Traveling Raw Bar in Boston
Quarterdeck’s catering had a great raw bar event this past weekend. We served 200 Oysters, 100 Clams, and a boatload of happy seafood enthusiasts. The menu included Hog Island Oysters (from the Damariscotta River, Duxbury Oysters and some Clams from MA. We chose these oysters specifically so we could demonstrate the difference in flavor and range that Oysters can have. The Hog River oysters have a brinier more oceany taste, while the Duxbury’s were a bit lighter and a good option for first time Oyster consumers.
We topped the Oysters with Wasabi Tobiko, Hot sauce, Mignonette and cocktail sauce. A fan favorite was the wasabi tobiko as it added a nice flavor and texture to the shellfish. We imagine it will be a heavily requested feature in Raw Bars to come.
This event is the first of many and we would love to make an appearance at more events in and around the Greater Boston Area.
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Finding your perfect Oyster can be a tough ordeal. When selecting an Oyster there’s a large range to choose from and it can be tough to keep track of what you like and dislike (Especially after a couple dark and stormy’s). For years many Oyster lovers have implemented various techniques to remember their favorites. Some have chosen to phone a friend, while others have relied on sticking with the same few they’ve enjoyed in the past. We’re here today to announce there’s a new app in town paving the way to help you both remember your favorites and start trying some new flavors.
The pearl app (http://www.pearlapp.co/ ) has put together a list of hundreds of different Oysters and allows you not only to rank the ones you’ve tried and loved in the past but will also tell you the nearest location to enjoy them. We’ve found this app especially helpful when we’re looking a place to try some new Oysters. This app is perfect to help us try new Oysters and find new spots around town.
They’ve also added a larger fish finder (cooked only) so you can start finding new places to try your favorite fish (or even find a new one!) We’re excited to see how this app grows and where it takes us from here.
Let us know what you think about this app and your favorite way to use it!
For many home chefs fish can be one of the more foreign proteins to prepare. The first hurdle in preparing a tasty fish dinner is ensuring your fish is fresh. To do this there are a few basic guidelines that apply to most fresh fish. This guide is meant for fresh fish fillets. There are different steps to take into consideration when purchasing shellfish, live fish or whole fish.
1. Inspect the Fillet
The color of the fillet should be vibrant. Over time the meat will become dull and dimmer. A fresh fillet will be vibrant in color and look inviting. This rings especially true for salmon, steelhead, and tuna but remains consistent through most types of fish. Also look out for any juices or liquid on the fillet. Anything that you see should be clear and not milky. Milky juices coming from a fillet is one of the early signs of rot.
2. Smell the Fish
Unsurprisingly the first thing you should do before purchasing any fish is to give it a good whiff. Fresh fish will have a mild smell if any. If the fish smells overly fishy or nasty in any way move on to the next one. You won’t be able to cook out the fishy smell.
3. Feel The Fish
There are a couple of things you’re looking for when feeling a fish fillet. If the fillet has it’s skin on still feel the skin. The skin should be slimy and wet. If the skin is dried out move on from that particular fish. Dried skin could be anything from improper storage to an old fillet. The next thing you want to feel is the meat itself (remember always make sure it’s okay before just grabbing a fillet). The meat should be reasonably firm to the touch. It’s not going to be as firm as steak or chicken but should hold up under pressure. If the fish falls apart in your hands or doesn’t respond to pressure it’s a bad sign.
4. Taste The Fish (optional)
If you’re buying fish for Sushi – or are planning on eating the fish raw don’t be afraid to ask for a taste first. This won’t always be an option, but it never hurts to ask. I’ve seen this mostly done with Scallops, Tuna, and Salmon as those are the most common for raw or undercooked consumption. Most of the time you can tell the quality and freshness of a fish from looking and smelling but it never hurts to give it a taste. Most of the time this step can be skipped – especially if you trust the market you’re getting it from.
These are four of the top ways to ensure your fish fillet is fresh and ready for consumption. We recommend following through with this process not only when you first purchase the fish, but also before you eat it. It never hurts to double check your fish – especially if it’s been sitting for a day or two.
*This guide is meant to give some basic knowledge and general guidelines to picking out fish. The best way to learn is from a trusted expert at your local fish market.
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