Category Archives: Sea-To-Table

Fresh Mussels!

I have eyed the Carlsbad Aqua Farm Fresh Mussels at my local Farmers Market, Little Italy Mercato, for months now.  I love mussels but I have never been brave enough to try making them at home.  I must have had a shot of courage in my coffee this morning because I decided to try it.  A bag full was only $8

http://carlsbadaquafarm.com/

The girls working at the farmer’s market were super friendly and helpful.  They showed me how to remove the little hairy bit that protrudes from the flat part of the shell; harder than it looked in their demo once home.  This was the most difficult part of the meal.  I solicited advice from the Twitter foodies for how to cook and this is what I came up with…

I sauteed garlic and shallots in 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil.  I added 2.5 cups of Viognier, the only white wine I had in the wine fridge, and then added the well rinsed mussels, covered the pan and gently shook the pan a few times to distribute the liquid well.  I removed the open mussels one by one and put them aside in a bowl and discarded the few that did not open properly.  Next I popped them all back in the liquid and reduced it until about half .  I added 4 tablespoons of cream, salt, Pepper and about a 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley; immediately removed pan from heat and transferred (carefully) the mussels into a bowl with liquid poured over them.

The result was delicious!  The only problem was that there was far more than I could finish.  My neighbors down the hall were happy about that 🙂

Cheers and don’t forget…Support Local Food and Products!

TheArtofBeer
xoxo

Fresh Sea Urchin – Yes Please!

I make it a point to buy as much of my food as possible at my Local Farmer’s Market, the Little Italy Mercato.  Every Saturday from 9-1:30 on Date Street, from Kettner to Union, you’ll find some incredible local offerings.

http://www.littleitalysd.com/mercato/

Today I stopped off to sample fresh Sea Urchin at Poppa’s Fresh Fish, a regular at the Little Italy Mercato.  I appreciate their motto:

“If it we any fresher. you would be under water!”

True that!!!  Poppa’s has a killer selection of fresh fish that they source and prepare for sale at local farmer’s markets.  For the first hour at each market they have “Oyster Happy Hour” and that translates to yummy oysters, shucked on the spot for only $1.25 each.  I call them “Breakfast of Champions” and I am not the only one.  There is a cue on Saturday mornings to get them!

You can check out their website here>>> http://www.poppasfreshfish.com/
They have a listing of the local farmer’s markets you can find them at!

Now back to the Sea Urchin…

“we crack’em, we clean’em and you eat’em, right out of the shell!!!”

That’s what they say on the website and Holy Fresh Goodness they aren’t kidding!  For $9 you get the freshest Sea Urchin you will ever taste. I kid not people.  For those who are already fans at the sushi bar,  the taste and texture are familiar but the flavor is different because they are so fresh.  For the Sea Urchin Virgin, I recommend trying them this way.  The taste is salty on the palate at the beginning and then transitions to a beautiful buttery finish.  The texture of this fresh Sea Urchin is custard-like and it just melts in your mouth.

I think one of the best things about stopping at Poppa’s Fresh Fish is watching people stop to look at the Sea Urchin.  Many don’t know what it actually looks like when it is in the sea.  Some have never even heard of it. The looks on their faces are priceless!  Even better is seeing their surprise when they take their first taste and realize that it is absolutely delicious!

Some Sea Urchin Virgins!

If you live in San Diego and have a chance to visit the Little Italy Mercato, please stop by Poppa’s Fresh Fish. I encourage you to sample the Sea Urchin! It does not get any fresher than this…

Don’t forget to shop local when possible!

TheArtofBeer
xoxo