Great Eats: Atlantic Harpoon Swordfish Are Here

roaster swordfish on a plate
Roasted Swordfish
Great Eats: This time of summer the  Atlantic Harpoon swordfish are in season.  New England fishermen call it “harpoon” season.  The fisherman, or “strikers,” head out to the Western Atlantic Ocean in small fishing boats and actually hunt the ocean surface for the swordfish. When one is spotted near the surface the striker harpoons the big fish by hand.  A fish caught this way can range from 150 to 600 pounds.

Striker Fisherman Goes After a Swordfish

 
A striker goes after swordfish on a calm day
A striker goes after a Swordfish on a calm day.
Each day the daily catch is brought in and sold to local markets, and the Swordfish steaks usually end up on someone’s plate in less than 24 hours, creating an incredible New England seafood experience for enlightened connoisseurs.
The practice of harpooning swordfish predates industrial scale fishing or “long line fishing” where thousands of baited hooks hang on floated lines that can be more than 30 miles long. The long-line hooks do not discriminate between the type and size of fish caught and experts say the practice in the past has depleted swordfish stocks in some places.  International laws are now in place now to limit the catch of the long lines, and these fishermen are closely monitored.
Harpoon swordfish hunters, or “strikers,” take their catch at a much slower, more selective rate.  The strikers only go after the large fish that are well past breeding age and avoid baby swordfish in the breeding grounds.  The fish are then delivered fresh daily to markets and restaurants in New England. The selective practice presents no threat to swordfish stocks.

Swordfish Season Begins in Summer

While swordfish are found worldwide they are only in season in New England during the summer when the water is warmer.   According to research, the big fish tend to congregate where ocean waters have sharp temperature breaks (above 58°F) and where strong ocean currents meet.  This creates a turbulent environment where there is abundant food.  Along with the strikers, sport fishermen also ply these waters with rod and tackle seeking the big Swordfish.
 
Whether broiled, baked, grilled or on a kabob, fresh from the ocean swordfish is a favorite of first-time seafood initiates as well as seafood connoisseurs. Swordfish has a meaty texture and mild flavor.  Swordfish also offers a low-fat, low-calorie healthy choice for all seafood lovers.  Fresh swordfish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals that are good for the heart.
Atlantic Harpoon Swordfish, fresh off the dock, is among the most popular Boston and Cape Cod seafood treats. This time of summer, many downtown restaurants feature day-boat swordfish steaks. In fact, the delicious fish is almost as popular as a specialty steak in Boston steakhouses. 
 
The most popular fresh summer swordfish recipe  is also the simplest. Marinated and grilled.

Try This Delicious Swordfish Recipe

Here is a great recipe for a one-pound, 1 ½ -inch thick fresh swordfish steak.
 
Mix in a bowl:
  • a teaspoon of fresh chopped basil,
  •  ½ cup of olive oil,
  •  a small clove of chopped fresh garlic,
  •  fresh ground pepper to taste.
  •  If desired, a dash of fresh lime or lemon juice may be added.
Coat the steak and let marinate for one to two hours.  Cook on a medium-high grill for four minutes on each side, or until firm to the touch.  Only flip the steak once.  Do not overcook as the swordfish will get dry very quickly.  Remove from the grill and let stand for one minute before partitioning. Leave the skin on when grilling to help keep the fish moist but remove to partition and serve.
Today fresh Atlantic swordfish can be shipped overnight by a Cape Cod online seafood retailer anywhere in the United States.  This means anyone – from Florida to Kansas – can enjoy delicious swordfish that only 24 hours earlier were swimming in the clean, crisp ocean waters off Cape Cod.
Is it dinner time yet?
© Wayne Howe 2018

 

The Best Wine and Lobster Pairings For Outdoor Entertaining

July 4th Wine & Lobster Pairings

With the Fourth of July just days away, the outdoor entertaining season with fresh Maine lobster is moving into  full swing. With the lobster menu decided upon, the question that always comes up is what are the best wine and lobster pairings?

Cooked Maine Lobster served with a unoaked chardonnay wine
Lobster & Wine Pairings
First of all, let’s answer the question that is most asked.  No, you can not serve red wine with lobster.  The tannin in red wine and the iodine in lobster will react, overpowering the delicate flavor of the lobster, giving the meat a metallic taste.  Therefore, no red wine, not even Beaujolais or other kind of low-tannin red should be served.  The Gamay of even a subtle red will over power the lobster.  The only exception is Lobster fra Diavolo, when Chianti is the only choice.  But that discussion is for another day.

Wine and Steamed Lobster

Today we are entertaining outdoors and a traditional steamed lobster dinner is on the menu.  So what wines are most enjoyable?
I will start out by saying beware of serving robust white wines such as the new types of Chardonnay that have overly vibrant fruit flavoring. The natural saltiness of lobster, as with any seafood, will amplify the flavor of a big fruity Chardonnay.  So unless you are grilling your lobster, go with a Chardonnay that is gently touched with fruit, and mostly unoaked.
Perfect chardonnay for serving with lobster
Pouilly-fuisse & Lobster

For us, we prefer steamed lobster with a white burgundy such as Louis Jadot Pouilly-fuissé (2018 $24.99).  This wine has wonderful Chardonnay flavors, minerals and just a bare touch of oak.  The perfect pairing for enjoying the sweet, delicate taste of warm lobster dipped in melted lobster butter.

First Course Oysters

The first course should be Wellfleet oysters.  They must be shucked and served as an appetizer.  On a large platter covered with plenty of ice, arrange the oysters in circles with traditional New England red cocktail sauce, lemons and horse radish … the only way to serve oysters.

What wine to pair with raw oysters?

The world’s perfect oyster must be served with the perfect Champagne.  We enjoy Taittinger Champagne La Francaise (2017 $49.99).  This sparkling wine has a high blend of Chardonnay grapes to yield a balance of stone fruit and crisp hints of bread crust.  One sip of chilled Champagne, followed immediately by a world famous Wellfleet oyster, and your taste buds will explode.  Trust me, you will love it.

Taittinger Champagne goes with Wellfleet Oysters
Champagne & Oysters

The steamers and chowder should be served as the second course well before the lobster and paired with a zesty Chardonnay.  I enjoy pairing the clams with La Crema Montery Chardonnay (2018 $19.00).  This is a wine with its own fresh mineral notes and tropical aromas of lemon that will nicely pair with the sweet, ocean flavor of the steamer clams.  Just chill the wine and serve.

La-Crema is perfect with clams
Chardonnay & Steamers

 

Fleet of Wines, Shellfish & Lobster

Wellfleet Oysters and Taittinger Champagne;   La Crema Chardonnay and Maine steamer clams (or shrimp); and of course, Louis Jadot  Pouilly-fuissé and lobster; sweet, fresh lobster will all contribute to a memorable outdoor dining experience. The perfect pairings of three wines with three courses of all the best seafood New England has to offer will have your dinner guests abuzz.  Believe us when we say, it does not get any better than this.

Just let us know what time we should be there for dinner.

© Wayne Howe 2017

 

Get the Dad Who Thinks He Already Has Everything Something Really Lively this Fathers Day

 

Looking for an uber cool gift for Dad this Father’s Day?  Whether sharing the day, or sending a gift from afar, what does a good son or daughter gets for a father who thinks he has everything?
Well, think lobster.  That’s what thousands of good children do!
Father's Day Lobster Dinner Gifts
Forget the tie, Dad wants lobster this year
Thanks to a Cape Cod lobster online service, Dad can now go over the top on his big day with a big box of live Maine lobster delivered right to his door.  Whether in California, Colorado or Kansas City, Dad can receive an entire lobster clambake packed up and complete with jumbo live lobster, homemade chowders and freshly harvested steamer clams.  There is even a cook pot available to make the gift complete.
A fabulous Fathers Day Lobster Dinner  feast
The service, Lobsters-Online.Com, offers up all size live Maine lobster that only hours earlier were swimming in the cool, crisp clean waters off New England.  Right from the lobster boats, onto the dock and into the modern shipping facilities, the lobster are carefully inspected prior to travel.  Only select grade lobster and freshly harvested clams and oysters are chosen to make the trip.
You don’t have to go to Maine
“Each year we ship lobster clambakes to hundreds and hundreds of dads for Father’s Day.  Jumbo Maine lobster – five and six pounds – have been very popular in the last couple of years,” said Wayne Howe, marketing manager for Lobsters-Online.Com.  “We take great delight in the idea that perhaps somewhere in New Mexico, a Father may hear his door bell ring and there stands a delivery driver holding a specially prepared travel cooler full of  lobster that only hours earlier were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. What a super surprise.”
Popular Gift Ideas
The New England Lobster Clambake is a tradition older than America itself. According to historical lore, the pilgrims first learned about the lobster from Native Americans. The pilgrims watched Native Americans gather lobster, clams, mussels and fish and prepare them on the beach.
The Fathers Day lobster dinner clambake features live lobster, Ipswich steamer clams, mussels and Cape Cod clam chowder along with an optional enamel steel cooking pot.  Jumbo five and six pound lobsters are a treat for Dads who really love their lobster.  The 1.5 pound lobster is a favorite for cooking on the grill.  Available fresh lobster tails make any party better. Recipes and information on how to steam lobster are free.
All Lobsters-Online.com lobsters are shipped for overnight delivery.  The lobster and seafood are carefully placed in special insulated cartons.  Individual compartments protect the live lobster from harming one another during their flight. The cooler is packed with gel ice packs and wet seaweed. And best of all, an order placed online by 2:30 p.m. EST can be part of a feast anywhere in the USAthe very next day.

© Wayne Howe 2018