Saturday, July 5, 2014

PSP Be Damned!

I learned a very sad fact not long after we first moved up here.  It's called PSP, and it stands for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.  It's basically a toxic contamination from algae that affects Alaskan shellfish.  PSP more than likely will kill you if you eat a clam, muscle, oyster, etc. that has it.  Starts with a tingling around the lips and then you're toast.  If you know me, you know that clams are one of my all time favorite things to eat - hence the sadness after learning about PSP.
Come to me, clammies!

So, I've been in a clam wasteland for the last year because I nurtured a somewhat overkill paranoia of it.  It wasn't even a realistic fear because the commercial fishing industry is held to some pretty strict regulations and testing for PSP.  It's the going digging on the beach for shellfish on your own where the threat is real.

But the good news is, I've finally gotten over my paranoia! I crossed my fingers & pulled the trigger and picked up a dozen and a half clams one weekend not too long ago.  And damn, were they good!  They were either butter clams or Pacific little necks.  I'm not sure which ones they were, but they were fantastic.  My go to steaming recipe is with white wine, but I had to go beer style because it's all I had.  Turned out great.

We finally started going to the local fish market in town, which is where I picked up the clams.  It took us a while to check it out, and I have no idea why.  It's funny though - there's a little bit of a stigma since this is such a hard-core fishing town.

The unspoken (and even sometimes directly asked) question is, "Oh, are you from out of town?"  The subtext being, "Why didn't you catch the halibut, salmon, cod, etc. yourself?"  That's alright, I'll take the heat from the die hard fishermen.  Not everyone is on the damn river every weekend.  Some of us hike mountains, dammit.  Just kidding.  I'm looking forward to doing some fishing this summer.  Just haven't made it happen yet.  It's at the top of the must-do this summer list.  Cause ya know there's a list.

So our local joint is called Pacific Seafood, and it has a good selection of what you would expect. - Halibut, salmon, cod, crab, shrimp, scallops, and others. It's pricey, but so worth it.  And really not any pricier than the fish we used to buy in Key West.  Goes with the territory of living on an island, I guess.

Great little place to get some fish - if you don't catch it yourself!

I had my little clam appetizer, and we got some Halibut for the main course.  We grilled it in a cast iron skillet with blackened seasoning.  I say we as if I had something to do with the process.  My role started and ended with procuring the fish. - The rest was all the hubby, and holy Lord was it tasty.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  I highly recommend marrying a cook!

We kept it simple with the side dishes.  Just some green beans and macaroni and cheese.  Perfect summer meal!

On another note - I'll be taking a little break from blogging for a few weeks, so you won't see any new posts from me for most of July.

I have a pretty good reason for the hiatus, though.  I turn the big 40 in about a week and a half & we're heading over to Italy to celebrate.

I'm really looking forward to the trip!  Wine, pizza, pasta, mouth waters just thinking about it.  And then all that old world architecture, art, and scenery we'll get to experience...I can't wait!  So, I'll be back to my ramblings sometime at the end of July after our Italian escapade - with lots to share, I'm sure.  Try not to miss me too much. 

Ta-ta for now.  Or, I guess I should say arrivederci.  No wait, I got it:

Ciao-ciao for now!!

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