I had pre-chopped shallots.  Yay.  I have to say that you should soak your clams in fresh water, a bit of salt and a spoon of polenta or some type of grainy flour, if you have.  Soak for at least one hour to make sure the clams purge all the sand out.  There is nothing worse than chewing on sand.   Once I got my clams situated, I stuffed a gorgeous red snapper with a big bunch of parsley and sliced lemons.  I dusted the fish with lovely Sel de Cali and then popped it in the oven for about 20 mins at 350 degrees.  Since the fish was large, I fileted it once cooked.  I didn’t do the best job presenting my meal. I think it lacks color for sure, but I was hungry.  Had it been for guests I would have added a small bed of parsley with lemon slices and something red, like a little cut out red pepper flower or something to accent my Sel de Cali.

The meal was really delicious and thanks to my fresh fish shop, inexpensive.  I don’t know what I would do without the San Pedro fish warehouse.  It’s truly the best fish in South Bay!  I would have payed 4x’s as much for this fresh fish.  In the end, it just cost 7 dollars paying the extra $1 to get it cleaned.  I made the mistake of cleaning it myself before and I just didn’t want scales all over the tiny apartment kitchen again!  I had scales everywhere, even in my hair!  Yulk.  But onto better more appetising thoughts, this meal was great!  So good that my husband wanted us to save the stock and have clams the following night, too!  Super YUM

Seafood Stew











Lovely Seafood Stew

2 live crabs
10 shrimp with tail
8 scallops
1 quart Fish Stock
1 shallot
2 celery stalks
2 ripe, plum tomatoes-peeled
a few red pepper flakes
1 big glass of dry white wine

My fish stock that I previously made was fully thawed.

Chop the shallots and celery and saute for about 5 minutes in a pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallops and sear about 2 mins per side.  Remove scallops and put them aside for later. Add the white wine to the celery shallot mixture, about a big glass. Let some of the wine evaporate a bit and then add  the fish stock. Start a big pot of boiling water to cook the crabs.  Once the water is boiling add salt, pepper corns and red pepper flakes to give a bit of flavor to the crabs. Carefully place the live crab into the boiling water and let cook for about 10 mins. once cooked add them to the fish stock mixture. Peel and chop a tomato and add to the pot. Add the shrimp and cook for about 5 mins.  Lastly add the clams and previously cooked scallops.  You will be ready to eat in about 4 minutes.  Just make sure all clam shells are open which is a good indication that your meal is ready to eat.   A big YUM!   It was truly delicious. I do wish I had fennel though, next time.

I went to my fabulous Fish stop to stock up on yummy seafood. I love going to this warehouse. I feel like I’m on a hunt. I never really know what the fisherman will have, yet whatever it is, it’s always fresh and delicious. Today I decided I would use up my fish stock to make a seafood stew. I got 2 huge crabs and 2 lbs of clams for nothing. My friend got a gorgeous Mahi Mahi, the lady at the shop told my friend’s 4-year old, “Mahi Mahi is so great they had to name it twice.” I just love it on the docks of San Pedro. The nice, friendly Mexican guy working on cleaning the fish gave the little girl the fish spine to give to the seals off the dock. We went out with our fish guts and got swarmed by over 30 hungry Pelicans. She tossed the fish remains in the water and sure enough, over 15 Lion Seals came swimming. It was the coolest thing, so pure. So pure that I was scared of all these animals rushing towards us. We weren’t in a safe-aquarium environment, we were in the wild, in a way. The pelicans were at my feet. I got over the fright then grabbed my two angry crabs and fresh clams. I got home and put them right away in the fridge. I placed the clams in a bowl of salt water with about a tablespoon of polenta, apparently it helps purge the clams of any sand. I perused different recipes for seafood stew and other types. Most all required fennel. I didn’t have any. I used a bit of celery instead.