Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Run For Haiti

Hello Folks,

The Block Island Seafood Company takes charity work very seriously and we are proud to announce that for the second year in a row we will be running with the Concern organization. This year the run will benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Please consider running with us or making a donation of any size. If you want to run with us, you will be outfitted with your very own B.I.S.Co. t-shirt.

Thanks for reading this. Here's the link.

Trial and Errors

So I've mentioned that I like to cook, right? Okay, now in a way, cooking is like gambling. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That's why I am not good at gambling, I don't like losing. Sure Blackjack is great when you get, well, Blackjack, but when you keep losing and handing your money to some guy in a bow tie, it's not fun. So...I don't really gamble too much. With cooking, you have to try things out and they may be great or bad (win or lose), but the difference is that you still get to eat your mistakes (loses) and like when you lose at gambling, I prescribe a glass of wine to ease the pain or the meal.

We're coming up on a demonstration at Hampton Bays library next week, so I wanted to sample some of the dishes we'll be cooking. We're doing a from scratch Cesar salad topped with grilled yellow fin tuna and a penne with shiitake mushroom sauce. First the pasta.

It's a rather simple sauce, sauteed garlic shiitake mushrooms, portabellos and dried shiitakes if you have them with some fresh cut tomatoes. I found the dish to be, average at best. I was following a recipe, and actually following it very closely, so I did make it pop in the end with some crushed red pepper.

When the penne is cooked, leave it off to the side, unwashed.

In a separate pan, saute garlic till it is tender, then add a sliced portabello mushroom, about a half pound of sliced shiitake mushroom, a handful of oyster mushrooms. Saute this for a few minutes and add cubed, fresh cut plum tomatoes, some white wine ( a cup ) and a half cup of vegetable broth. Let this boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Add the penne and let it get hot. Tear up some basil leaves and add a half cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy.

Now it was okay, so I added red pepper and in the future, I think sauteed shrimp will work nicely too.
So a Cesar salad. I experimented with actual anchovy fillets, but think I will use the paste next time. So just blend 2 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of paste, a tablespoon of mayo (or one egg yolk), a dash of worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper and a half cup of olive oil. Blend this and then add a 1/4 of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Check the thickness and see if you want to add some mayo to thicken.

Carefully fold this into clean, dry, torn romaine lettuce with some large cut croutons. Don't add too much dressing at first, you don't want to drown it!

It was fun to play around and get these dishes right. We'll see what happens when the pressure is on.

Penne with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce Cesar Salad

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Family Fun Day

Every so often birthdays come and go and you lose track of who's birthday it was...Well we had a few birthdays that we needed to recognize so some of the family got together to just relax and enjoy each other's company. Pat was just back from his shark dive at the Riverhead Aquarium, so he would bring his appetite and so did the rest of us.

Brother Drew arrived with his new facial hair and after a series of insults he got through the front door. Personally I didn't mind the mustache, he looked like my Uncle Johnny, so it was kind of cool I guess. Anyway, its always great to have Drew over because I love to cook with him. He is a really good cook and has many years or restaurant experience, but he doesn't cook like it. he cooks like a guy who just likes to cook, like me. So it was fun to try and impress him. It's a great time for me to hang with him and buddy up. He and I have cooked for many people in freezing cold, snow, pouring rain and blazing sun in parking lots, so this was a cake walk.

We had the fryer out, so it was a fry day. Fried shrimp, fried squid and home made French Fries were the starters, along with Matt's Lil' Smokey's. Moira handled the salad, much to Tara's chagrin and when were all about stuffed we made dinner.

Mary Beth brought the goods with her chicken cutlets! Oh, they were right on, and perfect meatballs with sauce to go along. My mouth is currently watering thinking about it. She can sling it too.
Drew and I did the pasta and fish. It was linguine with white clam sauce and shrimp scampi. All four burners were working as Drew demonstrated his counterclockwise circle stir. It's never been seen before and may never be seen again. Four dozen chopped cherrystone clams took a bath in garlic, oil, white wine and clam broth. It did the clams well because they looked relaxed and well rested. Oh yeah, they tasted great too! The scampi opted for the hot coal feeling of the cast iron pans. They too never looked better as Drew finished them with a lemon bath.

All and all, it was a great time with the family. That is simply what B.I.S.Co is around for. A great time with my family or with yours...

Shark man & Drew with clam sauce and shrimp scampi

Fried Shrimp w/ Home made FF & Crispy Fried Calamari w/banana peppers

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Noreaster? Huh!

So Mother Nature gives us the bounty of the sea, right? Well, she can also deal might storm when she wants to. Last week we were east bound for Riverhead, NY and it was right through a snow storm to get there. It's one thing to deal with snow, but throw in the L.I.E. at rush hour and you have yourselves a perfect storm. This voyage wouldn't end at the bottom of the sea though, but it did begin at the bottom. You see, we were doing clams!!!!

I love em' raw, steamed, fried, stuffed, baked, on my pizza or in my pasta. The clam has give me and my family many happy meals in the past and now it was my turn to share those good times with the family at the Riverhead library.
The drive usually takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes, but on this day it took me 3.5 hours. I don't like to be late, but I took solace in the fact that my buddy Dave was there and that I had called ahead and let the folks know I was running late. The demonstration started at 6:30 and I knew I wouldn't get there until then, at least.

Through the rain and snow, I got there at just a minute after 6:30. I hope Dave is warming up the crowd. How many people could it be? It's terrible weather, maybe 15?

Well, Murphy's law is right again. If it can go wrong, it will. There was no Dave and the room had close to 30 people! Dave got tired of waiting and just assumed I wasn't coming. He of little faith. There is a buzz that he will have his shirt revoked, but it's just a rumor. Lucky for me, I had done a lot of prep and with the help of a few patrons, I was able to get the table set and started the demonstration with baked clams.

We talked about the clam, how to open it, how to clean it and how to stuff it. They turned out great! It was a relief, considering they had to wait so long for them.

Next up was the linguine with clam sauce. I have scoured the country for this dish and I am never satisfied. La Parmigiana in Southampton has a great one and Carmine's in Manhattan, also great, but I can never decide which one I love the most. I had over 100 freshly shucked and chopped cherrystone clams sauteed and dancing over linguine in no time and we had a great feed.
Crusty bread from Queens topped off the night and before long the folks had just seen the heart stopping, clam shucking, linguine tossing, quahog baking, history making, booty shaking,legendary Block Island Seafood Co!

Linguine with White Clam Sauce and the good people of the Riverhead Library

About Me

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Block Island Seafood Company (BISCO) helps fellow seafood enthusiasts enjoy the gifts of summer in their own homes all year long. BISCO will leave your family and friends with a memorable experience beyond the traditional catered gathering by providing a dynamic chef and extraordinary cuisine. Block Island, RI (41°09'N 71°33'W) is a small island that sits in the Atlantic Ocean between Rhode Island and Montauk Point, NY. For many years it has been a vacation spot for me and my family, and now I’d like to bring Block Island to your dinner table.