Tag Archives: Delaware Shore

Good Housekeeping

The blog, it seems, is in need of a little love.

So, first thing’s first: a little housekeeping and clearing of debts.

Ages ago I promised to tell you what happened to the 16 pound dolphin fish—better known as Mahi Mahi—caught by my traveling companions.

The quick answer: fish tacos.

This was vacation eating at its best; a meal composed entirely of what was already on hand. Simple cooking designed to let the just-out-of-the-ocean freshness of the fish shine through. Of course, these fish tacos would be even easier to make if you’re getting your fish from the grocery store rather than waiting for someone to catch it for you.

(And, in the interest of full disclosure: I’ll likely be doing that next time I make this recipe, too. So, have no guilt on that count).

There’s more housekeeping to come, including the rest of the menu from the Indian dinner of weeks past and from the first annual Indian Summer Picnic of this past weekend. So stay tuned.

And make these fish tacos in the meantime.

Fish Tacos

A note: I’ve left measurements out of this recipe since you’ll be dredging the fish. So, you’ll need more flour, eggs and breadcrumbs than you’ll actually use. There will be some waste, but it’s well worth it. Trust me on this.

Flour
Breadcrumbs or panko
2 eggs
Mahi Mahi, cut into 1″ strips
Vegetable Oil
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp paprika, divided in half

To serve:
Corn Tortillas
Guacamole
Onions, chopped finely
Lettuce

Combine 1/2 tsp paprika, salt, and pepper with both the breadcrumbs and the flour.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

Start coating the fish. Coat it first with flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs.

Set all of the pieces of fish aside while heating vegetable oil, enough so that it comes up about 1/4″ in the frying pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small amount of water into it. If it splatters, you’re ready to fry the fish.

Fry the fish until it is cooked through and the crust is a golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side.

Drain the fried fish on paper towels.

Serve the fried fish with tortillas warmed in a 350 degree oven, Guacamole, onions and lettuce.

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I Once Caught a Fish That Was This Big

What do you do with 60 pounds of tuna?

That question is not, in fact, strictly rhetorical.

Rather, on a recent trip to the Delware Shore, after a particularly successful fishing trip by my companions, I found myself to be the lucky recipient of quite a lot of fish. (There was also a 16 pound dolphin fish. I’ll get to what we did with that at some point later, I hope.)

So, what to do?

Even after gifting all of the neighbors, there was a massive amount. So, tuna salad of course. Which looked lovely, cut up with red onion and celery. And, I’m sure it was, only I cannot stomach the thought of mayonnaise. Then, we froze some. But, how could we not eat it fresh?

And, we did, seared lightly and served with a refreshingly acidic peach salsa.

While your tuna might not be straight from the deep seas, it will be no less enjoyable served this way.

Peach Salsa

3 ripe peaches, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 tomato, chopped finely with seeds removed
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the peaches, onion and tomato and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at least five minutes so that the juices begin to run out of the mixture, then add lemon juice and stir. Let stand another 30 minutes before serving.

Seared Tuna

4 tuna steaks, 4-6 oz. each
olive oil
salt and pepper

Coat each of the tuna steaks in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large, heavy skillet until it’s hot enough that you cannot hold your hand above it for more than 5 seconds. Once it’s that hot, place your fish in the pan.

Sear the tuna until it is opaque but not cooked through, about 30 seconds to a minute a side.

Remove from the heat and serve with peach salsa.

Serves 4

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Dispatches from Fenwick Island

If you’re on the Delaware shore, on an unexpectedly windy day, there’s a very good possibility that you might find yourself clamming. A wonderful way to pass an afternoon, if you ask me.

That being said, there are some important things you should know before you begin:

Those little black rock-like things at the bottom of the water?

Yep, they’re baby horseshoe crabs.

You’ll want to avoid them at all costs. If you need to jump and scream a little to do so, do it quietly, lest your companions think that you’re not an outdoorsy type.


Clam rakes are surprisingly sharp.


Take care to make sure that your toes are not in the path of your rake as you skim the sand beneath the water. I won’t admit to knowing anyone who would forget something so obvious—in my defense it’s really easy to get distracted by the fact that there as so many clams. Clams! Fresh from the sea! and forget all about your feet—but, I will say that you can take comfort in the fact that, should you slice your toe open, the salt water cleanses all. In other words, it won’t prevent you from continuing on with your pursuit.

And, finally, you may end up getting greedy in the pursuit of more and more.

Say, ending up with more than three dozen clams when your party is only comprised of four, one of whom abstains from shellfish.

At a certain point you’ll find that, although freshly steamed clams are delicious, especially when dipped in clarified butter, you cannot possibly eat any more.

Then, the guilt will set in because, after all, you did harvest these clams yourself—living things—and it would be more than a shame to let them go to waste.

Luckily, that guilt will prove to be fleeting once inspiration hits: clam chowder!

So, you’ll make soup. Quarts and quarts of clam chowder.

And then you’ll want to do it all again.

Of course, this time, you’ll watch the rake’s path in the water.

Delaware-Style Clam Chowder

Obviously, clamming is not a requirement for this recipe, but I would recommend steaming the clams yourself as they’ll taste much fresher and the broth that’s leftover after the steaming adds another dimension of flavor to the soup.

Note, that this recipe, more than most, should be used as a guide with the caveat that it varies, based on what’s on hand. The most important things are the clams and the steaming liquid. Take it from there.

And, lastly, use the biggest pot that you can find. This makes a lot of soup.

3 dozen clams, steamed and chopped, with at least 2 cups of steaming liquid reserved
8 cups vegetable stock (water will work here, too)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream
2 medium onions, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 leeks, diced
4 carrots, finely diced
6 celery ribs, finely diced
6 strips bacon, diced
6 medium or 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
2 ears of corn, hulled, with the cobs reserved
4 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil
8 TBS flour
3 bay leaves
1 TBS old bay seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Using a medium flame, heat the bacon for 5-10 minutes, until it is crisp and the fat has rendered.

Add butter and olive oil until heated. Do not allow the butter to brown.

Add the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the onions have turned translucent, add in the garlic, leeks, carrots, and onions. Saute them all until they have caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Deglaze the bottom of the pot with white wine, scraping the brown bits off of the bottom.

Add flour and old bay seasoning to the pot and saute for 5 minutes, until the flour is well incorporated.

Add vegetable stock and the reserved steaming liquid and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, add in the bay leaves, corn, corn cobs and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

Add in the clams and the heavy cream, stir and allow to simmer another 5-10 minutes to let flavors combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as necessary.

Be sure to remove all of the bay leaves and corn cobs before serving.

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Scenes from a Long Weekend

We spent the fourth at the Delaware shore.

There were clams that we found ourselves.

We made some chowder.


There were crabs.

We steamed them and attacked them with mallets.

We ate well.

I’m hoping to get the chowder recipe up soon. In the meantime, enjoy the photos.

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