Archive for the ‘Fish & Shellfish’ Category

Fish Cooked On A Rack In The Oven — It’s An Okay Option.

March 15th, 2010 No comments

Bertolli 001

If you can’t BBQ, grill or poach Salmon, this cooking method works well too – The above Salmon was marinated in a Chimichurri Sauce, then cooked at 350° for 15 – 20 minutes on a rack that’s placed on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Any rack will do.  There’s very little clean up and the gross white stuff (fat) that tends to collect around cooking fish is minimized.

TIP:  Save the rack from an old toaster oven before discarding it — It’ll come in handy for various cooking purposes, like this.

RA Sushi To Name Surf City’s 2010 Maki Madness Champion.

March 10th, 2010 No comments


Since this sounds like a fun contest with a great prize, and its proceeds benefit a much needed organization (all good criteria), we’ve reprinted the details here on Nibbles of Tidbits.


Attention Surf City: It’s Time to Put Your Sushi Where Your Mouth Is — March 21, 2010!

WHAT: On Sunday, March 21, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is partnering with CASA of Orange County and OC Weekly to host its inaugural Maki Madness Sushi Eating Contest to coincide with the NCAA March Madness. Whether you’re a professional food eater or just like a little competition, you’ll definitely enjoy this sushi throw-down. One participant will be named Surf City’s 2010 Maki Madness Champion – winning sushi for a year, which is equivalent to 12 $50 RA gift certificates. Think you’ve got what it takes?

All interested gamers must register in advance online at – space is limited to 40 participants. All of the proceeds from the $10 cash only registration fee and raffle (no purchase necessary), will benefit CASA of Orange County.

RA will feature its signature Tootsy Maki and offer guests a selection of themed drink specials. In addition to the sushi showdown, spectators and cheerleaders will enjoy full coverage of the NCAA March Madness tournament and may take part in mini basketball competitions.

WHEN: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: RA Sushi Bar Restaurant
The Strand in Huntington Beach
155 5th Street (at PCH)
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone: (714) 536-6390

* The Hamachi in the photo is from a Sushi experience of another time.

Dinner At Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant In Newport Beach.

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

Blackened Swordfish

The pictured meal is from the Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant in Newport Beach.  We love their menu.  It’s always hard to narrow down a selection.  This evening we decided on the Blackened Swordfish (above) and Pacific Sand Dabs with Beurre Blanc Sauce (below).  Both were excellent, although a larger cut of Swordfish would have been nice and perhaps some greenery on the plate would have looked better.  Other than that all was fresh and flavorful.


Bluewater Grill is also gearing up for Orange County Restaurant Week, which starts February 28th and runs through March 6th, 2010.  During that period, they’ll be offering this prix fixe menu.  It’s the best time to dine out, because you get more for your money at participating Orange County restaurants.  View the details here.

Bottle of Wine at Dinner

And we thoroughly enjoyed our bottle of Pinot Gris from King Estate.  We polished it off with our last bite of Sourdough and Butter, then went home and popped open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the rain.

The Crab Cooker’s Smoked Albacore Enjoyed On Newport’s Beach.

January 11th, 2010 2 comments

The Crab Cooker

The Crab Cooker is an oldie, but goodie in Newport Beach.  It’s been open since 1951 and still draws a crowd each day.  The prices are relatively reasonable for a beach area restaurant and the food is consistently fresh.  Most of my recent trips have been to its Fish Market.  Since the restaurant is within walking distance to the beach, we often get the Smoked Albacore to go.  With a little Cocktail Sauce and Tartar Sauce for dipping, you’re set for a beach picnic if you can successfully avoid the pesty seagulls.

Smoked Fish at The Crab Cooker

The Crab Cooker’s Smoked Salmon and King Crab Legs (pictured above) and their Manhattan Clam Chowder, Scallops on a Skewer and Romano Cheese Potatoes are also favorites of ours.  People travel miles to have the Romano Potatoes, but if you’re looking for New England Clam Chowder you won’t find it here, as they only serve Manhattan, which is different because most seafood restaurants only offer New England.

Surfing in January

On this beautiful day in January, we enjoyed our Smoked Albacore on the beach while watching the brave surfers and boogie boarders — The water is still way too cold for me, even with a wetsuit, but it’s entertaining (and warmer) to watch.

Boogie Boarding in January

Can you tell what’s in the photo below?  It’s our magnified sliced Smoked Albacore with Tartar Sauce and Lemon to go.

Magnified Smoked Albacore, Tartar and Lemon

FYI:  There’s a second Crab Cooker in Tustin, California.  For location information, the menu and more restaurant history, click here.  Eat lots of fish!

Merry Christmas From Nibbles Of Tidbits.

December 25th, 2009 No comments

Seared Ahi

Merry Christmas to you and God bless us ALL!  We thank the Lord for all the amazing nourishments on earth and for so much more.  Have a wonderful Christmas.

* Photo is of the Seared Ahi Sashimi we recently enjoyed at the Yard House.  Its colors are vibrant like a joyous day.

Baked Trout With Good Seasons Italian Dressing.

December 2nd, 2009 2 comments

Baked Trout

We briefly reported about this before, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again — It’s Baked Trout with Good Seasons Italian Dressing.  It’s super easy to make and one of our favorite home meals.

Misc 002

We’ve probably made it a hundred times over the years, but recently came across an official recipe on  It’s a terrific combination that takes minutes to prepare.  If we don’t have Trout on hand, we’ll occasionally use butterflied Coho Salmon.

Comfort Food: Orange Roughy Chowder Quick From Scratch.

November 9th, 2009 2 comments


I love my Quick From Scratch Food & Wine Cookbooks — They seem to have the best recipes.  Today I made the Corn and Cod Chowder with Orange Roughy instead of Cod, since it was the freshest Fish at the market.  I like Cod in this recipe too, but Orange Roughy is a tasty substitution.  All other ingredients are the same, except I used Chicken Stock in place of the Clam Juice.  It’s usually a seamless replacement I prefer in recipes.  I like Clams, but have a mental problem adding Clam Juice to a recipe.  When called for, I’ll generally substitute Chicken, Vegetable, Shrimp or Lobster Stock.

Chowder 011

As you can see from the cookbook stains, I’ve had Food & Wine’s Quick From Scratch Fish & Shellfish for quite sometime and everything I’ve made from it has turned out great.  That can’t be said about all cookbooks, thus I highly recommend this one and Food & Wine’s Quick From Scratch Pasta.  I’ve made many fabulous meals from both.

Chowder 019Chowder 015Chowder 003

It’s Soup season and time to make comfort dishes that fragrant the house.  They’re cozy, convenient and ready to be warmed up for lunch or dinner throughout the week.  All I need tonight is a piece of Sourdough with (real) Butter, a bowl of this New England style Chowder and a blankie.  The work is done and now it’s pure enjoyment time.

Nibbles of Tidbits is Cookin’ Up a New Theme.

October 10th, 2009 1 comment

Camping Carlsbad 005

Nibbles of Tidbits will be getting a new look this Saturday & Sunday — It’ll still be simple, yet updated.  Any transitional formatting issues are in the process of being corrected.  Thus if you see weirdness (overlaps, covered text, or other), it’s just temporary growing pains.  We’re excited about the future and plan to do a lot more cooking, dining and reporting here. 

Rename 007

Although these photos don’t represent the theme of this post, they were thought to be nice to look at while testing out our final theme selections.  Both were taken while camping in Carlsbad — We experienced the gorgeous sunset while basting skewered Shrimp with Lime, Soy Sauce and melted Butter on our portable grill.  Ciao.

Lingcod Fish — It’s Green, It’s Blue, It’s White.

June 2nd, 2009 1 comment


I always thought Lingcod Fish was a kind of Cod, but it’s not Cod at all.  The related links will tell the rest of the story.  I was also amazed to see that frozen the Fish is green (above), uncooked it’s blue (below), and cooked it’s white.  It was fun seeing the colors change.


Although Lingcod can be blue, green or white, it always cooks up white.  I received a few pieces from a couple local fishermen friends.  I poached ’em in a wine-herb combination that’s really not worth mentioning.  And ultimately Lingcod won’t be one of my favorites — It’s okay, but I’d rather they catch something else next time.


Related Links:

Trying More Food At 8 Steers Restaurant.

May 22nd, 2009 No comments


8 Steers Fish & Steakhouse Restaurant is located in Costa Mesa off busy Harbor Boulevard.  Since I’m within walking distance from it a couple days a week, I’ve been trying a few Sides and Sandwiches for lunch.  So far we’ve tried the Cajun Fish Sandwich, which comes with a choice of Coleslaw, Chips and something else (tba).  The Fish on this Sandwich is Basa Fish.  It’s a type of Catfish I’ve never tried before.  It was a nice piece and the texture is similar, but I can tell I like Catfish better.  And I didn’t care for the Bread it’s served on — It got soggy, but the Remoulade Sauce made it all okay.


The Brussels Sprouts Side is a generous serving and pretty good.  It’s different and seems to have Bacon and Horseradish or Wasabi in it.  And I like their Coleslaw — It’s more Vinegary than Mayonnaisey.


Pictured above middle is Ginger and Scallion Mashed Potatoes, another uniquely flavored Side — They’re good too.  I really like 8 Steers’ menu and look forward to trying and reporting about more.

8 Steers DIRECT:

What is Basa Fish?:

8 Steers’ Kobe Sliders:

UPDATE 08/01/09:  It appears they are no longer open for Lunch, just Dinner and Happy Hour starting at 4PM.

Bandera Restaurant, American Cooking In CDM.

March 30th, 2009 1 comment


Bandera is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group — A collection of high quality restaurants that serve great food.  Walking from the nearby beach in Corona Del Mar (CDM), we stopped in Bandera on PCH.  This day we had the Sliced Leg of Lamb with Red Chili Sauce and Escabèche.  I love the Escabèche and want to go back for more.  The Lamb was good too, but I’m not sure about its presentation — It looked a little deflated. 🙂


Halibut was the Fresh Fish and we got it with the Braised Red Cabbage and Goat Cheese.  The Halibut couldn’t have been better and I recognize the Cabbage from Houston’s, another Hillstone Group Restaurant.  And I’ve previously posted a Copycat Recipe for the Braised Red Cabbage HERE on Nibbles of Tidbits.

Copycat Braised Red Cabbage Recipe:

Bandera American Cooking Restaurant INFO & Menu:

A Vegetable Escabèche Recipe:

A Few Appetizers At Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

March 19th, 2009 1 comment


Most people go to Ruth’s Chris Steak House for the Steaks (obviously), but don’t overlook their Appetizer Menu.  We happily enjoyed the Sizzlin Blue Crab Cakes, with huge lumps of Crabmeat that come sizzling in Lemon Butter.


The Shrimp served with the Shrimp Cocktail is also large and come served with Cocktail Sauce or Remoulade Sauce.  We had to get both, which are above par in taste.  The Remoulade Sauce is extra impressive and flavorful.


The Barbecued Shrimp (above) is sautéed New Orleans style in reduced Wine, Butter, Garlic and Spices.  We especially liked the Garlic flavor in the Sauce, and it comes ready with pre-dipped Bread.


And the Veal Osso Buco Ravioli comes with Sautéed Spinach.  It’s more than an Appetizer.  Their portions are good.  One should consider Ruth’s Appetizers as an excellent meal addition, or a substitution to Steak and possibly a way to have a great meal and save a few bucks.

ruth-chris-010To me, the Sweet Potato Casserole with a Pecan Crust is Dessert.  It’s served as a Side, but preferred by many as a Dessert.  Some get it served with Ice Cream.  We visited the Irvine location and found the Chef, Manager, Bartender and all staff friendly, proud and knowledgeable.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and visit.  Thanks Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Irvine.

Related Links:

Greek Spiced Baked Shrimp, I’m Already Over It.

March 8th, 2009 1 comment


This Greek Spiced Baked Shrimp Recipe is lots of places on the Internet.  To me the combination sounded intriguing and possibly gross, but several food sites sing its praise.  The recipe includes Shrimp, Feta, Dill and Cinnamon among other things.  The way some raved about it made me want to try it.  So I finally made it and wasn’t impressed.  It’s not bad, but it’s not really good either.  With all due respect, I won’t be making it “again and again” like too many exclaim.


Below are just two of the posts/links [The RECIPE] I found regarding the same Greek Spiced Baked Shrimp pictured HERE.

And here’s a link to a “Spicy” Baked Shrimp Recipe I WILL make again:

Kimera At Bloomingdales For Restaurant Week.

February 26th, 2009 No comments


Continuing with the Orange County Restaurant Week Cooking Demonstrations at Bloomingdales South Coast Plaza is Kimera Restaurant & Lounge.  Chefs from Kimera made Crab Cakes and Shrimp Spring Rolls.  Both seemed so quick and easy to make BECAUSE all the ingredients were chopped ahead of time.  I subsequently had the IDEA to raid a Salad Bar for quick Spring Roll contents.  Good idea huh!?  That’s what I’ll do when I make them.


Kimera representatives so kindly gave all the Cooking Demonstration guests a $20 Gift Certificate.  Thank you — I’ve been wanting to go there.

Kimera Restaurant & Lounge:

Orange County Restaurant Week:

Previous Cooking Demonstrations:

Cooking Demonstrations At Bloomingdales SCP.

February 15th, 2009 1 comment


Today Orange County Restaurant Week kicked off its pre-event festivities with the first of 13 Cooking Demonstrations to be held at Bloomingdale’s Home Store, South Coast Plaza.  Chef De Cuisine Brian Black of The Loft at The Montage Laguna Beach prepared Barbecue-Braised Laughing Bird Shrimp with Warm Winter Citrus Vinaigrette, Spinach and Pine Nuts.  It’s one of the dishes to be offered during the inaugural Orange County Restaurant Week, February 22-28, 2009.

Participating restaurants will be serving three-course pre-fixe lunches for $10 & $20, and dinners for $20, $30 and $40.  During that time and leading up to it, select Chefs will demonstrate how to prepare dishes featured on their respective OC Restaurant Week menus.  It’s a good way to sample a few items and see how they’re made. 


The related Demos started today and will continue through the end of  OC Restaurant Week.  We’ll hopefully see and taste more.  Chef Manny Gomez of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Irvine will be making Sweet Potato Casserole and Creamed Spinach at Bloomingdale’s Home Store on February 19 — That’s of interest.  The rest of the schedule and more information is linked below.

Orange County Restaurant Week INFO:

Laughing Bird Shrimp INFO:

Something Different Than Ikea’s Meatballs.

February 5th, 2009 No comments


Ikea’s Restaurant & Cafe is one of the best places for lunch.  On Wednesdays I work in an office across the street from an Ikea — The inexpensive menu, unique foods, spacious dining area, cafeteria style ordering, and large windows make if a perfect place for lunch.  And I’ve finally figured out how to leave the place without having to walk through the entire store, HA.  That’s important!

I’ve always had their Swedish Meatballs, but they’ve got other dishes I’d like to try.  This week it was Salmon with an Apple Glaze (I think), with Potatoes and Carrots.  The vegetables were over-cooked, but tasted okay.  The Salmon was good with the Lemony Sauce they offer, but I really didn’t taste “Apple” in/on anything.  Until I must have the Meatballs again, I look forward to trying new things on Wednesdays.

See Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs HERE:

Fish Poached In Wine — This Time It’s Sculpin.

January 5th, 2009 No comments

I’m lucky to know a couple Fishing Charter Captains — Every now and then I get a fresh cut, cleaned piece of the catch.  This time it was Sculpin, which I’ve not tried.  I poached it in White White, Water, Fresh Dill, Garlic, a Bay Leaf and Pink Peppercorns. 

My preparation was an adaptation of the recipe linked below.  I used different poaching herbs, but finished the Fish with Kosher Salt, Olive Oil and Capers, which added the needed extra flavor to the Sculpin.  The Fish would have been a little bland otherwise, but the texture was flaky and white.  Thanks again Kat and Doug.

Related Links:

An Oyster & Dates At Oysters In Corona Del Mar.

December 27th, 2008 No comments

After eating at The Bungalow, one block North, we walked to Oysters Restaurant in Corona Del Mar for some appetizers and Live Jazz Music.  This visit we had a couple Oysters ($2.95 each) and the Roasted Nueske Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates with Laura Chenel Goat Cheese and a Soy Port Glaze.  The Oysters tasted fresh and the Dates were fantastic.  We wanted to eat something at a few other Corona Del Mar restaurants, but filled up after this one.  We’ll be back to try Bandera, the Quiet Woman and a lot more.

Related Links:

The Rainbow Trout Of Sleepy Hollow.

December 14th, 2008 No comments


My Dad and his friend just caught this Trout while fishing in one of Bishop, California’s Lakes.  He BBQ’d and basted it with a little Lemon and Butter, then shared it with several of us.  We’ve happily enjoyed a lot of fresh Trout over the years.

Related Links:

Yum, I’ve Got A New Great Fish Recipe.

November 12th, 2008 1 comment

Today a friend gave me some fresh caught Rockfish, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried.  I asked how she prepares it and she told me that her husband kinda poaches/simmers it in Butter, Pickle Juice and Lemon.  How easy!  And she said it’s always awesome.  

With that combination I had to do the same, and I’m so excited to know about this quick and tasty recipe.  I cooked the Rockfish for less than 10 minutes.  It just flaked apart and the broth was delicious.  I added a little Parsley at the end.  Thanks Kat and Doug.

Related Links:

What is Rockfish? –

I love Bubbie’s Pickles –

Do You SEA The Crab Cooker In Newport Beach?

November 7th, 2008 No comments

I like this picture, but it might be hard to tell that the above is fresh-sliced Smoked Albacore Tuna, Lemon and Tartar Sauce.  It’s from The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach and makes a tasty TO GO snack for the ocean and beach across the street.   

When I eat inside the restaurant, I look forward to their Cheese Potatoes, Grilled Fish and King Crab Legs.  And one time I saw Adam Ant dining there.  Do you remember him?  He was just a few tables away.  That was cool because I used to be a big fan — Dog Eat Dog, Ant Invasion, etc.  For fun and quick reference (for myself), I linked two Adam and the Ants videos below.

Okay, back to the food.  The Cheese Potatoes are reminiscent of those served at the old Seafood Broiler Restaurant.  Once upon a time I worked at the one in Lakewood.  Do you remember them?  They were great.  The Crab Cooker reminds me of the admired Seafood Broiler — So if you’ve been looking for the Cheese Potatoes ever since they closed, you should check out The Crab Cooker.  I think you’ll be happy.

Related Links: 

This Spicy Baked Shrimp Recipe Is Fabulous!

October 11th, 2008 1 comment

Like the recipe says, this Spicy Baked Shrimp recipe is yummmmmmy!  If I had more Shrimp, I’d make it again right NOW!  I halved the recipe for what’s pictured here — I need more Shrimp asap.     

I just mixed ALL the ingredients together, added the Shrimp and baked the combination in the oven for 20 minutes.  The preparation couldn’t be easier — Love that.

I served the Shrimp with warm crusty Sourdough Rolls that tasted so good dipped in the Sauce.  I’m glad I discovered this delicious recipe.  It’s officially a new, rustic and fun staple in my food repertoire.  You gotta try it too.

Related Link:

Billy’s At The Beach – What A Treat.

September 1st, 2008 No comments

Although it was the smallest piece of Swordfish I’ve received in a restaurant, it tasted good — It was topped with a Lobster Sauce.  At first I thought they gave me a Filet Mignon (HA), but then recognized its flavor and texture.  I’d prefer a better cut next time, hopefully. 

The service was excellent and the Cadillac Margaritas were nice and strong.  And we had a lovely spot on the patio overlooking the harbor.  My friend’s Blackened Halibut was perfect.  She had a great cut with beautiful white meat.  I should have taken a picture of the inside.  Overall the experience was a treat on a Saturday afternoon.


Related Links: