Tag Archives: Seafood

Home-Made Healthy Clamato Juice

imagesI love a good Caesar, I load mine with lemon, picked beans and/or asparagus, celery, horseradish and extra hot sauce Mmmmm! But, I get quite the headache from the MSG in Mott’s Clamato Juice and I tried finding a healthier version and it seems it’s just not out there.  Plus, the rest of the ingredients in Mott’s brand aren’t so great either.  I’m not going to pretend that home-made is more economical as the recipe calls for 4 bottles of clam juice coming in at $3 a bottle but it sure does taste awesome, tried and tested on skeptics at a Christmas Party.  This recipe fills one of those big glass Apple Juice Jugs, not really sure how much that is but you can put it in whatever container works.

1 (46 oz)  can Tomato Juice
4 (10 oz)  bottles Clam Juice
1/4             cup lemon juice
¼                cup Molasses
1                   tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1                   teaspoon Worcestershire sauce I uses a gluten free version I bought at Whole Foods)
1                  teaspoon Hot Sauce
1                  teaspoon Celery Salt
1                  teaspoon Onion Powder
1                  teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼               teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Oven Dried Salmon Jerky

Cleaning out my freezer making room for soups and stews last night I found the last of my Summer Cabin Time salmon, so I whip up a marinade and dried it in the oven. This method is actually quite simple and you get a very tasty, preservative free jerky! The recipe below is my tried and tested marinade but feel free to adjust or improvise on it, if you don’t like any sweetness you can take out the maple, if you like spice and pepper add more or add some fresh cracked pepper to the flesh of the salmon before drying, if you don’t have smoked paprika you could use liquid smoke to keep the smokey flavour. You could use soy sauce in place of Braggs too. 6-8 hours of oven drying time should do it, but watch for desired doneness. I like my jerky less done so 6 hours at my ovens lowest temp with the door cracked open ever so slightly is just right for me. This is one of those recipes you’ll HAVE to try along the way – Oh darn. 😉

2    full Salmon Filets, approximately 3 lbs, cut into 1 inch strips (I use sockeye so this was maybe a 9lb fish)
Medium bowl
2/3     cup Braggs Liquid Amino
2/3     cup Worcestershire Sauce
2/3     cup Agave, Maple or Brown Sugar
2    teaspoons Smoked Paprika
2    teaspoons Tabasco
2    tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1    teaspoon Garlic Powder
2    teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
1    teaspoon Onion Powder
1    teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Arrange Salmon strips in a shallow glass dish or place in a ziplock bag and pour in marinade sauce. Allow to marinade for 6-8 hours, turning or shaking every so often.

Drain marinade and shake off excess drippings.

Line the bottom rack of your oven with foil to catch drippings and turn onto the lowest setting, usually ovens set as low at 170 degrees, if 160 degrees is available go with that or if you’ve got a fancy oven with a dehydrating setting definitely use it! My oven only goes to 170 but I crack the door, just a little bit with a small metal spatula to allow the moist air to escape similar to a dehydrator.

Arrange salmon strips skin side down, spaced out on a rack place mid oven.

Bake for approximately 6-8 hours or until desired dryness.

Salmon jerky will last a couple months in the fridge or freeze it for longer term.

Eat it as is, take it hiking, serve with goat cheese or cream cheese, capers and crackers…endless delicious possibilities.


Mackerel with Asian-inspired Dressing

First day out fishing at the family cabin we went out for the afternoon bite just to get the hooks wet and see what’s going on just outside the inlet, we were hoping for salmon but all we caught was mackerel.  Mackerel after mackerel and some more mackerel, at one point we pulled the lines just to check them and we had 4 mackerels, so I decided, no way, we are keeping them and I am going to make them good.

My quick online research told me that Mackerel is part of the same family as tuna and actually quite good for you, it is high in fat but unsaturated fat and a filet still has fewer calories than beef and some other meats. It’s loaded with the omega fatty acids EPA, DHA and ALA, all of which are good for brain growth and heart protection.

The people around here’s first recommendation was to batter the heck out of this fish but I decided to treat it like tuna and add a little Asian flare to it.  Being a fatty fish a fast fry without oil in a cast iron skillet worked well.  Here at the cabin I threw the iron pan on the BBQ on high, sea salted, peppered and lemon zested the flesh and cooked it skin side down.   The recipe below is for the sauce I made to top it with but honestly it was totally tasty just off the BBQ!

When cooking the fish you should press it down several times to really char the skin and keep it flat, when it’s just about done you’ll see almost all the purple/pink flesh gone, flip for a few moments to just heat the flesh but do not press here.   Serve with sauce over basmati rice with something like salad or asparagus….seriously delicious. Tried and tested on skeptic fishermen!


1              clove of Garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1              thumb sized piece fresh Ginger, fine grated

3             Shallots, trimmed and fine grated

1              tablespoon Red Chilli Peppers

2             Limes, zested and juiced

1              small bunch of fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

2              tablespoons Sesame Oil

4              tablespoons Wheat-Free Soy Sauce

2              teaspoons Honey or Agave

Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine all prepared ingredients except oil, whisk then add a good splash of olive oil and whisk again,  set aside until fish is cooked then simply spoon on top!

Cedar-Plank Grilled Salmon Recipes

This weekend we had a couple friends over for dinner and BBQd our last, summer, cabin caught sockeye; one of our favourite ways to prepare salmon is in the BBQ on a cedar plank and it always impresses guests. We even cut our own planks from cedar around our cabin. However, you can buy a kit containing cedar planks from your grocery store or even by a board at hardward store. Just be sure that it is untreated, then, have it cut to size. The planks I use are typically 6 X 14 X 1/3 inches.

Below are a bunch of my favourite cedar plank recipes; this weekend we had maple bourbon with slices of lemon and orange and rosemary sprigs on top, served with roasted beets and crumbled goat cheese, baked herbed baby yukons, grilled asparagus and salad. Was very tasty and a fun evening with our guests!

Prepping a Cedar Plank:
Rinse plank. Fill the sink or a container large enough to fit the plank with water. Submerge for at least 20 minutes and as long as 4 hours.
Heat your BBQ to medium-high or about 425° F. At this temperature, the grilling planks should give off a medium- to-light smoke.
Arrange your salmon on the soaked plank and place it on the center of the grill. Within a few minutes, the plank will begin to smoke. Cooking time varies to your preference, we like our salmon pink in the middle so it really takes less than 5 minutes.
Note: After use, if your plank is not exceedingly charred or cracked you may simply brush clean with warm, soapy water, set up to dry and store for next time.

Maple Bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon or apple juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 salmon fillets
4 sprigs rosemary or thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix maple syrup and bourbon or apple juice together in a baking pan large enough to marinate the salmon fillets. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Brush one side of the soaked plank with olive oil and arrange Salmon fillets, skin side down and top with rosemary or thyme and black pepper. Drizzle the remaining maple bourbon mixture over salmon. Cook over a medium to high flame for approximately 10 minutes or until done.

Grainy Honey Mustard
2 tablespoons Grainy Mustard
2 tablespoons Honey (could also do with maple syrup)
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Lemon, Zested
Fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Arrange Salmon on soaked planks and brush with mustard mixure. Grill.

Simple Dijon Maple
1/4 cup Dijon
1/4 cup Real Maple Syrup (darker the better)
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Mix all ingredients together. Arrange Salmon on soaked planks and brush with mustard mixure. Grill.

Lemon Dill
1/8 cup White Wine
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup fresh Dill, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and pour over salmon in a marinating pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Arrange salmon on soaked plank and grill.

Lemon, Pepper and Red Onion
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion, sliced
1 large Lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Black Peppercorns, crushed

Rub salmon filets with olive oil. Arrange on the plank. Top salmon with red onion, lemon slices, parsley and black peppercorns and Grill

Spice Sauce
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/3 cup Tamari
2 tablespoons White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 pinch Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring pineapple juice, tamari, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Set the sauce aside.

Place soaked planks on the grill and wait for smoke.

Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper and place the fillets onto the smoking cedar planks, close the lid of the grill, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Spoon a small amount of the sauce over the salmon fillets, and continue cooking until the fish turns opaque in the center, about 5 minutes more. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Blackened White Fish

Think spicy, crisp cajun-style deliciousness.  The key to this recipe is the dried herbs, I grow them on my patio, snip and dry often but all of the below can be found in the grocery store spice section.

Iron skillet
1 1/2      pounds fresh White Fish (sole, flounder, haddock, cod ect), cut or butterfly into thin fillets
1/2         cup Butter, melted
Flat edged glass pan:
2              tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1              tablespoon Sea Salt
1              teaspoon Onion Powder
1              teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2         teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2         teaspoon ground White Pepper
1/2         teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2         teaspoon dried Thyme leaves (I use Lemon Thyme)
1/2         teaspoon dried Oregano leaves

Combine all the dry ingredients until they are uniformly mixed.

Brush fish with the melted butter on both sides.

Heat cast iron skillet on high heat until it is extremely hot, even smoking.

Lay fillets in the spice mix coating both sides.

Fry until its smoke and sizzling, approximately a minute per side. It may even flame up which is okay, the flame will not spread from the pan.

Finished fish will be charred and crisp on the outside and moist and fully cooked on the inside.

If you are concerned that your fish is still a bit raw inside (possible if you cut it thicker), finish cooking it by sticking the whole skillet in oven at 450 degrees.

Thai Halibut Red Curry

This is an easy, quick-to-make, savory use of red curry and halibut which,  is relatively cheap this time of year.  You could make this curry with any white fish really or, even shrimp.  Enjoy!

Large non-stick sauce pan
1 1/2      teaspoons freshly grated Zest, approximately 2 limes
1              tablespoon Grape Seed Oil
1              cup Shallots, chopped
1              large Red Pepper, diced
1 1/2      tablespoons fresh Ginger, minced
2 1/2      teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1              can Coconut Milk
1              tablespoon Fish Sauce
16 – 18  ounces Halibut Fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/3         cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/3         cup fresh Basil, chopped
1              lime, cut into wedges

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat then add shallots, diced red pepper and minced ginger, sauté until shallots are tender  approximately  5 minutes.

Stir-in red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Simmer, stirring often  for another 5 minutes.

Season white fish with salt and pepper and to curry sauce and simmer until fish is just cooked which should be another 6 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and basil.

Serve with lime wedges and jasmine rice

Kildonan Crab Cakes with fresh Horseradish Mayo

Summer came and went a little too quickly this year,  I can already feel the crisp coolness of Fall creeping up =(  We had a good one though, fortunately enjoying almost 3 weeks at our family cabin last month. Having a cabin on Vancouver Island is an amazing luxury if you love sea food! We may have been a little short of sunshine this Summer but never short on Dungeness Crab in Kildonan. I made a large batch of these tasty cakes with a big bucket of left over crab brought over by a neighbour.

The most difficult part of this recipe is hand picking 1 1/2 pounds of meat, I think it took me well over an hour.

 Whether you catch, clean, cook and hand-pick your crab or simply buy it ready-to-use, be sure to use REAL fresh meat and these cakes are guaranteed to be a hit.
Medium Bowl:
3        cups Bread Crumbs (I use Panko)
1/2   cup fresh Parsley, chopped
Blender or process:
1         large Egg, yolk only
2         teaspoons Lemon Juice
2         teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
2         generous tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2     teaspoon Paprika
1/2     teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2     teaspoon Celery Seeds
1/4    teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
5         tablespoon Olive Oil

Large bowl:
1/4    cup Onion, chopped
1/4     cup Green Pepper, chopped
1/4     cup Red Pepper, chopped
1/4     cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1 – 2    pounds cooked fresh Dungeness Crabmeat, picked over and drained

Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 a cup of parsley and set aside.

In your blender or food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, mustard, paprika, thyme, celery seeds, and black pepper. Pulse to combine. Now, while the motor is running, add the olive oil slowly in a steady stream until the mixture emulsifies and forms a mayo sauce.

In another large bowl, combine onion and bell pepper with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley. Add the mayo sauce and crabmeat and mix lightly.

Fold in bread crumb mixture. Hand mix gently and then form into flattened 1/2 thick patties and place on a flat pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or longer. You may even freeze them at this stage for later use!

Horseradish Mayo:
Small Bowl:
1        cup Mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
2        tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
2        tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
2        teaspoons freshly grated Lemon Zest
1/8   teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

Heat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Work in batches frying crab cakes gently 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and heated through. Add more butter to the pan after each batch to ensure crispyness.

Makes 10-12 half-inch patties