Albacore Tuna for Thursday and Saturday Drops

Thursday drops will get albacore tuna loin. It is getting towards the end of the season, so this week may very well be the last of the local albacore. If it is still warm where you are, I highly recommend grilling for albacore loin. I will post some grilled albacore recipes from other sources over in the recipe forum.

It’s Albacore Season!

Don’t they look like little cartoon fish? It is local albacore season! What a wonderful time to be alive and eating. All drops will be getting albacore this week (8/21 to 8/25). Click on the albacore category below to see all albacore information. Remember to come back and share what you do in the recipe forum!

Albacore Round 2 Wrap-up

Photo courtesy of http://nomnompaleo.com

Albacore is clearly inspiring and Siren subscribers were creative as usual! The pictures and emails that I got this week have given me some good ideas for future albacore recipes. This is probably the last albacore we will see until the weather warms up again. Sad.

Photo courtesy of http://nomnompaleo.com

Michelle at Nom Nom Paleo went the sensitive and delicate route with Softcore Albacore. You know, for the ladies. She braised the tuna in olive oil and flavored it with garlic and Tabil seasoning. Delicious AND a good companion to her Hardcore Albacore.

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Aardsma.

New subscribers Geoff and Andrea did their first drop RIGHT. Good job!

“Thank you for the wonderful albacore, we prepared it tataki style with some baby bok choy and dandelion greens, orange ponzu on the side.  We loved it!”

Photo courtesy of Amy Whittaker.

Subscriber (and friend to the fishmongeress) Emily made perfectly seared albacore. It looks beautiful!

 

Twitter Round-up

You can follow my fishy adventures! @SirenSeaSA

@SirenSeaSA had an AMAZING albacore sashimi dinner last night! so glad i didn’t try to overdo it!
@kberger

 Awesome first week doing @SirenSeaSA. Sliced raw albacore thin, tossed it in olive oil/lemon/sea salt, and served with guacamole and chips.
@SirenSeaSA sooo good. Your albacore source rocks! Thanks for making all our Saturday dinners five star!

 

The Triumphant Return of Albacore Week

I am VERY excited to say that we have albacore again this week! It might be the last time that I can get my hands on it this season. The fishery is still open, but my trusted dock gurus are telling me that the fish are not really biting locally anymore. This is nothing to be alarmed about as it is just a seasonal change, but I will miss having albacore. I love that cute and tasty fish.

There are many seasonal changes starting to happen up here on the coast. Everyone is getting geared up (Literally, they are buying new gear or restoring old gear.) for crab season. There’s always a lot of buzz and hearsay around the opening of crab season. Will there be big crab? How much meat will they have? What kind of price will the fishermen be able to negotiate? Everyone makes money during a good crab season, and for a lot of small operations it is that influx of cash that gets them through the rest of the year.

The weather is changing. The winds are up and we have had our first real rain of the season. Small boats, you know the kind that I buy from, are not suited for going out in high wind conditions. The big trawlers can still make it out, but as of right now and for the foreseeable future, Siren does not buy fish caught by trawl. Between the switch over to crab trapping and the high wind conditions, I am getting a little nervous about sourcing through the winter. I have always said that I would rather deliver nothing than go back on my standards, and I still feel that way. I have been lucky enough to make it through thirteen deliveries without having to use the red phone. That is what I have been calling failing to deliver anything. As in, “Get the Pentagon on the red phone, I have no fiiiiiiiiiish!” I have used nearly every contingency plan that I had, and some that I didn’t even know I had. Luckily, those handy contingency plans are recyclable.

So, as we head into the deep dark winter, I want to thank you all in advance for your patience. If I do have to use THE RED PHONE, no one’s account will be charged and I will be so apologetic and charming. I have some tricks (Beer-brined smoked salmon tricks) up my sleeve, so hopefully I am giving you this warning for no reason. This is my first winter doing this, so I just want to make my subscribers aware of the worst-case scenario.

Enough winter bummer nonsense, let’s get back to the albacore. I have already covered the source information in a previous post, and given away the secret fish plant albacore recipe. Enjoy this lovely fish!

Albacore Wrap-up

Hardcore Albacore! from Nom Nom Paleo on Vimeo.

I want to present this video without comment, but I am incapable of sharing anything this awesome without comment. Ever. Once again, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo makes my special fish look sexier than I ever thought they could. She prepared a Paleo-friendly version of the recipe that I posted last week. It is appropriately called Hardcore Albacore, and my goodness does it look delicious. She documented the process beautifully on her excellent blog. YUM.

 

Photo courtesy of Mary Keller

Photo courtesy of Mary Keller

Mary wrote, “The albacore was so delicate and delicious! I followed your recipe and they turned out beautifully. Mike and I are so pleased with the quality of your seafood and look forward to our next delivery!”

Mary and Mike also sent along some pictures that made me wish I had more albacore to wrap in bacon.

 

Marcus of Eats for One also followed the recipe on the blog.

“I made the Bacon Wrapped Albacore. Quite yummy. I used Sherry instead of sake. That’s a pretty strong fish, especially grilled with bacon, so the substitution didn’t affect the sweet and luscious impact of the marinade. It was really good, ‘cept sadly, I overcooked it.  Can’t wait to get albacore again so I can do it up right. (What a spectacularly beautiful piece of fish, by the way.) Used the leftover raw fish in my 1904 bouillabaisse with shrimp and scallops. Yum.”

I am already actively searching out some late season albacore so that week A members can have a taste!

 

Photo courtesy of Amie Pfeifer

 

Amie, aka @FabFoodLover on Twitter, followed a recipe from Becky Selengut’s excellent cookbook, Good Fish.

“Let me just say this: Oh my God was that some good fish!  I opted to use Becky Selengut’s recipe for olive oil poached albacore with caper-blood orange sauce from the Good Fish cookbook.  It was my first time poaching ever and I have to say it turned out pretty awesome.  The friend I shared it with commented that she had never had tuna so good.  I’ve got some leftover tuna that I’m putting on my salad for lunch today and I cannot wait. hmmm . . . wonder if it would be weird to eat lunch at 8am?”

Take it from me, 8am is NOT too early for seafood. I am often hacking off  and eating raw pieces of fish in the early morning. It’s the mark of a true fish lover.

 

Photo courtesy of Kathryne Bennett

Chef Kathryne poached the tuna with margoram, thyme, garlic and chilies. That sounds like heaven!

 

Twitter!

You should follow @SirenSeaSA if you would like to see pictures of seafood and read my sassy ramblings. You know you do.

Here is what people are saying about Siren on Twitter.

@iamdanmckinley Yesterday: first @sirenseasa pickup. Tonight: salad niçoise w/ seared albacore w/ soy-mustard sauce. Yum. instagr.am/p/O81s8/
@lyamamot I’m interested in signing up for @SirenSeaSA but first I have to stop remembering its name as Chicken of the SeaSA.
@MeganYip Just signed up for @SirenSeaSA ! Can’t wait to start this adventure in ridiculously fresh, local seafood!
@SecretStashSalt I have a crush on @SirenSeaSA. Any bay area folks subscribe to their seafood CSA?
I will end things with a mussel flashback. Remember these guys?

Photo courtesy of http://www.porkcracklins.net/

Sheri over at Pork Cracklins made Pan-roasted Mussels with Garlic Butter and wrote about the process on her excellent blog. I miss those mussels already.

 

 

 

 

Know Your Source: Captain Tom Graham

Tom Graham is a little bit legendary, but not as Capt. Tom Graham. No, he is known among members of the Pacific coast fishing community as Capt. Tom F%$#. I got to talk to him on the phone a bit this week, and as I was asking him how he got his nickname I realized that I might not want to know the answer. It turns out, the origin of the nickname is about as straightforward and clean as it could be.

Tom is know for entertaining everyone over the radio with his colorful vocabulary while they are out on their boats. Everyone I talked to has at least one good Tom F. story. He is an accomplished cage dancer, a party genius, a great fisherman, and a gifted vulgar story teller. I can’t wait until I get to hang out with him in person. My social skill set is remarkably similar to his.

Tom F. hauled in some lovely albacore for us this week about 50 miles west of Point Arena. Tom usually fishes for salmon, but this season is pretty much over and he decided to turn his attention to albacore. The fish are lovely. They have big anime eyes and aerodynamic silver-skinned bodies. They look like something out of a cartoon.

You will be getting fresh chunks of skinless albacore loin. Full shares should have at least one full loin. The best way to store the fish is in the plastic bag it came in on ice in your refrigerator. If you plan on eating the fish raw, be aware that it is advisable to freeze and thaw it before you eat it. Freezing (and cooking) will kill the parasites that can be present in wild fish.

Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Albacore

After weeks of hair-pulling, nagging, whining, and fretting, WE HAVE ALBACORE and I am more popular than ever.  I have been asking my fish plant and fishermen buddies what they like to do with crazy fresh albacore when they can get their hands on it. Nearly every person who answered started out with, “You cube it up, wrap it in bacon, then soak it in…” The … is the variable here. Wrap it in bacon is the rule. Duh.

I decided to post a recipe that would combine what I considered the best ideas from the “wrap it in bacon marinate it in …” school of thought. Enjoy the tasty fish plant wisdom. I have learned from experience that people who process fish know how to cook it VERY well. This recipe was shamelessly plagiarized from many wise sources. I have included grilling instructions, but you can accomplish crispy bacon and tender fish by broiling, which is what I did tonight as I was test driving this recipe once again.

 

Bacon Wrapped Albacore

1 lb albacore loin cut into medallions 1-1.5″ thick, rinsed and patted dry.

6 strips of thick cut bacon

2 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sake

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp fresh peeled and grated ginger

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp brown sugar

A dash of fresh ground pepper

 

1. Cook bacon in a frying pan until it is halfway done.

2. Wrap each albacore medallion tightly in a strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

3. Combine butter, soy sauce, sake, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pepper in a small saucepan and heat slowly, stirring constantly, until combined.

4. In a large bowl, pour half of the mixture over the bacon wrapped albacore medallions and let marinate for 15 minutes.

5. Lightly oil your hot grill. Grill steaks for 6 minutes on the first side. Flip the steaks over and baste with reserved marinade. Cook the medallions for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.