Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New England Clam Bake

New England Clam Bake

Now that's a meal worthy of a 40th birthday! During our cottage getaway, Granny Tan and I attempted a paired down version of a New England Clam Bake. I'd seen a few recipes floating around and thought it was worth a try.

First we introduced Clancy to the lobster. My dogs have already met a lobster or two along the way but this was Clancy's first. He found it a little skittish.


We only had mussels, clams and lobster for our clam bake. We were suppose to head to the market but we never wanted to leave the cottage the whole time we were there. Typically a NE Clam Bake also has corn, potatoes, chicken and sausage but we're purists. Just seafood please.

Most recipes call for seaweed to put on the bbq to steam the mussels and clams open but I couldn't find any. Okay, I didn't take the time to walk one block from my house to get some from the shore. But I did get some dulse from the seafood market. I soaked that in water for a couple of hours then took the dulse out and used the water as the base in my pot to steam the mussels and clams. I added a wack of salt to give us that salt water taste. And I threw in some lemons, cause we had 'em. The lobsters were cooked ahead and just warmed on top of the mussels and clams.

I also did a flavoured butter mixed with chives and sweet paprika. What a flavour! It was great with the mussels but the lobster just screamed 'traditional' butter which we had too.

Finish off with libations and a great meal was had by all.

Ah wine...

Okay there may have been a lot of libations...

Mojito me ugly!

So far '40' is great!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Local Hangout.

So this past weekend we ventured over to my new local spot, Fisherman's Cove. It's a quaint little cove full of shops, fish places, a couple of restaurants, a pub and an awesome coffee shop! But first let's talk about the restaurant. Boondocks is a touristy spot run amok. The decor is a little embarrassing in it's overkill with the ocean theme. So you can imagine my trepidation at trying the food. However I had to venture in. Mom and I stopped in for a bowl of chowder a couple of weeks ago when I was first getting settled in the new pad (see other blog about the move) and the chowder was delicious. However the service was really slow and the place was almost empty and the bun they served with the chowder was not exactly fresh. But the chowder was good. And I know chowder! So I was prepared to give this restaurant another chance.

So during our very rainy Saturday this past weekend, we grabbed The Kid and headed over for a meal. Tim and I had just been to about every store in the greater Dartmouth area so we were seriously hungry and feeling the need for good seafood. Well first off, there were no basic options on the menu for The Kid. They must have a kids menu but of course they didn't offer it to a kid who is as tall as us.... Most of the menu is seafood. Which was great for Tim and I but what about the kid... He settled for the ribs. It was an expensive meal at $21.99 but we knew if he didn't like the ribs then we would love the leftovers the next day. So all was good. Tim got the fish and chips and I got the fried clams. Healthy eating had officially gone to hell in a hand basket for the day!

We started bravely with the calamari. Oh my goddess! It was seriously good. Fresh and tasty. Not a chewy bit to be found. This had to be fresh not frozen. Even The Kid had a taste and liked it. It was served with a spicy Tzatziki sauce. Seriously. This was good stuff. Okay bring on the main course. I'm ready!

The Kid's meal was huge. Definitely built for sharing. He really liked them too! He had fries and even a half corn on the cob. I didn't try the corn but I can't image that it was local so it should have been fairly starchy after it's journey from where ever. The Kid said it was good (after we cut it off the cob due to braces interference) and he has had the really good, straight off the stalk stuff. So he should know good corn. The veggies on the side were a bit overcooked but seemed fresh. And the pile of ribs?! There was a mound. And they were tasty and tender. Well worth the money. Next time I get a rib craving I know where I'll be heading! Wonder if they do take out?

As for our seafood. Tim's fish was so light and flaky that even The Kid enjoyed a taste. And my clams were great. The batter had a sweetness to it that balanced nicely with the clams.

I had a lovely Jost Pinot Grigio with my meal. It was lovely.

There are many more dishes to be tried at Boondock's and I look forward to doing my fair share of sampling.

As I mentioned in the beginning, there is also a fantastic coffee shop, Sea Gulps. They have great coffee, a quaint shop and a nice looking patio on the water in the inside of the cove. I had a Creme Brulee latte. It was awesome. I look forward to buying my beans from them in the future!

And where will I be buying my seafood from now on? Well there are at least 4 retail seafood shops. This really is God's country...