Showing posts from May, 2011

Chicago Seafood Update

Chicago Seafood Update                     May 31, 2011Specials: The Copper River Sockeye Salmon have reached epic catch levels, but with the holiday weekend we won’t be resupplied until mid-week. Prices then should be quite reasonable for fillet and whole fish. Weather has put a damper on most other fisheries across the United States and Canada so selection has been limited. Stock items should be readily available, but special catches are scarce. That being said we will have something new here in the form of Golden Tilefish, from Florida. Tilefish are found right at the continental shelf and are a deepwater predator with a voracious diet of small fish as well as crab, lobster and even squid. The filets will be large being cut from 5-10 lb fish should average 3-5 lbs each. Tilefish is similar to snapper and grouper and the beautiful skin is perfect to serve crispy. Soft shelled crabs, dressed. This is the way to buy them! Why bother with all the hassle of live.  We will have all si…

Bill Fish - Marlin and Sword

This weeks fresh catch. (Istiophoridae)From pristine Pacific waters we have nice cuts of Marlin Loin. This wild fish is a rare treat. Similar in cut and form to swordfish loin, Marlin is a bit more delicate in taste and tenderness. Thin cuts are ideal for cooking a la plancha or in a similar style. Thicker steaks can stand up to the grill and even work well with bold seasonings like blackening or spicy tomato sauces.  Marlin is wonderful if slightly undercooked, but will hold up to longer cooking. Priced just below swordfish it is a great alternative and frankly is very successfully featured seafood special that delivers high margins and lower food cost. Sword, very nice mid Atlantic Domestic fish. We just have a few cases of fresh and firm Swordfish.

Harbingers of Spring

Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with RampsThis recipe appears in:The Young Man & the Sea: Recipes & Crispy Fish Tales from Escaby David Pasternack and Ed Levine, Artisan, 2007.Serves 4I'm very particular whom I buy my soft-shell crabs from, and you should be, too. I get mine from Tommy Crab. When you buy soft-shell crabs they shouldn't be moving around. Their backs should feel soft, like a baby's bottom. I like soft-shells fried, as they are here, or grilled. When I've sautéed them, too often they've come out oily.8 medium or 10 small young ramps 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, thinly slicedSea saltFreshly ground black pepper1 1/2 cups Wondra 1 cup cornstarch1 cup whole milk8 small to medium soft-shell crabs, cleaned by your fishmonger1 lemon, thinly slicedSherry Vinaigrette (see below)Clean the ramps by cutting off the root ends, and cutting away the top leaves, leaving just a bit of green. Rinse under cool running water and the…

Crab Fat - Information

During these colder Spring days the Blue Crabs of the bay still have much of their reserved fat left over from Winter. This fat is yellow colored and is to be expected and often desired. It can be left in the crabs and they can be prepared as normal, or it can be removed to be used as a delicious component of another dish or sauce.  • Crab Butter: This is the white-yellow fat inside the back of the shell of a large crab. It is considered a delicacy and is often added to dressings and sauces served with crab.

Mussel Handling Procedures

ALL CHEFS AND FOOD HANDLERSPLEASE READ***VERY IMPORTANT HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS***THINGS ARE BEGINNING TO HEAT UP IN PARTS OF OUR DISTRIBUTION REACH. PREVENT MORTALITY IN YOURLIVE SHELLFISH PRODUCTS BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW. NO EXCEPTIONS!Keep mussels buried in ice at all times in false bottom boxes or drip pans.Keep mussels refrigerated at all times in false bottom boxes or drip pans.Upon arrival, the mussels should be cold, wet, and nearly closed tight. If you notice the shell is gaping open, this is normal.Try running cold water over the mussel and you will see the mussel close- sometimes immediately, sometimes over a periodof a few minutes. If it remains wide open, the mussel has died or is dying and you should avoid consumption.Temperature is always an important factor, however it is even more critical during this time. When mussels are ready to reproduce,increases in temperature or rough handling will cause them to release spawn.If you do find that the mussels have spaw…

Sugar Toads, What? : Blowfish Tails Check

So Friday morning I am on the phone with one of the good old boy fish sellers in Maryland, and after hearing about how the Maryland DNC might be the ones "poaching" all those rock fish (wild striped bass) in ghost driftnets he finally gives me his catch list, and he just says it 'sugar toads'. So I had to look at the calendar and make sure it wasn't April 1st, because I hate to admit it but I have no idea what this is. He says " know theses little puffer tails". The lights go on in my head: BLOWFISH TAILS.....send me 50 lbs to sell and a couple for testing. I have to say these are one of this Fishmonger's favorite appetizing seafood specialties, and no they are not poisonous that is a different fish. I cannot wait until these jewels arrive Monday. I did a little research and it looks like they are a 'micro-trend' according to a recent article in Grubstreet declares this, who knew. So if you get the chance try some at the next chance you…


With apologies to all, the Fishmonger is back. The Blogger version at least. I have been busy relocating to my new home Chicago, and taking on big challenges. I will make a new effort to start posting again and hope to be able to provide valuable information and insight into the seafood world. Thanks and see you soon.