G declared Saturday night B&G’s Pajama Seafood Shack Extravaganza … meaning: an all-seafood Saturday night dinner made and consumed while in pajamas. Ok, sounds fun. We invited Blee to join us but sadly forgot to tell her about the pajama dress code (oops!).
Anyway, on the menu:
- a wonderful blackberry martini;
- (store-bought) popcorn shrimp with G’s homemade tartar sauce;
- homemade mussels mariniere;
- homemade spaghetti al la vongole; and,
- our first attempt at making skate wing.
The skate wing is one scary fish (a relative of both shark and stingray) with plenty of cartilagineous bones that separate the two fillets in the fish’s wings. The wings are the only edible portion of these fish. Cooking this guy I was reminded of my own run-in with a stingray in November 1999, which I promise to post on this week.
3) skate wing (image source: http://www.northernproducts.com/assets/images/skatewing.jpg)
We opted to use Canada’s Ricardo Larrivee’s recipes for the mussels and clams. We watch Ricardo’s show, Ricardo and Friends, most nights. Both were great, though we agreed that Ricardo’s step of thickening the mariniere with flour (in our case tapioca flour) before serving just doesn’t work.
4) G cleans the mussels; 5) cooked in good wine … best of all, after you use the 1.5 cups, you can drink the rest
6) Blee plucks the mussels out; 7) yummy
For the clams, we used Ricardo’s recipe but then decided the course would be much better with spaghetti rather than served solo, which was a perfect decision. This was delicious!
9) rinse your clams several times in water for about 2 hours to rid them of sand; 10) prepare your mise en place: fennel, spring onion, parsley, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, tomatoes and bacon
11) saute shallots, garlic, and fennel then add the tomatoes; 12) toss in the clams and steam for 5 minutes
For the skate wing, we turned to one of our favourite Canadian chefs, Rob Feenie. We have been fortunate to dine at his Vancouver restaurants – the swanky Lumiere and the casual Feenie’s on a couple occasions. Sadly, Rob just recently ended up in a nasty tete-a-tete with his financiers and is no longer at either location. Even though Mrs. Kim, our fishmonger, recommended we steam the skate wing, we opted to try Rob’s pan-fried version with a roasted butter and caper sauce, served over a bed of asparagus and fresh edaname.