Archive for the ‘Fish & Shellfish’ Category

Say Aloha To The Aloha Roll & 1/2 Price Sake At Sapporo Sushi.

February 22nd, 2013 No comments

Sushi - Aloha Roll

UH-LOW-HAH Aloha Roll (above) — We can’t wait to go back to Sapporo Sushi (f/k/a Niko Niko Sushi) to have it again.  It’s made with Baked Pineapple, Spicy Tuna, Avocado and Mango.

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A Tempura Special Roll of some sort (above) for another table — It sure looked good.

Sushi - Hungry Roll

We also had the Hungry Roll (above), which is layer upon layer of texture and flavor.  It’s over the top.  Watching it be made was crazy — It’s got Shrimp Tempura, Spicy Tuna, Popcorn Shrimp, Avocado and Crab.  Sapporo Sushi is near CSULB off PCH/7th Street in Long Beach.

The Crab Cooker: Welcome Dear (Smoked) Fish Eaters.

February 19th, 2013 No comments

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The Crab Cooker — It’s one of my favorite landmarks in Newport Beach.

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It’s been simple and enjoyable since 1951.

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For some reason it’s hard to find consistently good Smoked Fish around here, so I’m glad it always seems to be available at The Crab Cooker.  Elsewhere it’s been previously frozen and defrosted, too dry, refrigerator flavored, unappetizing looking, or it’s too expensive.

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Smoked Albacore and Smoked Salmon are favorites to have at home, as often as possible.

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Fish options and prices vary.

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It’s a Restaurant and Fish Market that’s walking distance from the Newport Beach Pier.

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I’m always happy to eat at The Crab Cooker and perfectly satisfied afterwards.

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Smoked Fish To Go — I like their Tartar Sauce, but my Cocktail Sauce is better.

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And King Crab Legs could be my favorite food of all, if I had to pick one.

A Day In Malibu With Much To Do, See And Eat (Again Please).

February 6th, 2013 No comments

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Perhaps the best Blackened Catfish we’ve had is at the Reel Inn in Malibu off PCH.

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We took a drive along the coast and love where we landed (all day long).

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We’d go back to the Reel Inn for the very same thing and more after I study the menu.

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I wanted to buy the Cajun Spice but they don’t sell it and wouldn’t tell what’s in it.

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It’s a Fish Market and Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

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Pictured above is Spuddy Freis aka Mr. Potato Freis who traveled with us — We’re dorks.

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View across the street from the Reel Inn (above).

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On the way to Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, near Malibu.

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Still on PCH heading towards Mr. Magoo or something phonetically like it. 😉

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What a find — It’s the Old Place (below) and we’re so glad we peeked inside.

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It’s a (circa) 50 year old BAR in a 100 year old building with cool people inside.

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We appreciated the smiling guy singing with a guitar and genuinely friendly patrons.

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Cheers with a non-fancy Wine glass — We’re told to try the Steamed Clams next time.

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Loved the Old Place — It’s stylish all around it with unique shopping and Wine Tasting too.

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Finally made it to Paramount Ranch on a mostly overcast day, but all was historically beautiful.

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Paramount Ranch — It’s where many old westerns were filmed and a fun place to explore.  You’re free to roam around and play outside the Saloon, Barber Shop, Sheriff’s Office and other structures — We cracked up making short, funny videos that we’re still laughing at.

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Back to the Fish in Malibu (hopefully someday) and more of everything this day, please.

Bye Bye Burnt Toast? Rusty Pelican Has A Champagne Brunch.

October 27th, 2012 No comments

Can’t have Burnt Toast featured at the top of the page for too long — Who wants to keep staring at that?  Not me.  Our recent Brunch at the Rusty Pelican was excellent (and much prettier to see).  That’s all about it for now.  We’ll go back for more info and Champagne.

Redondo Beach Pier Fresh Fish Markets And Old-Time Arcade.

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

Under the boardwalk, we’ll be having some fun — At the Redondo Beach Pier, people walking above.  Fish Markets and Old-Time Arcades, people falling in love.  I’m grateful to be reminded of the magic that’s there and hope to return to experience more soon.  There’s so much to do.

And much more to eat under the boardwalk around the Redondo Beach Pier.

Many things I love like Crab and Lobster, but we weren’t so excited about the Sea Urchin.

Others were eating ’em up, after a breaking of its shell and a quick rinse of water.

Several fresh Oyster types were available to be shucked and consumed.

The offerings are varied and seem endless — Pick something, have it cooked and eat outside.

Free cooking — Broiled, fried or otherwise.

Smelt — I remember my Mom serving them for dinner when I was a kid and I liked them.

We opted for Ceviche this day — There are so many choices above and under the boardwalk.

Ceviche, Tortillas and a giant Pacifico on the patio with much more to go.

One of my favorite Old-Time Arcades is here near the Pier.

We had a blast with $20 — Its old-time prices go with its nostalgic experience.

Mostly old-fashioned games meet a few worthy new ones — Didn’t catch the Candy though.

Caught a Jawbreaker that escaped during its retrieval and bounced down the boardwalk. 🙂

Like some newer Arcades, tickets are earned towards prizes.

We chose Surprise Boxes — The sampling above wasn’t too bad.  I can use the basting brush.

This day we also walked along the shore from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach (and back), ultimately to El Torasco, a long-time favorite Mexican restaurant of mine, and then barely made it back to Hermosa before the sun went down — A beautiful day indeed!

The ‘You Pick I Prepare’ Dinner: Very American Slam Book Answers.

September 27th, 2012 1 comment

Whole Foods Market Newport Beach came along just in time to elevate the Special Menu (below) — It’s an incredible store and where I bought the best of the best ingredients for a “You Pick, I Prepare” Dinner.  And I thank Whole Foods Market for its $100 Gift Card towards all.  Though this post is partially sponsored, I will always tell it like it is, yo yo yo. 😉

What would you pick?  Remember Slam Books?  What’s your favorite FOOD?  Fill-in the blanks.

My answers would be very different than these, with all due respect — That’s all I’m gonna say.  Okay, I might heckle about it later.  My Slam Menu picks would likely include King Crab Legs and a Soufflé.  I got off easy with the Special Menu above, though still managed to create fodder for ‘The Bad’ segment of Nibbles of Tidbits.  It’s always a learning experience.

Most turned out well.  The Shrimp for the Shrimp Cocktail was sweet and tender, not tough, and I thank the Whole Foods Market Seafood Department for deveining them for me.  It saved a lot of time and it’s a job I certainly don’t love.  Now that’s some super service!

The Split Pea and Ham Soup (made without a recipe) fortunately turned out tasty as all get out.  And the Parmesan Crisps are what’s best about this Caesar Salad — It’s Shaved Parmesan Cheese that’s cooked in a skillet on medium (without oil) until golden brown and crisp.  I always add ’em instead of Croutons.  And then there’s the Meatloaf… Meatloaf, really?

It’s mostly ironic, since I never liked it.  Growing up I’d ask what’s for dinner and when my Mom would laughingly say “your favorite” I knew it was Meatloaf.  She knew it was the opposite of my favorite.  And here I am faced with it again.  I got past it by converting my true favorite Meatball Recipe into a Meatloaf, and served it with a Sauce made of Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onions (puréed).  If I think of a Meatloaf as a giant Meatball, I’m better.

I’ve made plenty of Twice Baked/Re-Stuffed Potatoes in my life and most have turned out perfectly fine, but these didn’t.  Isn’t that terrific when it matters.  They tasted good, but had too much Cheese (with Butter), which made all runny and oily.  Wouldn’t you know it?!

The Carrots were a bonus — They were roasted in the oven with Sweet Onions and Garlic.

And then there’s the Banana Cream Pie aka Banana Pot Pie, as dubbed by the mystery guest.  The Pie didn’t set and I’m not sure why.  Cornstarch has been problematic for me lately and will opt for Flour next time.  A Chocolate Bundt Cake from a mix was made for backup.

It was suggested that the Banana Cream ‘Pudding’ be spooned over the Chocolate Cake.

All was not lost.  Nothing was lost.  It was all good — And the time was especially great.

Thanks Whole Foods Market Newport Beach — I look forward to seeing you again.

Pretending To Be On Holiday On A Holiday At Woody’s Wharf.

September 3rd, 2012 No comments

At Woody’s Wharf on Labor Day, one stop on our ten mile walk — It’s how we roll on a holiday.

In Newport Beach, we pretend to be somewhere far away, though it’s nice to be able to walk there. And we toast to the Smoked Fish Appetizer at Woody’s Wharf. We’d go back for it.

No more labor on this Labor Day — That’s what it’s for, right?! Signing out for now.

You Had Me With A Crumb Between The Cushions.

August 28th, 2012 No comments

Do you see the unfocused jeans draped over a chair in the distant background?  CK would stay here and so would I — Not sure where it’s found, perhaps in the bizarro world, but it applies to this prominent food blog because… Do you see the Bowl of Fruit in the forefront with Champagne on the side?  That’s enough with this photo, and then there’s the Fish. 😉

The Tap Shack NB: Catch A Lobster & Dispense Your Own Beer.

August 22nd, 2012 No comments

Have you been to the Tap Shack yet?  It’s in Newport Beach where The Arches once occupied and has only been open a couple months.  I miss The Arches, but appreciate many aspects of the Tap Shack.  Starting off, any spot with an outdoor patio is a winner to me.  Crab Cake?

The Tap Shack NB takes advantage of the large patio and cues from the Tap House HB.

The MENU impressed me secondly.  It’s sophisticated and extensive — I wanted everything.

We tried (top down) the Golden Crab Cakes, Grilled Artichoke and Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip.

Dispense Beer from 1 (or more) of 8 self-pouring taps — It’s one of the coolest things.

You’re given a Beer key which activates the tap and charges per ounce.

You don’t have to wait for a Beer here — We like that, unless there’s a long line. 😉

The Tap Shack Newport Beach joins in on the Taco Tuesday offerings with $1.50 Tacos.

And during Happy Hour all appetizers are 50% off — It’s the best time to try a lot.

All appetizers (as listed) appeal to me — The Taphouse Prime Sliders are pictured above.  They were my friend’s favorite and I liked the Grilled Artichoke best, though it could’ve been cooked a little longer.  We highly value the portion sizes, but the unclaimed favorites seemed bland.

And I don’t care what some people say about it, I like the Lobster Zone Game.

Catch a Lobster and they’ll cook it for you — $2.00 to play.  Different to see and amusing.

Self-pouring Beer taps are inside and out — Where’s our server?  Wait… Ta daaa!  Awesome.

The Tap Shack NB is a fine sports and entertainment option in the neighborhood.  Just overlook the typos on the menu (or laugh at them) and commend the otherwise refined, lengthy selection.  There’s much more that sounds good to try.  We’ll go back to the shack.

Another Prize For A Division Win: A Meal At Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

August 8th, 2012 No comments

Thanks OC Fair and Wahoo’s Fish Taco — It’s an appreciated compliment to my Division Win.

I opted for a Mushroom Enchilada with Green Sauce, White Rice and Cajun White Beans. 

I’ve liked Wahoo’s Fish Taco for years, especially their Green Sauce and Maui Onion Rings believe it or not — They’re the Best Onion Rings I’ve found.  Regarding the rest of their MENU, I need to venture out, and plan to soon since a co-worker says… Wahoo’s Black Beans are better than all others.  After that statement, I have to try them again, as it’s been a while.

Stickers and photos are generally plastered on the walls along a winding entrance to Wahoo’s Fish Taco.  Photos posted here were taken at the Irvine Spectrum Center.  I particularly like the bench made out of skateboard boards (above), but I’m never fond of the commonly seen lines there.  It’s best to go early or late, unless everyone else has the same idea that day.

Finding Healthy Options In Between The Indulgent At The Fair.

July 28th, 2012 1 comment

The Pineapple Express by Chicken Charlie offers a Shrimp Cocktail in a Pineapple.  I felt good after eating this one at the OC Fair — There’s much more to be reported here about the healthy options and super indulgent at the Fair, once we’re able to sojourn from the fun.

Lobster La La Land To Escape Coo Coo Land & Relish This Great Land.

July 3rd, 2012 No comments

It’s almost Independence Day and it seems my monitor may be on the blink.  Everything is blue.  It must be time for the ocean or at least Lobster to ease through the technical pain.  And independence from this computer will also be in order, so to relish life on this land.

It’s made for you and me — Land [where] I love.

I’ll stand beside it —  Happy 4th of July.  Grilled Lobster with Butter and Lemon is a bonus.

The Taste Of Orange County Is Literally And Virtually Happening Now.

June 16th, 2012 3 comments

Many will be at Verizon Amphitheater this weekend tasting Orange County’s best.  We’ll be there Saturday to see what’s up — And plan to bring it virtually @FoodBlog on Twitter.

Without The Sacrifice Of Our Veterans We Wouldn’t Be Free To BBQ.

May 28th, 2012 No comments

Our United States Veterans allow the rest of us to BBQ today — Never take that for granted.  Our sometimes Washington, DC Correspondent (dubbed by me), Steven Woo sent a report of a well spent day.  An excerpt is posted below with related photographs.  Thank you.

Attached are pix from the Wall.  The National Park Service routinely collects the artifacts but lets them accumulate on special occasions such as Memorial Day.  IMHO, the written words are the most-moving of the objects.  President Obama spoke at the Wall this afternoon; all the artifacts were cleared in advance of his visit.  Also included are pix of a Crab Feast at a friend’s house.  We spent the Sunday afternoon and evening hanging out, and didn’t make it to the National Memorial Day Concert — good thing because severe weather canceled the show half-way through.

Happy Memorial Day to all and God Bless America.

Catch The Sushi Wave: A Rainbow Connection With Nothing To Hide.

May 11th, 2012 No comments

The lovers, the dreamers and me at Sushi Wave for a lunch escape, next door to Radio Shack.

A (blurry) vision, but not an illusion — It’s a House Salad and Rainbow Roll at Sushi Wave.

Delight on a whim — Past ready for lunch, I stepped away from the audio/video connector’s world for a peaceful, fresh, satisfying bite.  Don’t let this option hide from you on Newport Blvd.

Title and word play inspired by a favorite songwriter and the pictured Rainbow Roll.

The Best Things In Life Are Free, But You Can Give ‘Em To… Me Please.

May 9th, 2012 No comments

Truly free BC, or from a public garden today, as we must pay for property space to produce.

Grow your own food, FISH and pick fresh Herbs from communal locales along the way.  

While on a walk, look for Rosemary, Mint, Basil, Lemon, Lime and Orange trees and bushes offering Fruit and Herbs.  You’ll be surprised how many you see, especially those named here.  We appreciate ALL that grows and yields nourishment for life.  Air is the best of the free!

“Fresh” Smoked Albacore, Horse Racing, Hot Dogs, Peacocks & Plants.

April 15th, 2012 No comments

Studying the Racing Form with “fresh Smoked Albacore” from Catalina Fish Kitchen — That’s how it was ordered and only how I want it.  When it’s fresh, it’s terrific, but sometimes it’s not, so keep an eye out there (and everywhere it seems lately) for freshness.  I’ve found Smoked Albacore to be most consistently fresh at The Crab Cooker and The Original Fish Company.

On to the races at Santa Anita Park — The horses are running LIVE for one more week.  Closing day happens to be Earth Day.  We almost missed ’em this year, but instead only missed the first race of this day.  That’s okay, but for the $40 I would’ve won had I got to place the bet I’d planned.  It’s all good though and an entertaining way to spend the day.

All was so fun, I semi-overlooked Ketchup on a Hot Dog. 😉

Down the street from Santa Anita Park is The Arboretum (Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden) — We stopped by after the races, but they were closed.  If what’s inside is as interesting as what’s on the outside (and I know it is), I’m excited to go back with a lot of time.

A tree I don’t want to climb.

An amazing peacock putting on a show — Its feathers were so beautiful.

I’m ready for more of everything with a Mustard Dog.

Spike’s Fish House: Hard Or Soft Taco, Slider, Wrap, Plate Or Bowl.

March 5th, 2012 No comments

Fresh Fish simply grilled to perfection at Spike’s Fish House, a fast-casual concept created by Pasta Bravo’s creator.  Do you remember Pasta Bravo?  The last one closed just a couple months ago.  It was my favorite fast-casual restaurant for Pasta; most specifically I loved their Greek Pasta Salad and the Thai one too.  I’m sad it’s gone, but happy that Spike’s in town.

Spike’s Fish House, born during low-carb times, is a respected, distant relative of Pasta Bravo.

We liked everything pictured and the nice people at Spike’s, who make all how you want it.

Check Today’s Catch, then choose a Slider, Taco, Wrap, Bowl, Salad, Plate or Sandwich. 

Pick a Sauce — Spike’s Sauce, Pico de Gallo, Chimichurri, Poke Sauce or Lemon Pesto Aioli.

We were impressed with the flavor of all Sauces, especially Spike’s that goes well with the Lettuce Wraps, and the Poke Sauce that’s great with Soba Noodles, a substitute to Rice.

Shown prepared from top down — Basa Fish Plate, Mexican Ceviche, Hard and Soft Fish Tacos.

One of the largest and best tasting Lettuce Wrap Tacos around (above).

Chowder Bowl — It’s not just Clam Chowder, it’s a Seafood Chowder with Clams.

Sliders prepared with your choice of Fish — Cute, tasty, fresh and satisfying with Spike’s Sauce.

And a Salmon Bowl — Interchangeable Fish, Sauce and Selections make the possibilities seem endless.  Spike’s Fish House also offers Chicken to those who just don’t want Fish.  There are currently two locations, this one in Laguna Niguel and another in Rancho Santa Margarita.

I Kissed A Lobster Roll (At Santa Monica Seafood) And I Liked It.

January 13th, 2012 No comments

I’d been looking for the right Lobster Roll to try and it finally came along with great satisfaction — My first ever, since they’re more popular on the East Coast.  That’s my excuse and/or they are expensive when offered and haven’t had the quality ingredients sought.

The Lobster Roll is a popular special at Santa Monica Seafood — Generous chunks of Lobster are tossed with a refreshing Lemon Aioli and Chives, then served on a soft Roll.  It’s perfect.

Dine inside, on the patio, at the Oyster Bar or take something to-go from the Fish Market.

Shucking Oysters (below) — Tell them what kind you want or what you like in an Oyster.

We tried the Kusshi (left) and Misty Pointe (right) — Both were superb, especially the MP.

They have an amazing, well displayed and serviced selection at Santa Monica Seafood.

Live Lobster, an option I’m skipping for a while.  See why here — Too much going on.

Sashimi Grade Fish is also available.  Someday I’ll make Sushi.

Several kinds of Crab, Shrimp, Lobster and Fish are sold daily.

Prices vary and may not be the same as shown here today.

Indian Candy, a sweet, salty and smoky Salmon, in the case above is a favorite.

Cheese, Wine, Herbs, cooking tools and all necessities for a nice meal or picnic are here.

Since their re-design that happened about a year ago, it’s nice to dine in with a Glass of Wine.

Our server, Ashley was awesome, sweet and cool, and reminded us of Jody Foster.

Happy Hour looks good, if you can make it in before the 5PM cut-off.  It’s an early one.

And here’s that Lobster Roll I kissed — Smooch.  Time to get a room.  It was sooooo good. 😉

Santa Monica Seafood is better than ever and family owned since 1939.

It’s a dining option I’ll think of more often — There’s a lot to see, cook and eat.

Santa Monica Seafood: Cheers To Its New-ish Design & A Good Time.

January 11th, 2012 2 comments

Whoever started Wordless Wednesday is a genius, though I rarely take full advantage of it, as you see words — There’s a lot to say about Santa Monica Seafood and its new-ish design, the Oyster Bar, the market, and the Lobster Roll that didn’t get away, but not today.

Soon back for (and with) more of everything — Cheers to that!

Now back to Wordless Wednesday                                                                     ;).

Chilled Tomato And Cucumber Gazpacho, Not Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.

December 27th, 2011 1 comment

The posted RECIPE is an Award WINNER and officially named Chilled Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho.  It’s not a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail silly — Duly advised, but it reminds me of one.  Either way, it may be the best I’ve had.  It’s fresh tasting, flavorful and super easy to make.

Chilled Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho

3 ripe Tomatoes, cored and cut into large cubes [I seeded them]

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes [I didn’t seed it; used an English Cucumber]

1/2 Green, Yellow or Orange Pepper (or tricolor combo), diced [I used half a Green, half an Orange]

1/2 Shallot, or 1 Tablespoon Red Onion, diced [Shallot]

1/2 cup Scallions, chopped

Juice of 1 Lime

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T. Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 t. Tabasco [or other hot pepper sauce, like Red Rooster, which I now like better–use 1 T.]

1/2 cup V-8 Juice [buy one small bottle at a liquor store; grocery stores only sell it by the case!]

Lemon Pepper to taste

Seasoned Salt to taste


Combine all Soup ingredients in blender until well blended (ingredients will retain some pulp, which is great).  Pour into chilled bowls and garnish as desired.  Makes 1/2 gallon–6 appetizer servings or 3 main dish servings.  Tastes better if you make it the night before.

Garnish (with one or more)

1/2 lb. chilled, cooked Shrimp [buy the fresh $10 Shrimp tray from Costco; scarf the leftovers with the Cocktail Sauce]

1 chilled, sliced Avocado

1 T. fresh Cilantro, chopped

Follow and vary the RECIPE to your taste — Above [brackets] indicate specifics by Arlene T., 2011 Best Appetizer Winner.  She agreed to share all on Nibbles of Tidbits and we thank her.

I recently made the same for a Holiday Party and everyone loved it well chilled in a cup.

Classic What Not To Do: Boiling Lobster And Prematurely Diving In.

December 17th, 2011 No comments

You can lead a Lobster Claw to Butter and Lemon, but you can’t make it taste good.   Well, it appears I can’t.  Maybe you can.  Lobster Claws often seem rubbery and too bland to me.  I’d been craving Lobster for some time now and was told it’s on sale at Gelsons.  It was time.

On the way home from work with nothing planned, I decided to treat myself, so I thought.

That all sounds terrific, but I gotta kill it.  Oh crap, I’m having a flashback.  First in ten, don’t do it again — In other words, I bought my first Live Lobster over ten years ago, but had someone else prepare it.  I just couldn’t do it.  And it didn’t help that a friend was holding it up like a puppet saying…”Don’t kill me.”  I now remember it’s not an enjoyable process.

Just Do It — I was fairly prepared to cook it this time, but discovered new issues.

I followed the boiling instructions above, though think steaming Lobster is probably better.

Unfortunately this process did not yield the generous, tender, sweet meat I was hoping for.

This Lobster’s meat was tough, semi-sweet, watery and sparse — Not good.

And then there’s the Lobster Roe in the middle of the tail, which appears to run parallel to the Lobster’s waste/vein/poop, I don’t know.  I removed both before eating the tail meat.  Not fun.  And the worst part is prematurely diving into a cross-section of the Lobster Tail, before discovering the roe-poo — Yuck.  Though some consider it a gourmet treat, I don’t.

After all was cut out, there was hardly any meat — My Lobster naivety is gone, I think?!

I learned a lot, and firmly prefer that a grilled, cleaned, fat Lobster Tail (only) be served to me.

Gelsons will steam the Whole Lobster for you at no extra charge — I was tempted, but had to prepare it (at least once) myself.  Check, done.  It’s not as easy and fruitful as it seems.

Feliz Navidad With A Mexican Shrimp Cocktail: The Winner.

December 3rd, 2011 2 comments

Voted the Best Appetizer at our Christmas Par-Tay was this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.  Recipe coming soon to this blog you see now — We be kickin’ it at this moment on a sunny Saturday.

Congrats Arlene (second from right) and thanks to Cost Plus for making it extra special.