I’d like to welcome back Sam Peter’s as a guest poster, her granola clusters recipe was a hit with everyone, we loved her Banana Bread Pancakes and now she’s talking about all things fish! Enjoy! ~ Magpie
With rising temperatures comes changes coming to your local market. As spring sets in, foodies everywhere are staying up-to-date with the hottest trends in culinary techniques and seasonal gastronomy. One of the most popular foods that chefs love to prepare during these cool months has always been what the French call “les fruits de mer”, or how we call it in America, seafood. Each part of the continental United States has it’s specialty when it comes to “the fruit of the sea”, and this article will emphasize how to serve such delicacies deriving from four specific regions of the country: SoCal, the Northeast, the Southeast and the Northwest.
When one thinks about SoCal seafood cuisine, it’s difficult to not to picture the Baja Mexican influence that have inspired the flavors of the Southwest. The seas beyond the Southern West Coast reap a variety of fish. Two of the most used varieties in this region are cod or halibut. What are they used for? That’s right, fish tacos. If you want something fresh to serve to your friends this Sunday, why not try this tasty Mexican entree? They’re easy to make, colorful and easily handled (no forks necessary). They are usually prepared in beer batter, fried and topped with pico de gallo sauce, cabbage and Oaxacan creme. You can add a splash of lemon juice for flavor. Serve with an ice-cold Corona!
If you live or have been in the Northeast, you know that clams, oysters and lobsters are the prime staples of New England foods. For this section, we will focus on a simple entrée that has been gaining popularity among hipster circles in New York City and Boston, lobster rolls. Recipes vary when it comes to preparing lobster rolls, but they all agree on one thing: fresh lobster and dill and creamy mayonnaise served on a warm buttery bun. Lobster rolls are an outside food, so if you prepare them, make sure they’re picnic ready. Don’t forget to pack the brewskies!
Now hopping to the opposite side of the country, the Pacific Northwest has always been a hub for trendy foods centered around wild salmon. Dating back to the days of the Alaskan Inuits, salmon has undergone several changes when it comes to its preparation, but nothing is more delicious than having a poached salmon after a long walk on the beach. Most prepare poached salmon in court-bouillon, or a fish-flavored stockpot of water. The salmon is usually soaked for hours and slowly cooked until its skin peels off nicely. The liquid is then drained and the fish is served without bones or skin, the head and tail are kept. Serve with a cool, white wine.
The humble people in the south have a common saying, “laissez les bons temps rouler”, or let the good times roll; and why wouldn’t they, with such an array of delicious seafood at their disposal. The Gulf of Mexico yields exquisite flavors ranging from the tanginess of shrimp to the sweet tasting crawfish and crab. No other dish holds all the fruits of the Gulf and does it justice than gumbo, a staple in New Orleans cuisine. Combining different meats and spices ranging from shrimp, sausage, crab to the effervescent bay leaf and thyme, gumbo is served with contrasting textures, such as sourdough bread, salad or potato salad with creole mustard. Make sure you accompany this dish some delicious sweet tea.
If you’re in one of these regions, why not try out their seafood dishes? Better yet, why not make them at home and invite your friends over to a backyard or rooftop party. If you don’t feel like hunting through the fish markets there’s always online seafood delivery to help you set the table with all your favorites. Either way, you’ll end up enjoying good company and great tasting food. Bon appetit!