Natasha’s Cooking Tips and Tricks

Wed, 02/10/2016
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We’re often asked what the best cooking methods are for our house-made products—here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions!
 

Fish Cakes:

Try these easy suggestions for cooking up your halibut, salmon, or crab cakes. One method is to bake them on a cookie sheet in a preheated 375°F oven. They’ll take 10-12 minutes to cook, and flipping them half way through is required unless you’re using a toaster oven. Another preferred option is to pan fry them over medium heat in a well-oiled skillet for 3-4 minutes per side. Pan frying the cakes gives them a nice crispy coating on the outside. Since the halibut cakes are thicker than the crab and salmon cakes, we suggest searing them in a skillet first and finishing them in the oven, to ensure they are cooked throughout without burning them.

 

BC Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip:

Once only available as a special feature during the holiday season, our dip is so popular that we now carry it all year round! Wild BC Dungeness crab is our key ingredient, trap caught on Vancouver Island then cooked and peeled by hand. This decadent treat can be cooked right in its 7 oz. container—just remove the lid before popping it into a preheated 350°F oven, and the dip will be ready in 12-15 minutes. When heated through, the top is lightly browned and the edges will be bubbly Our Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip is perfect for serving with sliced veggies, crackers, tortilla chips, pita bread, or a nice baguette.

 

Sauces/Butters/Marinades:

We carry a delicious array of specialty sauces to accent the variety of seafood we sell in store. Our versatile marinades can either be used to marinate your seafood hours before cooking, added during the cooking process, or even used as a finishing sauce. Thinner sauces like our Sake-Soy Marinade can even be reduced in a saucepan over low heat—the end result will mimic a balsamic-like reduction in texture. Our Garlic and Lemon-Dill Butters are great for pan frying seafood in place of oil. You can also melt them and use them as a dipping sauce for your shellfish. And if you’re interested in baking your seafood, simply flake off pieces of the flavoured butter and lay them across the top of your seafood before putting it in the oven. As your seafood bakes, the butter will melt right into it and add even more delicious flavour.

 

Wild Smoked BC Salmon Lox:

Fresh Ideas Start Here is lucky enough to have our own smokehouse! Every smoked seafood product we sell in our store is smoked by us in Richmond, BC. While our wild smoked salmon lox is delicious enough to just eat it as is, it’s also very versatile if you feel like getting creative. Our lox is divine on a toasted bagel with plain cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion, capers, and a bit of fresh dill. It’s also perfect in any cream or clear-sauced seafood pasta. And it’s even delicious on pizza too! We suggest using a thin-crust base together with a fresh pesto of your choosing in place of marinara sauce. Throw on your toppings of choice (our favourites are dill, red onion, spinach, and capers along with a white cheese), bake your pizza, and top it with smoked lox once you take it out of the oven. Enjoy!

 

Live BC Clams and Mussels:

Many of our customers ask us about the best way to properly prepare our live Clams and Mussels, so here goes! While some clams can be full of sand and require soaking, our ocean-purged BC Clams don’t contain any sand in them and don’t need to be rinsed. Some people like to scrub them before cooking, but this isn’t really necessary as the shells are always very clean. Our BC Mussels do require a little bit of extra work, though, as some—but not all of them—have little green beards on their sides. If you spot a beard while prepping your mussels, simply grasp it and give it a quick pull—it will come right off. Also, remember that both clams and mussels should never be submerged in tap water at home. These mollusks require salt water to live, and regular water will kill them. Simply store them in an open container in the fridge with a wet cloth on top until you’re ready to use them. Mussels and clams can stay refrigerated like this for up to 36 hours. To cook them, you can do a simple steam or submerge them in an aromatic broth on the stove; the stovetop method requires a tight-fitting lid. When cooked, both clams and mussels will open up naturally. Total cooking time is usually between 8-12 minutes, depending on your chosen method.