09/19/10 - First Steelhead of the Fall

Tuna Dan had steelhead filets at the market, so we had our first smoked steelhead of the season. That's our Kaleberg mix of coriander seeds, black peppercorns, salt and brown sugar we used as a cure.

Keywords: fish, autumn, kale

01/23/09 - Haiga Rice, Uni and Monkfish Liver

It started with a sale on sea urchin roe at Catalina Offshore Products, and in the typical Kaleberg fashion it went on from there. To start with, we bought four trays of the sea urchin roe and an order of frozen steamed monkfish liver which is also known as ankimo, but this is getting ahead of things. It all really started with some haiga rice we had bought some time ago. That's the haiga rice being soaked in the picture to the right.

Haiga rice is a partially milled short grain rice, so it still has some of its husk or bran. This supposedly makes it a better rice for diabetics, and it also gives it a richer flavor and hearty texture. We followed the recipe from the Seattle Times which involved washing the rice, and then letting the wet rice sit for a half an hour before cooking it. It wasn't at all like brown rice. In fact, it was the best sushi rice we have tasted.

We'll get back to the haiga rice in a minute, but first a word about the ankimo. The monkfish liver we bought was steamed and frozen, but supposedly the product contained nothing besides the liver itself and some salt. It looked like a salami wrapped in plastic. We decided to serve it simply on home cooked potato chips which we had fried in goose fat. We tried a purple potato for a real starchy flavor and a sweet potato for a bit of sweetness.

Ankimo has a subtle flavor. There is a mild livery note, but it is a lot like foie gras and unctuous. We served thin slices of it on our potato chips, which were a perfect complement. The sweet potato chips were best, but the combination was rich and delicious, sort of a foie gras Napoleon. Maybe that is reaching a bit, it was a great combination and we ate most of the ankimo in one sitting.

We decided to eat the sea urchin roe raw, as sushi, rather than cooking it with butter, coriander, scallions, cayenne pepper and lemon. There are sea urchins right here off the coast of Port Angeles, and they are harvested commercially, but you'd be hard pressed to find them on sale locally.

They are sold packed in little wooden boxes like the one shown on the right. Each box has its own little lid so that the boxes can be stacked without the delicate eggs getting crushed.

We spread the haiga rice on sheets of nori, dried seaweed. We cut the big sheet into rectangles, perhaps two inches by four inches and put a few pieces of uni on each. Then, we poured on tad of soy sauce and that was it. Most of the goodness of sushi is in the good ingredients. That's some pickled ginger on the plate with one of our unrolled uni rolls.

Our experiment was successful, and we actually got to use that bag of haiga rice. We'll be watching the member specials at Catalina Offshore Products to see if we can come up with any new ideas. If you are interested at all, you can sign up as a member pretty easily. You don't have to be running a restaurant. Hmm, the mackerel filets look kind of interesting, and we've never tasted geoduck clams. There's still plenty of room at the Kaleberg frontier.

Keywords: fish, recipe, kale

08/05/07 - Black Douglas Cod - A Northwestern Treat

We'll admit that isn't the best picture there, but we have discovered a great way to prepare black cod. Black cod is an oily fish, and there is a temptation to blast it with flavor. We often marinate it in mirin and soy sauce, but this time we took a more subtle approach. We marinated a two pound filet overnight in two or three tablespoons of Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau de Vie, a quarter teaspoon of wasabi powder, a quarter teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper and two pinches of sea salt. We stared roasting the fish in the oven, but we wanted to render the fat so we popped it in a frying pan until it was nicely flakey and just starting to brown.

This dish was suggested by a dish we had at Coupage, a Korean fusion restaurant in Seattle. They served arctic char marinated in fir eau de vie, and it was quite good. This dish has a slightly stronger flavor, and the light green notes of the fir buds come across as rather bright and fruity. No, it doesn't taste like wood pulp.

You might want to check out Clear Creek Distillery, the folks who make the eau de vie, or check out the Washington State Liquor Board for availability.

Not the best picture, but it sure tastes good.

Keywords: fish, seattle, washington state, kale

Big Steelhead

04/01/07 - The Steelhead of the Soleduc

That's our friend, Bill Peet, on the left, with a friend of his, a three foot long steelhead he caught out on the Soleduc River. There hasn't been much fishing lately, what with the spring floods and fishing restrictions, so that's a pretty amazing catch for the first day the river was fishable. The Soleduc is pretty amazing, too. It's the only steelhead run in the lower 48, and it is in pretty good shape as you can see.

Being Kalebergs, we must note that steelhead has a milder flavor than salmon, but it has salmon's firm texture.

Keywords: fish, spring, salmon, kale

11/07/06 - Nash Huber's Farm Stand

We recently paid a visit to Nash Huber's farm stand in Sequim, not far from the old Dungeness School House. Farm stands are always at their prettiest in the autumn, which is, for us, the time to round up the usual vegetables. That is, the brussels sprouts are in, as are the lacinato kale, the collard greens, the mustard greens, the beets, the cauliflower and even the cabbages. There are some pictures of some of the goodies and one of all our loot down below.

Also noted was the new sign on the door announcing that Nash's farm is salmon friendly. That's a big thing out here since Clallam County is sort of fish crazy. There are signs with little fish on them along the road side, usually at bridges. They mean that someone is likely to brake hard, leap out of their car and throw in a line to try their luck, so you had better drive carefully. Salmon channels are important out here too, and not just the kind they carry on cable. The county recently rebuilt route 112 where it crosses Salt Creek to give the fish a better shot at spawning.

ncluding some Dungeness Valley Creamery milk and some Mount Townsend Creamery cheeses.

Another sign on the door - we have to check this out. There is nothing quite like FRESH King Crab meat.

Keywords: nash huber, farms, autumn, dungeness, fish, milk, salt creek, mount townsend creamery, salmon, kale

11/01/06 - Halloween Party at Kastle Kaleberg

We just could not resist. What is a Halloween party without properly ghoulish food? (And we don't mean transfats). On the right are our devil burgers made with Parker House rolls, buffalo burgers, sweet onion and pickles. The little devil horns are little diamond shaped chunks of red pepper, and don't they look good enough to eat?

We also wrapped up a bunch of sausage mummies, but the photographs just didn't do them justice. We used sausages from Sunrise Meats down on First Street, and we were quite pleased. The shop doesn't look like much, but they've got really good meat, and if you ask nicely, frozen fish.

The reckless eyeballs below and to the right are hollowed out tomatoes stuffed with arugula, mayonnaise, and bacon, and decorated with a black olive for the pupil. They're a bit messy to eat, but who can resist an inside out BLT?

Devil Burgers

RIP Cupcakes

One of the contest winners - a chocolate cupcake done up proud.

Reckless Eyeballs

Keywords: halloween, fish, food

07/06/06 - Amazing Yukon Salmon at Bella Italia

We just had dinner at Bella Italia, and we had some of the best salmon we've ever had, and living out here in Port Angeles, that's saying a lot. According to our usually reliable source, this was salmon from up in the Yukon, a bit expensive, but worth it every bite. It was rich and fatty, and cooked very simply. There were no left overs. According to another of our other usually reliable sources, what made this salmon so special was that it was summer salmon, all fattened up, but not very far up stream yet. That's the kind you almost never get in restaurants, let alone at the supermarket. But, we do get it out here in Port Angeles. The word is that this salmon will be on the menu for the next few weeks. If you are in town for the Lavender Festival, this is your big chance to see what salmon can be.

Keywords: food, fish, restaurants, port angeles, salmon

The Sappho Maiden

07/01/06 - The Sappho Maiden - Murder or Xylocide?

We were shocked to learn that the disappearance of the Sappho maiden was due to foul play! For years we had been fond of the wooden maiden as we drove past her near the junction of routes 101 and 113, but then the gas station at the well marked junction burned down, and then, one horrible day, the Sappho maiden was gone leaving only her plinth.

We had assumed that the story had to do with the decline of the Sappho junction, but we were enlightened by a recent email from a Mrs. O informing us that the Sappho maiden was only one of several victims of vandalism. How can people be such fiends! She wrote:

"I agree that it is sad that the maiden was removed, but worse yet is why. I live in the area and we were saddened by a series of chainsaw vandalism that occured about 6 months ago. I don't know which came first but a significant piece of the totem pole in Forks was cut out, making it necissary that it be removed until repairs were made. It has not yet been replaced. The sappho maiden was beheaded, so it was removed, I have no knowledge of whether the head was found or if repair plans have been made. I also believe that the running fish in Clallam Bay was damaged in some way, he too has been removed, but I think he was repaired already and replaced. Sorry to give bad news, but I figured I would answer your question"

So, there it is! Not only was the Sappho maiden DECAPITATED, but Fishboy, as we called him, long a fixture in Clallam Bay, was seriously assaulted, and the Forks totem pole nearly destroyed. Things have come to a sad pass. It is probably too much to hope that the chainsaw miscreants who did so much damage to our area pay for their crimes, but we can hope for a restoration of these damaged North Olympic icons.

UPDATE - 07/05 - Good news from Clallam Bay and Seiku. We still haven't gotten any pictures, but from the road Fishboy, the walking fish, AND Fishgirl, walking in her pink skirt, seemed to be in good shape. There is also good news from Beaver which, according to the Peninsula Daily News, has gotten a new giant wooden beaver mascot. We'll be looking for him (or is it her) on our next trip to the West End.

Keywords: sappho maiden, fish

Hull Family Shrimp

05/19/06 - Hull Family Shrimp

On our way back from Port Townsend we noticed a sign for shrimp not far from the casino in Blyn. We were soon following the twisty roads to The Hull Family Shrimp compound at 152 Thompson Road. They had shrimp, but only the smaller ones, and only cooked. They were most apologetic, but the big shrimp they said would not be available until June 15th. The smaller shrimp, sold cooked and with their heads on were fresh and delicious. We bought a couple of pounds at an excellent price and the very next morning woke up to a shrimp and garlic revuelto with lots of Tabasco sauce. What a morning!

We can hardly wait for big shrimp season. We'll give them a call at 360 683 6219, and make a special trip out to Blyn.

Keywords: fish, port townsend

Great Tuna Fish

05/15/06 - Best Tuna Fish In The World

We rarely expect all that much from a can of tuna. Canned tuna is one of those products that can be good, or better, depending on how you use it, but we recently came across a can of Ventresca Bluefin tuna from an outfit called Gustiamo, and we were amazed. The flavor was rich and soft, almost like a perfect tuna confit, packed in olive oil. The texture was soft and silky. We made up a dish of the tuna with white beans, marjoram, nicoise olives, sweet onion and tomato. We ate it straight from the can. We had it on bread. We like Bumble Bee tuna well enough, but this is just in another class. The price is too. Yes, it is expensive, but we have never eaten tuna this good before.

Keywords: fish

04/24/06 - A Kaleberg Russian Easter

Every year Russian Easter comes to the Kaleberg household, and that means butter, and more butter, and even more butter. That's right, Russian Easter means butter, and fish eggs, and buckwheat pancakes and a sink full of champagne. Every year we make buckwheat pancakes, blini, and we make our own pork sausage with carroway seeds, and we drink quarts of champagne.

This year, we wanted to try something different, so we broke open our Kaleberg Russian Kookbook [sic] and found a few more authentic Russian recipes. To find out more, check out this Kaleberg special report.

The Defense of Moscow
Enemies of the Czar
Trotsky's Bane

Keywords: russian easter, fish, food, special report, kale

Flying Fish Restaurant

04/09/06 - Update On Flying Fish

We were in Seattle the other day and had a really great meal. It had been a while, so we were pleased to find Flying Fish as good as ever, and now they are open for lunch.

Click here for our updated restaurant review of Flying Fish.


Keywords: seattle, restaurants, fish

King Crab Legs w/Angle Hair Pasta

11/14/05 - Fresh Alaskan King Crab Legs

This is one of those dishes that one reads about, but that one never sees served in restaurants. Most Alaska king crab is frozen when it is caught, or as soon as the ship arrives in port. The only people who get fresh king crab legs are people who catch them for themselves.

One of the advantages of living in Washington State is that Alaska is sort of the next state to the north, if you don't count British Columbia and the like. This means that the folks at Bella Italia were able to snarf a some fresh Alaskan king crab legs from their friends to the north. We were trying to figure out what to do for dinner when we got the call. Dave Senters was cooking, the crab was in, and we were ready.

The dish pictured above is a plate of fresh Alaskan king crab meat with fried bread crumbs, fried garlic, baby potatoes, and fresh scallions in brown butter sauce with balsamic vinegar on angel hair pasta. We were quite impressed. The crab meat was richer in flavor than our own local Dungeness crab meat, and had a meaty, almost chunky texture. It was as sweet as local crab, but the chunks were larger. If you've ever had Alaskan kind crab legs at an upmarket brunch, you probably remember them as a bit bland and watery, perhaps even a bit stringy. There was none of this here. This crab had legs, and it stood up to a powerfully flavored pasta dish quite nicely.

We aren't sure if your local restaurant provides this kind of service, but if you do get a call saying that the fresh Alaskan king crab legs are in, don't wait. Even at 3AM it is worth scrambling down for a taste of this king of the crabmeats.

Keywords: fish, food, dungeness, restaurants, washington state, alaska

Sea Star at Second Beach

08/15/05 - Sea Stars

We often see starfish at Second Beach, particularly at low tide, but on our last visit we saw several stranded sea stars. You can tell they are echinoderms, related to the starfish and sea urchins, because they have five fold body symmetry. In fact, they look a lot like starfish, except they have 20 legs, rather than just five.

We've updated our tide tables for La Push, which is right near, and has almost the same tide schedule as, Second Beach. You can even download an iCal calendar to set up a trip at low tide so you can explore the tide pools and caves more easily.

Keywords: second beach, animals, fish, tides

Ivory King Seafood

06/18/05 - Ivory King Seafood

We were out at Nash Huber's stand in Dungeness and since it was Saturday between 1 PM and 5 PM, we ran into Ivory King Seafood. The lady right ahead of us bought the last halibut, an awfully good looking fish. We went for one of the salmon, which was caught locally, by line.

We'll have to make our way out to Dungeness on Saturday or Sunday afternoons more often.

Keywords: fish, dungeness, nash huber, salmon

A FishSome Nuts

03/23/05 - Fish and Nuts Recipe Generator

What a productive day. Here is our fish and nuts recipe generator. It's sort of approximate, but it's an easy recipe and it works with all sorts of ingredients. Hit the button a few time and see if you get any ideas.

Keywords: fish, recipe

09/06/04 - Seattle Notes

We were in Seattle yesterday, but we weren't going to the Huskies game or Bumbershoot. We sort of avoid stuff like that. Instead, we checked out Uwajimaya on 6th and Weller. This is the anchor store for the International District and includes a good Pacific Rim (and Pacific Middle, since it includes Hawaiian food) food court, a great fish store, a book store and it even has apartments upstairs. We were checking out stuff for our upcoming luau, so we bought some fresh gold label nori for the ahi tuna sushi, poked at the taro leaves wrapped in bundles and waved a few bunches of ti leaves about.

The real find though was in the pig department. If you were ever a Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel the Whatever fan, you may remember that the good guys often needed a reliable supply of blood to feed to friendly or captive vampires. Whenever we pass the blood distribution center on 68th and Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, we always think of this problem of feeding vampires. Only in New York City would they have a vampire friendly blood bank that delivers. How convenient can it get? If that new prima donna or best selling author has unusual culinary needs, all you have to do is call for take out. (Do they stuff menus under your door?)

Since Buffy and Angel were set in California, they couldn't just pick up the phone and order blood. They tended to use pig blood. This just gets us to the problem of getting pig blood, and that gets us to Uwajimaya where they sell it frozen. More importantly, they sell pig skin and sweet little pig's feet. It is surprisingly hard to buy pig skin. Even if you have your own pig slaughtered, the skin and feet are usually wholesaled or trashed since they requires a lot of processing to make them kitchen friendly.

So, if you do want to make a proper cassoulet, you can get pig skin and pig's feet at Savenors in Boston, Faicco's in New York City or at Uwajimaya in Seattle. A French housewife would be right at home.

We also made our pilgrimage to The Spanish Table at the bottom of Pike's Market and bought some really good paella rice. Did you know that paella rice is drier that Arborio rice used in risotto? We didn't, but now we do. In a sort of conservation of pig's blood rule, The Spanish Table was out of morcilla, black pig's blood sausage.

Then we tried out Tom Douglas's new restaurant, Lola. Lola has great Greek food, with kebabs and spreads, lamb and octopus, and all through it a bit of Tom Douglas's trademark Northwestern style. Why not salmon kebabs? Why not a real lamb burger with pickled green peppers? Go for the roasted potatoes alone.

Keywords: seattle, food, restaurants, fish, luau, new york city, salmon

08/03/04 - Salmon Off A Truck

Yesterday, we took a hike along the Elwha River Trail. We didn't get really far, but we did get to our favorite overlook between the two canyons on the route to Lilian Camp. This might not have been much of a hike by some people's standards, but we were tired enough after two and a half hours on the trail and an overall climb of about 950 feet.

Needless to say, by we were hungry on the drive home, so we planned to drop by the Safeway and get ourselves the fixings for a steak hash. We turned down Lincoln and there we saw our answer, right in the Rite Aid / Goodwill parking lot.

The Rite Aid and the Goodwill thrift shop share a huge parking lot, and often there will be someone in a van or pickup truck selling stuff at the far end. Sometimes they are selling firewood. Others sell flowers or fruit, today, there was a group selling salmon.

"SALMON", the sign screamed at us. We slammed on the brakes and turned in.

"What kind of salmon do you  have?", we asked.

Elwha Impressions

The blue and green light of the Elwha River Trail is something special. It's like an Impressionist painting.

We decided to experiment with our Sebsoft Impressionist special effect for iMovie. Click on the picture above for the Quicktime movie.
"We've got some silvers and also some king."

"King salmon, we'll take some of that."

"We caught them yesterday out near Neah Bay."

The next thing you know we were poking around in the ice chest on the back of the truck and breathing in the salty scent of the sea. Fresh fish doesn't smell like fish. It smells like the sea.

"Wow, that's a big one", we remarked pointing at what seemed the Moby Dick of salmon.

"That's the one everybody is asking what it weighs."

"Let's find out."

It weighed in at 13 1/2 pounds. It was quite a fish. We paid up and raced home. Safeway could wait.

While the grill heated up we took the last three of Nash Huber's nectarines we had on the counter, all eight of our Shiro plums from our dwarf trees, a few of our pie cherries, two medium onions, chopped, a whole bunch of Nash's coriander, some salt, some pepper and a couple of teaspoons a five spice powder, and we stuffed them into the boned fish. (We removed the spine and most of the bones ourself. It's hard to bone a fish on the back of a truck).

We wrapped the fish in aluminum foil and popped it on a hot fire. We were worried that the fire might be too hot, but the fish could take it. The skin and flesh merged to form a sort of crackling layer which was absolutely scrumptious.

We flipped the fish over after 25 minutes. It was quite a struggle. It weighed at least ten pounds without the head and tail, but we did it. The fire was cooler now, so we let the fish cook another 40 minutes. It was perfectly done. Even the onions in the middle were cooked. It was amazingly good. There is nothing quite like fresh salmon and a tart fruit based stuffing.

We had it with New Zealand spinach from the Farmer's Market, but that's another story.

Keywords: elwha, trails, fish, movies, flowers, nash huber, salmon

07/09/04 - Stuffed Salmon, CostCo Style

We were at the CostCo which was having their summer time fish market selling whole wild sockeye salmon among other goodies. We had to have a fish. The garrulous fishman got us a fish, and a recipe to cook it with.

He told us to filet the fish and then stuff it with chunks of peaches, chunks of walla walla sweet onions, fresh coriander and lavender. We had a five pound fish, so we used three nectarines, a whole sweet onion, several big fists full of coriander, two or three lavender flowers from our plantation, a half teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper. We substituted nectarines for peaches since we found better nectarines at the store.

We slammed the fish shut around the stuffing and wrapped the filet in aluminum foil. When the fire was hot and ready on the grill we gave it about 15 to 20 minutes on each side. With a five pound fish, we'll recommend the higher number to get it cooked through for a total cooking time of 40 minutes.

The fish was delicious. The filling was basically a classical Caribean salsa, like one of our favorites made with mango, red onion and coriander, but this one had a true Northwest flavor, so it was perfect for salmon. Next time, we'll go for even more coriander.

Sorry about the lack of photos, but we were so hungry that we dined before getting out our camera.

Keywords: food, fish, flowers, salmon, recipe

05/19/04 - Copper River Salmon Has Arrived

The Copper River salmon is in. We picked up a filet in Seattle and are going to grill it.

Also, we've been thinking about the old computer game of Dazzle Darts. It was one of those rather simple games, like Pong, that came out of the 1970s, except that Dazzle Darts seems to have vanished.

Keywords: food, fish, science, seattle, salmon