Tag Archives: Seafood

Cioppino Quickie Christmas Phone Blog!

25 Dec

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Behold! Its Christmas and I’m venturing into the world of mobile blogging… gross. I never thought I’d type those words exclusively with my thumbs. C and I are working on cioppino for dinner,  and DAMN it is good to make such a luxurious dish on someone else’s dime and in a far superior kitchen! Can’t wait to share photos of the results with you. Until then, HAPPY CHRISTMASTIME!!

Diner Cioppino: Not as sketchy as you’d think

19 Dec

I’m home for the weekend to celebrate an early Christmas with the family, and yesterday morning mom, dad, and I picked Beth up from the airport and spent the day having our senses assaulted at the Pike Place Market. It’s been awhile since I wandered the market, and true to form, acted the part of an overwhelmed small-towner, complete with a giant camera in one hand and the question, “HOW DOES THE CAT-TAMER KEEP HIS CATS SO TAME!? They’re wearing SWEATERS! In a CITY! With no leash!!!” Really, street busking has gotten pretty creative. So we ducked into this tiny oyster bar none us of had been to before and tested out their seafood.

Since dad was treating (thanks, dad!) I got the Cioppino with cod, mussels, clams, and shrimp… I had to test it against the Best Meal Of My Life. Obviously the diner version didn’t quite live up to my practically-religious experience of Cioppino from before, but hey, it was filling, filled with salty awesome seafood, and didn’t give me food poisoning- what more can a lady ask for?

Plus they had easily unwrappable butter (where was that for the past 22 years of my life? FOIL-WRAPPED BUTTER DOES NOT WORK, GODDAMNIT) and Coke poured from a can into a glass, which automatically makes it feel special for some reason. I don’t know why… alls I know is I love my sugar-water from a can.

Then our middle aged waitress offered us an opportunity to dig through a basket of spray painted oyster shells-turned Christmas ornaments, which threw Beth and I into fits of gleeful ridiculousness. Dear readers, Check. Out. My sister’s. CRAZY EYES! I love them! Dear Beth, thank you for allowing this gem onto the interweb… I know it’s difficult to allow the whole universe (all nine readers!) to bear witness to your awesome face.

Then, walking back to the car, we were cajoled into buying a giant bag of produce from a very persuasive produce purveyor, which boasted this fun little sign:

Whoa! Truffles! $399.99 per pound! It took some serious self control to not stick my hand in that little basket and mash them all in my fingers… but I managed not to. Instead we just bought some crazy technicolor carrots, green beans, fresh herbs, Bosc pears, and avocados. That produce man was a total pusher. And I dug it. Tomorrow… Christmas dinner! A week early! Weird, but hopefully cool! I’m seeing a pork loin in my future… and heart attack potatoes! More on that later.

Shellfish epiphanies

24 Aug

Until recently I hadn’t much dabbled in shellfish, probably because my mother has a deathly allergy to scallops and even though I know allergies aren’t hereditary, I had an inexplicable fear of my throat closing up and having to shell out (pun! pun!) ghastly amounts of money in emergency room fees lest my body suddenly decide to reject any and all sea creatures. But I put that fear aside and yesterday C and I drove down the coast to Taylor Shellfish Farms, a place I’d overlooked over the years on my numerous drives up the winding Chuckanut Drive. I had to drive 25 minutes and coerce my car into a tricky 4-point turn on a busy road to get there, but as we pulled up to the mudflats and surveyed the scattered industrial remnants of the historic farm, it was well worth it. Behind the oyster baths and muddy crab cages, wedged between a tiny and deliciously mysterious lighthouse and a trawler dubbed something hilarious like “Ellen,” (though I can’t remember the exact name) we entered the retail shop. We bought a modest pound of pink sea scallops and two pounds of mussels, dropped a whopping $12.50 (mussels are so cheap! Why don’t people eat them every day!?), and headed home.

We were hankering for a restaurant-worthy fancy Italian meal, so we boiled up some fresh linguine and C whipped up a sauce from heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, parsley, shallots, and white wine.

We sauteed up some mushrooms with halved cherry tomatoes and steamed the mussels and scallops in more wine and more garlic. Over the past year it has become wildly apparent that all you really need to make a fancy-ass meal is fresh ingredients and LOTS of garlic and LOTS of white wine. Everything is better when cooked in white wine. Why is that?

Suffice to say our meal was TOTALLY RESTAURANT WORTHY. And holy balls, are mussels pretty to look at. Pretty, and overtly sexual, YOWZA. I asked a coworker today why he and so many others were turned off by shellfish, and he told me that he thinks it’s the sliminess, but I think ya’ll are just PRUDES.

Don’t tell me that’s not something you wouldn’t pay for at a fancy Italian restaurant. Ok, well realistically I wouldn’t, but I would order it if my dad were taking me out for dinner. Or if I had a sugar daddy. Or if I were on a date with someone I recently realized was a total creep, but it was too late to leave and I already had the menu in front of me. Then I’d be like, “BAM I WANT THE EXPENSIVE STUFF. AND ALSO A BOTTLE OF WINE, SUCKER.” Which is probably why boys don’t take me out on dates.

Pretty, pretty! And the cream sauce! OH GOD THE CREAM SAUCE. If I keep up like this I’m totally going to gain a hundred pounds and then C is going to be all, “gross, woman, you used to look okay and now you look like an oompa loompa.” But it’ll be all his fault because he encourages my unhealthy obsession of drenching all dishes in copious amounts of heavy cream. As far as I’m concerned, there’s really no other way.

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