Sous Vide Flounder with Browned Butter Fettuccine

Being able to take advantage of good prices on fresh fish is one of my favorite things. Keeping good quality fish from getting funky is always a challenge.

Enter sous vide.
Sous Vide Flounder with Browned Butter Fettuccine
This flounder was pasteurized, frozen then reheated in a stovetop water bath. The gating factor on dinner prep was the 11 minutes of hydration time for the fettuccine. Dinner was ready in less than 20 minutes.
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Wild Caught Halibut: Fish & Chips

Posted by johngl

We were taking a cruise through the Costco Isles this morning and noticed some freshly packed, wild-caught halibut. Since I’ve been wanting to try out that fried chicken batter on some fish, this presented the perfect opportunity.

Beer Battered Halibut Fish & Chips

I wasn’t at all disappointed. The halibut came out moist, flaky, and not a bit over-cooked. This is a batter that will be used on all kinds of things, perhaps even beef tenderloin (as in chicken fried steak). Stay tuned.

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Big Green Egg: Something Fishy

Posted by johngl

Last Sunday, a significant grill fest took place in the Alcoholian household: the most glorious spousal unit wanted some baby back ribs and I wanted some fish. This was the fault of our friends at Costco who, on Saturday, offered up fresh catfish, sockeye salmon, and baby back ribs at the same friggin time. I really dislike it when they conspire against us like that. That’s the price we pay for trying to save some money I guess.

While aimlessly wandering the aisles as most glorious spousal unit loaded up our cart with our necessities, I kept wondering how I was going to cook all this stuff, especially the fish, which doesn’t keep all that well.

There was the Baby Back Ribs:

Baby Back Ribs

And the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon:

Sockeye Salmon

And finally, the Farm Raised Catfish:

Farm-Raised Catfish

Then it dawned on me: I had the biggest Big Green Egg!

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Valentine’s Day Sous Vide Fresh Pacific Cod with Quinoa and Snap Peas

Posted by johngl

Valentine’s Day is upon us and it’s a little too bad it falls on a Monday this year. It would probably be better if we didn’t all have to go to work on the day itself and it would even be better if we didn’t have to go to work on Tuesday. But oh well, here we are.  Luckily, most glorious spousal unit doesn’t get all hung up on the particular day of something. She’s good that way.

Sure, we could go out to eat in some fancy restaurant like most of the rest of the couples out there, but isn’t a home-cooked meal, even if it’s a simple one, a whole lot better?

Tender and flaky Pacific code with snap peas and quinoa
Tender and flaky fresh Pacific cod with sugar snap peas and quinoa

Okay, so maybe it depends upon how materialistic your spousal unit might be.  If it’s the size of the diamond, the cost of the dinner, or the expensive car in the driveway that trips his or her trigger, you’re probably not going to get away with this kind of thing, but then again, you did get yourself into that kind of relationship didn’t you?  You reap what you sow.

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Pacific Cod Fish & Hand-Cut Chips

Posted by johngl

Whilst wandering through the aisles of one of my favorite grocery purveyors, I noticed some fresh wild Pacific cod priced at a mere $6/lb. Giving it the mandatory whiff, it had the aroma of … well, nothing really.  With fish, this is a good thing.

I’ve also been wanting to try a new french fry cooking methodology. Fresh cod + fries = Fish & Chips. And thus this post was born. I know, I know, the English use Atlantic cod so it isn’t quite authentic, but work with me here, okay?

Fish & Chips

And what’s this hooey about a “new French fry cooking methodology” ?

So glad you asked…
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Barramundi!

Posted by johngl

Barramundi!  Go ahead, say it again. Say it out loudly.  Say it with enthusiasm! It feels sorta like some native ritual where Aboriginal tribes raised their gourds high in honor of some person or thing. Barra…Mundi! Big Head!

No, really! At least in India.

Barramundi is a type of fish. It’s also called Asian Sea Bass, Giant Perch, Giant Sea Perch, Australian Sea Bass, and host of other names given to it by local tribesman. The word Barramundi is much more fun to say however which is why, in the 1980’s, marketeers co-opted the name and increased sales by doing so.

According to Seafood Watch, farmed Barramundi is on the “green” list for sustainability. That’s good, because I may wind up eating a lot of it. It is naturally farmed without  the use of growth regulators or hormones.

Barramundi, plated and ready

I served this pan-seared barramundi with a 50/50 blend of quinoa and brown rice hydrated with chicken stock. That orange-colored sauce is a tangy and spicy concoction I came up with myself.

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Copper River Sockeye Salmon

Posted by johngl

The most glorious spousal unit and I were looking to celebrate life on this Memorial Day weekend, so we got an early start yesterday morning after dropping most glorious mother-in-law off at the airport. The old girl is doing quite well after her narrow escape from the grim reaper just last month (and thanks to those of you who have inquired about her since then). I can only hope to be as strong and active as she is when I reach age 83. Actually, I don’t see how reaching 83 is even possible for me, but if I do get there, I hope I am still able to cook.

Oh, and speaking of life and remembrance and such, since it is Memorial Weekend, let’s not forget to give our thanks to those individuals whose lives have been cut short by War. If you’d like to be a bit more progressive, give thanks to those Service Personnel who are still living, too. When you discover someone you know (or work with) has served in our Armed Forces, just thank them for that service; you’ll both feel better for it. If you find yourself sitting next to a General on a flight — as I did on a very recent trip — take a moment to thank them for their continued service.

Thanks to you for allowing that digression and now back to our regularly scheduled salmon!

Olive oil poached Copper River sockeye salmon with creme fraiche and caviar

This olive oil poached Copper River sockeye salmon with crème fraîche and Avruga “caviar” was probably the best I have had since last season’s Copper River harvest.

The Copper River, the 10th largest in the US (by water volume), is a 300 mile stretch of glacial runoff that dumps into the Gulf of Alaska and is particularly noted for it’s highly-prized runs of salmon. Available only between mid-May and mid-August, I prefer them in the earlier parts of the season.

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Pacific Cod Fish and Crisps

Posted by johngl

On a recent trip to the United Kingdom, a good friend and I ran across a really nice little pub virtually across the street from Heathrow. They served up some extremely fresh cod that was simply fantastic.

And so it was, that when I noticed some fresh Pacific cod at my local Costco this morning, I just had to have some for lunch.

Pacific Cod Fish and Crisps

Not wanting to dink around with making chips for this meal, I opted for some Kettle brand crisps. Why the British call fries chips and chips crisps, I’ll probably never know, but I am using their naming conventions here so don’t get confused.

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Fish Burger (Salmon)

Posted by johngl

Back in the Burger Your Way To Labor Day post, I mentioned something about the possibility of throwing a fish burger into the mix.  Well, the wait is over and here it is:

Salmon Burger

Yep, this is a salmon burger.  For all of you folks who no longer eat pigs, cows, deer, buffalo, chickens, or antelope, we now have the food for you.  Sit down with your favorite grizzly bear and have a party!

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Pan Seared Hawaiian Opah with Mango & Hatch Chile Salsa

Posted by johngl

One of the coolest things about Austin, for me anyway, is that we have great grocery stores.  We’ve got a couple of high-end companies, Whole Foods and Central Market (a division of HEB), duking it out to provide us the best food the world has to offer.

Consequently, you might find yourself wandering by the seafood counter and notice a pinkish-colored fish called opah. I’d certainly heard about opah from an old friend of mine who did a lot of deep-sea fishing, but had never actually tasted it.

Pan Seared Opah with Fruit Salsa
Pan Seared Hawaiian Opah with Mango & Hatch Chile Pepper Salsa

This was my opportunity.  The fact that it coincided with the Hatch Chile Festival at Central Market was an added bonus.

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