09.16.2010 by Andrea
Growing up, I feel like there are two phrases that are passed around from adults. They also sound a bit cliche until recently I realized that they were now applicable to my life.
First, the years go by faster as you get older [check – how are we in mid september 2010, wasn’t Y2K yesterday?], and second, your palate will evolve as you grow up [check, check]. Henceforth I will be taking sage advice and tidbits to heart.
This past year I decided to commit to sampling a variety of items in the seafood sector. There is this natural propensity within me to shy away from cuisines and food families that I have determined cause my clothes to smell, thus infiltrating scent of my car after said dining experience. Coffee shops and I get along grand [even though I sip tea], because I happen to like the takeaway aroma. Olfactory senses aside, I have been determined to try choke down seafood no matter what it takes. The funny thing is, I grew up fishing, camping, and generally eating hearty northwestern fare. It’s hard for me to pinpoint when this seafood aversion was born.
My initial purposeful encounter was quite the lovely re-debut. I was invited to attend the Seattle Ronald McDonald House fundraiser with a friend. [What a fabulous organization to give of your time or resources to.] The starter was a crab cake, and the menu was designed by famed Seattle restauranteer John Howie. Being that I was the guest at this charitable function there was no way I could refuse to eat the first course. The crab cake was marvelous. A food creation to be sure. This exquisite style of cake just melts in your mouth, and is loosely held together with a bit of egg and a whole lot of flavors. Subsequently I have found that Legal Seafood based out of Boston has a similar recipe. Folks, there is no shame in my game, I will readily admit to eating at Legal twice within a 24 hour period, just to partake in their wondrous crab cakes. I wake up dreaming of these mouth watering creations.
Zigzagging the country led me to the most northernwest member of our union. If you haven’t had an opportunity to traverse the state of Alaska I highly recommend it. Until I had actually set foot in this glorious state, I had no idea what allure it held. I would be hard put to find a better place to soak in gorgeous natural creation.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Juneau, the state capital. Two things I was hoping to do in Juneau this summer were: prance across a glacier, and indulge in an authentic salmon bake. Two things I didn’t do this summer while in Juneau: prance across a glacier, and indulge in an authentic salmon bake.
While I didn’t cross those items off my bucket list, I did stumble across quite the tasty morsel. I was dining at a personal favorite, the Hangar. Typically during the summer season, cruise ship travelers overrun this waterfront dining establishment. This particular evening my colleague M and I were looking for a quick in and out dining experience and swung by. The place was hopping, but as soon as our server announced the soup du jour: halibut chowder, both of us were intrigued. When the soup arrived at our table there certainly was an abrupt halt to our conversation as we slurped our way through this hearty bowl of chowder. The simultaneous medley of rich and sweet notes, made me want more. Being that I don’t cook, I am thinking one could use a corn chowder [I like Costco’s] and then add halibut [I have heard that Trader Joe’s has excellent flash frozen seafood] in a dump pot fashion to recreate the flavors I was treated to. I’m sure a report about that experiment will be forthcoming.
Later that week I was traveling through Vancouver, Canada and tried to extend my chowder kick. I ordered a crab chowder, hoping to have a similar euphoric experience. Nice soup, and great flavors, but just not what my stomach and taste buds were searching for.
So, how is great seafood experiment going? Well, I’ve continued to push the envelope, okay my version of an envelope. I’ve chewed shrimp: still don’t like the texture, eaten more dismal and disappointing crab cakes then I care to share and been treated to a dazzling dinner of delicious salmon complete with homemade pesto, ala my friend JP. Thus far my three recommendations are succulent crab cakes [not the deep fried happy hours discs], hearty halibut chowder, and make sure to check out John Howie Steak, lobster mashed potatoes. The lobster hails from Maine and I paired it with a lovely swordfish on a day when I had a cold and was unable to appreciate fullbodied flavors. All three are major front runners in my seafood palate play.
Until next time. Eat up.