OYSTER OF THE WEEK: CAPE CHARLES
These oysters are grown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Chesapeake Bay. The seeds are scattered along the bay floor and allowed to grow naturally until they reach 1 ½ inches in length. They are transferred to bottom cages for the remainder of the grow out, taking in the flavors of the Chesapeake. The oysters are tumbled once to give the shell a hard exterior and ease of shuckability. At 3 to 4 inches of maturity, the Capes are purged and harvested. At our tasting, the oysters offered a fabulous flavor that started as a mild brine (consistent with Virginia oysters), then moved to a buttery and creamy savor that lingered sweet before finishing clean. Let’s pair these gems with a 2014 Dry Creek Vineyards (Sonoma) Chenin Blanc, a crisply acidic white that will add to the lingering sweetness of the oyster or a “Pete’s Strawberry Blonde” (St. Paul MN) a gentle amber ale with a berry finish for the complete compliment.
We have some beautiful fish coming this week from the Kona fleet. The local name is Walu Walu meaning a ferocious feeder. The loins have a high fat content, silky texture, and a buttery mild flavor, hence the nick name butterfish. These ivory white loins are perfect for marinades, rubs, a chutney or salsa. A refreshing break for your blackboard.
THIS WEEK’S FEATURE: ALASKAN COD
This week we are highlighting our Cod filets that originate from the frigid waters off the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea. The fleet, based out of Dutch Harbor, fish just outside using baited long lines to lure their catch. The cod are de-headed and eviscerated within an hour of being landed on deck. Immediately the H&G fish are frozen, the whole process takes place in under three hours, from swimming in the ocean. The fishery is MSC certified sustainable, and the only cod fishery today that is seeing growth because of their conservation methods. The filets are a beautiful white, firm and flakey meat that is very mild. Completely versatile from Broiling to baking and of course, deep fried. This is the perfect filet that has the name recognition, flavor and versatility to be on everyone’s menu!!
BRAZILIAN MAHI MAHI:
Our fish this week hail from Itajai Brazil. A small fishing village outside Santa Catarina along the southern coast. The small wooden boats, with a crew of three or four family members, steam out each night using artisanal long lines of 100 hooks. The lines are hauled manually so each fish is handled individually. The fishing boats are colorfully painted with the family’s heritage colors, reminds me of lobster buoy colors in Maine. The Fillets are firm and mild. I’ve had these in Bahia in their famous Moqueca… a spicy fish soup… great culture … great food!! Eu gosto muito!!