Catalina Offshore Products and Specialty Produce
August 22, 2010 § 13 Comments
After reading Cathy’s post about Specialty Produce, I thought it would be a great idea to get one of SP’s Farmers’ Market Bags (FMBs). Our CSA membership had just come to an end and quite frankly, I was getting a little burnt out on the same leafy greens week after week. I wanted to try the FMBs because there are no commitments or membership processing fees and I can purchase on a weekly bases when I want to. The price and the amount of produce is comparable to what we’ve been getting. I just have to drive a bit further to get it. But not really a problem, especially on days when the Mister has time for lunch. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Actually, it was kill 3 birds with one stone on days like last Thursday when I went to SP and Catalina Offshore Products for some fresh fish after having lunch with him.
Cathy and Kirk of mmm-yoso have mentioned Catalina Offshores as well as Mike & Sherry of Menu in Progress. You can even read a post about a cooking collaboration with Catalina Offshores Products and Specialty Produce here. And coincidentally, this post is about some good eats from the food from both places.
Here’s a shot of the whopping section of bluefin tuna from CatOP. Beautiful piece of fish as was the Yellowfin tuna and Yellowtail that I also bought. Sorry I forgot to take pictures of those since I had company and I was busy preparing dinner.
Since all the fish were sashimi grade, I made, well, sashimi platters for dinner. Thank goodness that I had a really really sharp long knife to cut all the pieces. I don’t have a special sashimi knife (yanagi), like this one, but maybe Santa might bring one this Christmas. If the price of the knife gives you indigestion, just look at the prices of some of the other ones (hold on to your socks, or slippas in my case).
The upper 2 left are the yellowtail. Bottom right is the yellowfin tuna, the bottom left and top right are bluefin tuna. According to Tommy at CatOp, the bluefin tuna is fattier but the yellowfin has more flavor. I thought the yellowfin did have a bit more flavor but we really enjoyed the fattiness of the bluefin. I didn’t have any daikon radish on hand so I decided to shredded some of the yellow and orange carrots from the FMB. The green stuff on the bottom left is 100% wasabi paste that I also got from CatOp. Once you’ve had this stuff, you’ll probably have a hard time eating that other pasty pungent stuff typically served in restaurants. The center is just some thinly sliced green/purple parts of scallions I had on hand (gotten from my local Farmer’s Market). So what’s with that empty area in the plate? It was for this:
Poke! I made Spicy Ahi Poke using Kirk’s poke recipe with some modifications. The poke included the trimmings from the bluefin and yellowfin tuna as well as the Bermuda onions and purslane from the FMB. It’s the first time I’ve had purslane and we enjoyed the crunch and freshness it added to the poke. BTW, purslane is a good way to get your omega-3, vitamin A & C, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. The leaves has a slight tangy, lemony taste to me. I’ll have to look into growing it in the garden for next season.
Up to now, this post focused more on the fish but the stuff I got in this week’s FMB was no wall flower. I made a fantastic salad for lunch yesterday using FMB items: Deer’s Tongue lettuce, purslane (again!), Asian pear and heirloom tomatoes. I topped it all off with some Litehouse Pear Gorgonzola dressing to round everything out. I didn’t take a picture because the battery in my camera needed recharging so you’ll just have to take my word as to how beautiful the salad was. With my photography skills, it probably wouldn’t have done it justice anyway.
So there you have it. Just a note on CatOp. If you do want to buy from them, they typically only sell in larger quantities. Or you can always add on about 2 lbs of daily fresh fish from CatOp to your FMB for $10-12 more. You may think 2 lbs is a lot but just think of all the things you can make with it. Check out Cathy’s eats here (scroll down) and here. Oh right, I also made some of Cathy’s ceviche for lunch today and it was really good. Yes, I bought a lot of fish. But we had a lot of help eating it. I should also mention Specialty Produce has added more local farms to their list, which is great. I love it when we can eat well and support local businesses.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend and staying cool!