Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Hawthornes Attend Another Seafood Series Class At The Aquarium. Blue Water Grill And Raw Bar.

If you've been keeping up with me,
then you'll know that this season is all about lionfish.
Lionfish is not something you're going to find
at your local fishmonger's.
All the lionfish we ate was procured
by the NC Aquarium dive team.
This is all part of an effort
to diminish the rapidly increasing numbers
of the invasive lionfish in our Atlantic waters
and to introduce this species to both chefs and consumers.

You can see earlier preparations here:
Back in November, Chef Andy Montero
And in March, Chefs Johanna and Justine Lachine
of Café Lachine in Nags Head
did their spin on lionfish.

You can click on the lionfish links above to learn
more about lionfish.

 Chefs Drew Thompson and Tim Gard
of Blue Water Grill and Raw Bar,
were our presenters at this session and
we dined on lionfish and 4 different preparations of oysters.
And you KNOW Rosie LOVES her oysters!

 Lionfish is white and flaky
and can be prepared as you would flounder or grouper.
 The chefs today simply pan-fried the fillets
and served them on a bed of rice noodles
tossed with slaw and an Asian-inspired dressing
and topped with a coconut lime sauce

For the noodle salad dressing:
1 cup soy sauce
 sesame oil
juice of 4 limes
3 TB sesame seeds

Mix all together and toss with noodles and slaw.
The slaw was composed of shredded red and green cabbage,
carrots, and red onion.

Now, I didn't put an amount on the sesame oil
in the above dressing recipe,
the reason being that on our recipe sheets
they printed "1 CUP sesame oil."
I'm thinking that is a typo,
because it sounds like a whole lot of sesame oil.
I might go with a few teaspoons of sesame oil.
Start there, taste test, and increase as needed.
But a cup???  I don't think so.
I didn't notice it at the time,
else I would have asked the chefs.

The lionfish was lightly seasoned and pan-fried,
set atop the bed of noodles and slaw,
and then topped with a Coconut Lime Sauce.

Coconut Lime Sauce
 1 15-oz. can coconut milk
1 cup sour cream
juice of 6 limes
salt and pepper to taste
3 sliced green onions

On to the oysters.

I was in heaven today,
since Chefs Tim and Drew presented us with four
oyster preparations.

Our chefs are shuckin'!

Our first oysters were dressed with a mignonette,
which is basically a sauce or condiment made with shallots,
cracked pepper, and vinegar.

1 red onion, small dice or 2 shallots, diced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
1 TB sugar
2 big spoons fresh chopped parsley
s&p to taste
And give it a squeeze of lemon juice on top.

Pineapple Salsa with Tobiko Caviar
1 whole pineapple, small dice
1/2 red onion, small dice
1 tomato, small dice
10 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper
juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TB sugar
2 TB oil s&p to taste
Top with Tobiko.

I'm not a big fan of caviar.
Tastes like fish eggs to me...
BUT, this particular caviar wasn't bad at all.
In fact, I liked it.
It is Tobiko - flying fish roe.
And it's really pretty!

On to the Oysters Rockefeller.
As I've said before,
nobody knows the original recipe for Oysters Rockefeller
except someone at Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans,
(and they ain't tellin')
but everybody makes their own riffs on this dish.
However you make it, it's good.

Oysters Rockefeller
1/2 red onion, small dice
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup bacon, chopped
4 oz. sambuca or pernod liqueur
1/4 cup cream
12 cups spinach
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
s&p to taste


Our fourth and last oyster dish.
New Orleans Garlic Butter
4 oz. beer
1 pound butter
20 cloveds chopped garlic
4 TB parsley
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Parmesan cheese
s&p to taste

I pulled this picture off of Blue Water's Facebook page.
This is from our class.
And would you look?
 There's Rosie!!!
(Back row.  Far left.  Behind the lady in red.)
And Mr. Hawthorne is to my right,
off the grid, so to speak.

The Hawthornes always sit in the back,
far right side of the table,
and there's a reason for this.
It's my strategy and it worked like a charm this time.

When the chefs started serving,
they brought two platters of oysters -
one to the front, left side of the table
and one to the back. left side of the table.
All the participants took one oyster of the platter
and then passed the platter to their right.
The person at the front table far right passed
the platter to the back table.
what happened was that both oyster platters
Naturally, being me,
I didn't pass the platters on to anyone,
so I ate about a dozen or so oysters.
Like I said, it worked like a charm!
Rosie is nothing if not resourceful.

Of course,
after class, I had to go speak to the animals.

The turtles are always happy to see me!

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