May 2010

Grilled Fresh Pacific Northwest Oysters

It's spring in the Northwest,

and local fresh oysters in the shell are readily available, and fairly affordable at about $5.00 a dozen. It's perfect weather for grilling oysters and it's a fun and easy way to enjoy them. You want to get the freshest possible oysters in the shell, and it's crucial for them to be alive. If the shells are open, and they don't close when you tap them, don't use the oysters. It's dangerous to use an oyster that isn't absolutely fresh. Grilling oysters on a barbeque or charcoal grill essentially poaches the oysters in their shells; when they're cooked through (five or six minutes or so on a hot grill) the shells pop open, so it's very easy to know when they're done. When I say "open, " I mean that a definite crack appears, one that wasn't there before.

The basic method is simple:

Boundary Bay Friday Fish Fry

Boundary Bay
1107 Railroad Avenue
Bellingham, WA
(360) 647-5593?

Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, Washington celebrates the arrival of Friday all summer long with a fish fry in their beer garden every Friday from 4 to 8pm. They beer-batter and then fry fresh locally caught rockfish in a giant fryer, and serve it up with an order of fresh french fries and freshly made tarter sauce, with an optional beer, and if you want, a side of cole slaw. The fish is light and flaky, the fries are hot and fresh, and the beer, well Boundary Bay brews are just about as good as it gets, in my opinion. The fried rockfish (two good-sized pieces) and an order of fries is a mere $8.00; you can substitute onion rings for a $1.50. Rockfish is locally plentiful; it's a white-fleshed saltwater fish that occurs in Washington waters in a variety of species. The beer batter and the freshness of the fish are a fabulous combination. For those of you who are not beer fans, I note that Boundary Bay makes their own very tasty root beer. I further note, that there's a happy hour barbecue on Thursdays during the summer, featuring $5.00 burgers (beef, salmon, or veggie) with a dollar off all brews, from 4 to 6. Thursday nights are also when Boundary usually cracks one of their special and very limited barrels of cask ale.

Pacific Salmon: Rich Source of Omega-3, Vitamin D and Protein

Pacific Salmon as a cold-water fatty fish are a rich natural source of Omega-3, vitamin D, and high quality protein. They're also closely tied to Pacific Northwest culture, and history, beginning with the traditional and sustainable fishing practices of native Americans along the Pacific Northwest coastlines, and continuing today with both native sustainable salmon fishing and commercial salmon fishing.