Archive for ‘Fish’

September 27, 2011

Lobster…and more lobster

Lobster!

 

I like lobster.  On a recent trip back east to Maine for a wedding, i just couldn’t get enough of the stuff.  Out here in Oregon, we don’t get lobster much, so it’s pretty much a delicacy to me.  In the months leading up to our trip, I started my research.  I was going to get my fill of lobster in every way I could.  I wanted it fresh.  I wanted it cooked to order.  I wanted it in a roll.  I wanted it any which way I could get it…and get it I did!

In Portland, Maine, Margie and I wandered down to the waterfront in search of fresh lobster from Three Sons Lobster & Fish for some fresh from the boat lobster action.  This place did not disappoint.  We walked down the grimey, working wharf and into the warehouse dock.  Tanks of salty water greeted us along with a chalkboard menu of the day’s catch.  There were lots of things on the menu, but I only saw lobster.  After pleading my rookie-ness to the employees, they directed me to a nice 1.8 pound lobster that they pulled from one of the many tanks. It was a quick introduction, as I did not have anything to say, but “he’ll do.”   20 minutes later the lobster was properly steamed and ready for its butter bath.  Really, there is nothing better that comes from the sea, than lobster and melted butter.

 

 

Looking for a little variety in my lobster diet, I was directed to Red’s Eats, in Wiscasset, ME.  This is not a fancy place by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s is simply a roadside stand with the best lobster roll I have ever had.  If you don’t believe me on that, there are plenty of other’s that will back me up.  Red’s consistently gets voted the state’s top lobster roll.  This was a MUST STOP on our drive from Portland to Bar Harbor.

Lobster rolls traditionally come is some sort of bun (usually those silly east coast top cut hot dog buns), fresh chunk lobster meat, and a mayonnaise base sauce, sometimes with celery.  Red’s is something different though.  Their simplicity is admirable.  Their lobster roll is not only humungous in size (over a whole lobster is packed in it), but comes with the choice of the mayo sauce or melted butter.  Now what do you think I picked?  Darn right….melted butter!!!   I don’t think I could have it any other way after this.  This was THE PERFECT LOBSTER ROLL.

Red's Eats lobster roll

 

Overall, I could not have asked for anything better with our Lobsterfest Tour this summer in Maine.  The lobster and the wedding (the real reason we went to Maine) were both amazing.  If you are ever in Maine, try either of these places and you will not be disappointed.

All this lobster talk has now made me crave it again.  Mmmm.

July 12, 2011

Dinner…re-created

Margie and I recently spent a weekend away in the wine country of Walla Walla, Washington.  Walla Walla is about 4.5 hours NE of Portland and home to some great hearty red wine production.  We had previously travelled there two years ago and had a fabulous time and had been itching to get back.  The last trip went just perfectly for us with the perfect quaint, modern hotel, right on main street downtown, the perfect restaurants and great wineries.  We were looking to duplicate that again and weren’t disappointed.

We ate at a local restaurant on the south side of town, called South Fork Grill.  The menu had looked good, so Margie had gotten us a reservation.  When we arrived, we were a little surprised.  It wasn’t what we expected.  It was in a small strip mall and looked pretty suburban.  (sorry, we can be food snobs  🙂 )

Despite the atmosphere, the food really surprised me.  I had ordered a Halibut w/Green Curry as my main course mostly because I was feeling like fish and I love a good halibut.  (I guess you could say I just got it for the hal-i-but….hahah)  It really hit the spot and knocked my socks off.  It had a great fresh taste with just the right amount of heat to it.  I also loved the zesty cilantro, red pepper, lime juice topping on it.  It all really came together as a dish.

When I got home from the weekend, I was still craving the halibut dish.  I HAD TO HAVE IT AGAIN.  I set out to recreate the dish at home.  It was my mission and I was not to fail.  The recipe below is what I made and both Margie and I agree, it is pretty darn close to what we tasted at the restaurant.

This is going to be a regular staple in our house for years to come.  It’s not too difficult to make and the curry paste can be made  in a larger batch and frozen for a week or two.  If the photo of the dish doesn’t entice you to make it, I don’t know what will.

HALIBUT W/ GREEN CURRY

Halibut w/ Thai Green Curry

 Curry paste ingredients

  • 1 stalk lemongrass minced
  • 1-3 green chilies, sliced (thai green chilies or jalapeno)
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro leaves & stems
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
  • 1-2 tsp. brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk (15 oz.) , reserve 1/4 for cooking

Place all ingredients in a food processor.

Process well to form Thai green curry sauce. Taste the sauce for salt and spice. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce or salt. Add more chili for more heat.

Topping ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • ¼ red bell pepper, julienned small
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Gently mix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate, until serving

Main ingredients

  • 1 pound halibut fillet, portioned, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil (grapeseed, olive, or vegetable)
  • 2 cups steamed rice

Preparation

Assemble curry paste and topping according to directions above.

Cook rice in rice cooker until it is cooked through and still sticky.

Heat curry paste and remaining coconut milk over medium heat in sauce pan.  Add more Coconut milk if needed to get a medium consistency curry sauce.

Heat cooking oil for fish in a large sauté pan.   Sauté halibut fillets in oil until browned on both sides and just barely opaque all the way through.

Using a small bowl (Pyrex dishes work well), spoon cooked rice into prep bowl.  This will then be used to create a nice mound of rice in the serving bowl on which the curry and fish will be placed.  Flip the molding bowl onto the large serving bowl and remove.  You should have a nice, neat mound of rice in the center.

Spoon desired amount of curry around the rice mound.  Top with halibut.

Sprinkle red pepper/cilantro topping on top of halibut.