Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Rapture? What Rapture?

My apologies for the absence of blog posts lately. This weekend was a busy one! Block Island Seafood Co. hosted a fish fry at Shelley's Bar in Woodside, Queens. Folks were treated to some fish and chips, calamari, fried oysters...you name it, we fried it!

On Saturday, BISCo. had the opportunity to cater a communion party for over 80 folks. We turned out sliders, crab cakes, quesadillas, pigs in a blanket and beef satay--and that was just the appetizers. Dinner was sirloin steaks, grilled rosemary chicken, marinated grilled shrimp, parmesan pasta salad and haricot verts. Dessert for the kids was tried and true hand-scooped rainbow Italian ices. A big hit!

Me, Craig, working the grill

Luckily, the rapture didn't show its head, which was a relief. However, it was a tad eerie when the thunder and dark clouds rolled in just around 6pm. The buffet was set-up and ready to go until the rain came down. Team BISC0. was able to re-configure the party for an inside set-up and dinner was served without a hitch.

Big Brother, MSG, gettin' fired up!

Everyone had a great day and literally lived to tell about it. The best part? BISCo. left the hosts' home looking great--you wouldn't have known that appetizers and dinner were just served for 80 guests.

Team BISCo.

Have a party that you would like catered? Email me, craig@blockislandseafood.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cheeseburger in Paradise

A nice quick dinner is a good old fashioned cheeseburger. Here is how I do it using what I have in the house.

Cheeseburger
Ingredients:
1 lb. chopped sirloin
1 egg
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
5 (or more) dashes of Lea & Perrins
1/2 teaspoon Lawrys Seasoned Salt
1/2 cup minced onion
English Muffins
Fixins' (cheddar, ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomato, lettuce, etc.)

Combine all ingredients and form your patties. This should make about 4-5.
Heat a grill pan on high. When the pan is hot, add your burgers. Depending on how you like them, just a few minutes on each side. Top with some cheddar cheese (optional) before removing from heat to melt the cheese.

Place your burger an english muffin and top with the works! Serve with Old Bay French Fries.

Old Bay French Fries
Ingredients:
4 Idaho Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt
Old Bay

Preheat oven to 425. Wash your potatoes and slice them into french fry sized pieces. I personally like them on the thin side. Place your fries on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil and salt. Bake at 425 for approximately 20 - 25 minutes. Keep your eye on these guys. The size of the pieces of potato will determine cooking time. Once crisp sprinkle generously with Old Bay.



Enjoy with a cold brew and you have yourself a cheeseburger in paradise.



What do you like on your burger? Leave a comment.

Cheers!
Craig

Craig@blockislandseafood.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And the winner is...

video

Note: You may need to rotate your monitor 90 degrees.

Congratulations! Thanks to all for entering!

Where in the world is BISCo.?

3,000 miles away Cousin Donald celebrates the promotion of his beloved Queens Park Rangers soccer club. Look out Premier League, them R's are on the way!

Shrewsbury, England

Show us your BISCo. gear from around the world! Email me, Craig@blockislandseafood.com.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Drawing will be held later today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Fish Spatula

I am pretty much a guy that likes to stick to the basics. My wardrobe consists of blue jeans. I keep things until they fall apart or are stolen. I don't need much to make me happy. So when it comes to kitchen tools I like things that can serve a dual purpose, aren't crazy expensive and actually do what they say they are going to do. Enter the fish spatula. I know what you are thinking...how is a fish spatula different from a regular spatula? Well, I am not sure exactly in terms of make up. But I know that it works a hell of a lot better. The head is thin so it slides nicely under a piece of fish and delicately lifts it from the pan or dish with grace and ease. If it sounds like a bit of a dance, that is because it is. Only in this dance I look good. Real good.

So folks, here she is in all her shiny glory.


The fish spatula. I picked mine up at Williams Sonoma for around $15 clams.

What is your favorite gadget? Email me, Craig@blockislandseafood.com.

PS- Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manic Monday

It's just another manic Monday at BISCo. headquarters (cue 80's Bangles song). I am working on menus for parties, recipes for cooking demonstrations and a lot of other secret stuff which I hope to share with y'all soon.

My kitchen and office are a mess but I like to pretend it looks more like this:

Photo credit: Coastal Living

or this.

Photo credit: Country Living

What does your dream kitchen look like or what is your favorite must have kitchen gadget? My dream kitchen is definitely filled with family, friends and good food.

Interested in a cooking demonstration for you and friends? Entertaining this summer but want to be able to mingle with your guests? Email me to set something up. Dates are booking up!
Craig@blockislandseafood.com.

Cheers!
Craig

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lobster Roll Rumble

Yesterday I posted about the Lobster Roll Rumble to be held on June 9 in NYC where some of the greats (present company not included) will be competing to see who has the best lobster roll in the country. Blogger decided to go haywire on me and take it down. Well, here it is again.

General admission tickets are sold out but you can be a VIP for the small price of $250. Which better be a lot of lobster. A lot.

I have met Lobzilla before and I know I wouldn't want to get into a rumble with this guy.


How do you take your lobster roll, bun toasted, butter, lobster salad style? It's a much debated topic.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Cheers!
Craig

Craig@blockislandseafood.com


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Best Lobster Roll


The Block Island Seafood Co. loves lobster rolls like some folks love puppies, long walks on the beach, rainbows and sunsets. On June 9, lobster roll lovers will unite in a search for the country's best lobster roll. I guess you could call this heaven.
If interested, click here to purchase tickets.

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here.

Cheers!
Craig

Craig@blockislandseafood.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Giveaway!

Block Island Seafood Company is hosting its first online giveaway! You can be the proud owner of this handy BISCo. tote. Great for trips to the beach, to the market, the gym, just about anywhere!


To enter, leave a comment stating your favorite thing about summer. You will automatically receive a double entry if you become a subscriber. You may enter once per day. One winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday, May 18th. Good luck!

A week in BISCo.

As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. Such is life here at BISCo. Last week was a busy one filled with cooking demonstrations at libraries along Long Island. From Hampton Bays to Mattituck, folks were excited to learn, laugh, and taste.

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo I prepared fish tacos and fried clam sandwiches with homemade tartar sauce for the good people of Mattituck. Be sure to try the recipe below and send in pictures of your dish. Library demonstrations are always a great time filled with wonderful BISCo. foodie fans. Some lucky folks walked away with more than just a full belly since there is always a raffle to be won.


Raffle Winners

Muy Delicioso

The Cinco de Mayo celebrations continued at the teen department in the Hampton Bays library where churros were a big hit! It chur-was a great time.


Fish Tacos

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder or Cajun Spices

salt and pepper

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 pound firm white-fleshed fish, I like Mahi-Mahi for this

12 small, soft tortillas

Make sure the fish is free of bones and cut it into small fingers. With your milk in one bowl and the flour and spices, salt and pepper in another bowl, dunk the fish into milk and then dredge it into the flour mixture. Heat up your oil till it makes a touch of flour dance, now add your fish. Don’t add too much at a time, or you will drop the temperature too fast. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Remove the fish and rest it on a rack or paper towel and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Warm the tortillas in an aluminum foil pouch or you can run them through the oil, just try to get them warmed up.

Fish Taco Garnish

½ cup of plain yogurt

½ cup of mayonnaise

juice of one lime

a few dashes of chipotle Tabasco

2 cups of shredded white cabbage

½ thinly sliced red onion

½ cup of finely chopped cilantro

When your fish is cooked and your tortilla is ready, add this white sauce to the top. You can add the cabbage to the sauce or dress the taco with the sauce and then top it with the cabbage.

Close your eyes and take a bite. You see that??? You’re in Baja by way of Block Island.

Be sure to email me if you are interested in hosting an in-home cooking demonstration or have a special party coming up, Craig@blockislandseafood.com or visit us at www.blockislandseafood.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

BISCo in the News!

Too bad that Ramona Singer from The Real Housewives of New York isn't up for a trip to Quogue, poor thing is missing out on Block Island Seafood Co.'s demonstrations that are making headlines. BISCo's recent demonstration at the Quogue Library was featured in The East Hampton Press and The Southampton Press.

The full article is below but be sure to watch this video for the full experience. See the article and additional photos here.


The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press, www.27east.com
May 3, 2011
By Michelle Trauring


Fork in hand, Kathi Pratz scooped up a piece of crab cake, garnished with greens and guacamole, and slipped it into her mouth. She let out a deep sigh.

“Oh, fabulous,” the Riverhead resident breathed out, still half-chewing.

She nodded at Block Island Seafood Company chef and founder Craig Geraghty, who whipped up three crowd pleasers—guacamole, crab cakes and shrimp scampi—at the Quogue Library during a cooking demonstration on Thursday, April 28, for 19 hungry patrons.

“I want to take him home, not just for food but for entertainment,” she said. “He’s funny, he’s snappy patter.”

With the assistance of helper Dave Standing, who played the mostly silent straight man, Mr. Geraghty walked his audience through the three recipes, which came riddled with witty anecdotes and scripted jokes, many at the expense of Mr. Standing, who took them in stride.

“I did stand-up for 10 years. This scratches that itch,” said Mr. Geraghty, a self-taught chef. “But seriously, these recipes are my opener for every library. They’re very popular dishes in restaurants and now they’re something they’d be able to make at home. Now they have it in their repertoire, or holster.”

The first step for making guacamole: find malleable avocados, Mr. Geraghty said. “I’m trying to use some bigger words tonight because I’m at a library,” he joked, rousing a hearty laugh from the audience.

When it comes to cutting the avocado, there’s a trick, he said. Slide the knife horizontally into the avocado until it hits the pit and then twist the avocado, ensuring a clean, even slice. Watching Mr. Geraghty’s technique, the audience members let out an “oooh,” as if they were watching fireworks.

Mr. Geraghty and Mr. Standing scooped out the insides of the avocados and put them in a bowl with onion, garlic, salt, pepper and lime.

“The lime keeps it green,” Mr. Geraghty explained. “If you’re making guacamole for a party, don’t put it all out at once because after a while, it turns brown. So that person who shows up an hour late, because they’re a little into themselves, isn’t going to want anything to do with your guacamole when they eventually get there.”

Mr. Geraghty tasted his concoction and gagged.

“Ugh, every time, Dave!” he exclaimed, pausing for the audience’s laughter. “But really, it’s actually pretty tasty.”

The next step was preparing the crab cakes. As Mr. Standing ducked under the table to pull out a tray of a dozen pre-made crab cakes, Mr. Geraghty’s face twisted to panic.

“Dave!” he faux-whispered, dropping beneath the table with Mr. Standing. “We forgot the crabs!”

The two men popped up in unison, Mr. Geraghty sporting a grin. “Just kidding,” he said, a plastic container of crab in hand.

In a bowl, Mr. Geraghty mixed mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, a shot of Tabasco sauce, Worchestershire sauce, Old Bay, an egg, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper.

The crab comes last, he explained, and it needs to be folded into the mix, not smashed.

“You want to see some kind of crab lumps in there,” said Mr. Geraghty as he demonstrated. “Then make the crab cake like you’re making a meatball, and then pack it down a little bit and hit it on both sides with some bread crumbs.”

The crab cakes were then deep fried, topped with guacamole and laid on a bed of greens lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

“These are delicious, they’re really tender,” said Quogue resident Carol Levin, who helped herself to seconds. “I just think he’s a riot. I’m enjoying this so much.”

When cooking any kind of seafood, Mr. Geraghty said to keep one fact in mind: it’s usually salty already, so consider going light on the sodium.

The chef said he decided to serve the scampi dish over orzo instead of rice, which is the more traditional choice.

“The starch in the orzo acts like a little suction cup and reaches out and grabs the sauce,” Mr. Geraghty explained. “But hey, that’s just what I think. A lot of this is make-believe.”

In a pan, he melted butter and olive oil before tossing in the shrimp with some garlic. When the shrimp starts turning red, or mostly pink, that means they’re done, according to Mr. Geraghty. Squirt in some lemon juice, plate them on top of the orzo with the tails pointing in and sprinkle some parsley on top.

“It’s a garnish, but it also adds flavor, so don’t be afraid to use it,” Mr. Geraghty said.

Ms. Levin and her friends, Cathy Marino of Westhampton and Betsy Osborne of Remsenburg, said they have already signed up for library’s next cooking event on Thursday, May 12, with chef Tom Schaudel, who works at A Mano Osteria & Wine Bar in Mattituck.

“This was just out this world,” Ms. Marino said. “I was very interested in learning how to make crab cakes, and I did, so hopefully I’ll be able to go home and make them as good as Craig’s.”

Ms. Marino’s companions giggled.

“It really was terrific,” Ms. Osborne added. “I wanted to learn how to make shrimp scampi. I’ve tried several different recipes, and now I think I can do it.”


www.blockislandseafood.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo




I love Mexican food--almost as much as I love seafood. I am afraid to say that I even love Taco Bell, although that is an insult to authentic Mexican cuisine. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, why not whip up a batch of Fat Girl Margaritas (sorry, Bethenny Frankel, but today is a day for calories) and host a fiesta.
Enjoy a great take on crab cakes that have been given a Mexican flair with guacamole and a side of rice and beans.

Crab Cakes with Fresh Guacamole

Crab Cake Ingredients (per 16oz. can of crab)

16 oz. Can of crab meat

½ cup breadcrumbs

2 eggs

¼ cup of mayonnaise

Tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Teaspoon on Old Bay

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

½ diced green pepper

Feel through the crab meat to see if there are any shells, be careful to keep the lumps intact if you are using lump meat. Hold the crab off to the side and then mix the ingredients. When they are mixed, fold in the crab meat last. Form cakes and finish in the bread crumbs again. Dust them with flour and let them refrigerate if you have the time. You can pan fry them in butter or in canola oil.

Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients:

2 Ripe Avocados

¼ cup of diced red onion

2 diced cloves of garlic

1 chili pepper

squeeze of lime juice

salt and pepper

Be careful with the chili pepper. If you don’t want to deal with it, use a shot of Tabasco. If you do deal with it, use gloves to de-seed and chop it. Use just a bit in the guacamole.

Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and work it with a fork or your hand. You want to keep it chunky. When you’re done, store it with the pit in your guacamole.

If you try this at home be sure to send in pictures! Craig@blockislandseafood.com.

Be sure to visit www.blockislandseafood.com to learn about our catering and in-home cooking demonstrations!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


It is rainy and chilly here in the Northeast.
Good day to be sporting a Block Island Seafood Co. sweatshirt.


For him

For her
For the kiddos





Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Tips


After throwing out one too many heads of lettuce I decided to take action against the wilting villains who turn my once green, crisp lettuce into a slimy, wilt-y mess. A little research and foodie polling led me to a new lettuce preservation process*. My first step was to wash the lettuce once I got it home and dry it throughly. For this I used a salad spinner and worked in small batches. Next, I dried the lettuce even more using a paper towel. Finally, I placed small batches of the lettuce into plastic baggies with a twist tie. (Some folks will tell you to wrap the lettuce in paper towels or a damp cloth. I have tried both methods but they do not hold up for more than a few hours, in my opinion.) I did not over-stuff the bags, but instead, left room for some air. I placed the baggies in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator.

The results: After a few days the lettuce was still crisp. Plus, when I went to make a salad, the lettuce was already washed and portioned. Lazy was no longer standing in the way of healthy eating. So I would say that I have pretty much hit jackpot. It's the little things, folks!

Do you have any food storage/preservation tricks that you would like to share? Email me, craig@blockislandseafood.com.


*This is a technical term.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stew Leonard's


As I was browsing the seafood counter at Stew Leonard's yesterday I noticed this fun treat.


Stew's is a really fun place to shop. They have free samples around every turn, singing cows, donut making on the spot, did I mention free samples? While most shoppers probably prefer the sultry entertainment of Chiquita Banana or Clover the Cow, I am a sucker for anything that has to do with the sea. I indulged myself, and my fellow shoppers, with a few (too many) pushes of the button and got the biggest kick out of it. In my book, a fog horn is always a welcomed sound to remind me that summer is just around the corner. Needless to say, Stew's has a great selection of fresh fish. I picked up some local, wild caught flounder for dinner. I will be sure to post the recipe later this week.

Anyone else love Stew's?

About Me

My photo
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.