And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
Nowadays, you don’t have to go foraging for mussels at the beach. Farm-raised mussels are so common that fresh mussels are available at most grocery stores year-round. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is in a Thai style with peppers, basil and a sweet and salty sauce. You can make it a starter or part of a meal by pairing it with another stir fry.
I recall a vivid memory of my cousin Vernon and I bringing home a batch of crawdads from the creek in the field near his house and handing them over to our grandmother to fry up the tails. Big, brave stuff we were, foraging for our own wild food snack.
When I learned that Oregon is the second largest producer of crawfish, next to Louisiana, my boyhood curiosity was piqued. The Pelican State is accountable for about 90% of the nations crawfish with the Beaver State making up a chunk of the remainder.
Tamarind paste and canned chopped tomatoes form the base of this tangy sauce over Dungeness crab, clams and mussels. The paste from the flesh of tamarind pods are a combination of tongue-curling tartness, cheek-pinching saltiness, and lip-smacking sweetness, all rolled into one.
A tomato and tamarind sauce lends a sweet, sour and salty melange of flavors to a seafood bounty of deep-fried striped perch I caught from the jetty at Newport, and mussels from the store. It was the perfect way to enjoy my catch and easy enough for you to prepare at home with any firm-fleshed ocean fish like sea bass or red snapper.
Mussels are one of those seafood dishes that you have to be careful about when serving company. Many people object to their strong flavor and aroma. Charles and I love them, however, and we were once talking about our favorite ways to cook mussels when my mother, Pranee, told me about a dish she cooked at a now-defunct restaurant in Houston called Renu’s. It was simply mussles that had been steamed in water infused with lemongrass and it was served with a dipping sauce that Thais commonly use for seafood: a mixture of fish sauce, lime and chopped chilis.
Oregon is one of those states where lots of people forage for interesting food. Some forage the forests for wild mushrooms in the fall. Others forage for truffles buried beneath the forest floor, with their truffle-sniffing dogs in tow. Still others forage the many tidal pools at the coast…for what? you might ask. Read on and you’ll discover some tasty edibles.
For those of you who don’t get excited by raw seafood, smoked is a refreshing way to serve a variety of seafood that makes an easy and beautiful dinner presentation. When Charles and I went to Paris many years ago, I remember the displays outside the restaurants, with fish, oysters, clams and shrimp arranged in beautiful […]
Smoked Alaskan Sockeye salmon, shrimp and leeks make a wonderful stuffing for an easy recipe for ravioli using won-ton wrappers. Top it off with steamed mussels and a sauce of white whine, cream, fish stock and peas for a wonderfully tasty dish.
One of the nice things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the availability of live shellfish at the grocery stores. Almost any time of the year we can find live oysters, clams, and mussels. The mussels come from mussel farms in Washington State’s Puget Sound, live oysters come from the many Oregon bays as […]
Vic and I were served this dish as an appetizer at The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore some years ago. It impressed us so much that we asked for the recipe. No dice! Realizing that steaming these ingredients wouldn’t be too difficult to re-create, we then begged for advice on which ale to use. A Belgian White was the curt reply. We dined at this well-known Baltimore spot frequently and surly service was never the norm. As a matter of fact, when creating the link to their site for this article, I learned that Esquire magazine had named them the #1 bar in America. For the record, Portland’s Horse Brass Pub was #5.