It's January, the winter chill has finally set in, and nothing sounds better than curling up with a hearty, filling stew. Don't sacrifice your New Year's resolutions just yet. Try this satisfying and light Cioppino instead of something that will weigh you down.
Cioppino is an Italian-American fish stew that originated in San Francisco, California. Originally it was made on boats while out at sea and later became a staple in Italian restaurants.
You can add all sorts of seafood to this stew — clams, mussels, shrimp, white fishes, salmon, octopus — you name it. Serve it with white wine and some crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
As the season for wild-caught salmon comes to a close, you might be wondering what alternatives are out there. What fish is comparable in texture, flavor and healthy oils?
Well, we have the just the fish for you! The Organic Butcher is now carrying responsibly and sustainably farm-raised Arctic Char.
Arctic Char has a distinct light, sweet flavor and firm pink flesh that is similar to salmon, though milder. It is nutrient-rich and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are turned off by farm-raised fish, know that the environmentally friendly method used to farm Arctic Char is completely different than farmed salmon. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch gives Arctic Char a “Best Choice” eco-rating as opposed to Salmon which ranges from the lesser "Good Alternative" to "No, Thanks" ratings. We are careful to source our Arctic Char from responsible farmers.
If you have never had Arctic Char, you are in for a treat. It's mild taste will appeal to a wide range of palates.
ARCTIC CHAR WITH CHARMOULA (Food & Wine)
This roasted garlic charmoula — a classic North African marinade and sauce packed with fresh herbs and spices — is excellent with a rich fish, such as arctic char or salmon.
Four 5-ounce, skin-on Arctic Char fillets
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
In a small skillet, toast the garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the skins blacken, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard the skins.
In a food processor, puree 1/3 cup of the oil, the garlic, parsley, cilantro, olives, lemon juice, cumin and paprika until smooth. Transfer the charmoula to a bowl and season with salt.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it skin side down in the skillet. Cook the fish over moderately high heat until the skin is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook just until it flakes easily, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve the fish with the charmoula.
Recipe Suggestion: SIMPLE GRILLED SALMON from Primal Palate The simple marinade for this salmon is our go-to marinade for chicken, fish, or shrimp. It is also fantastic over lamb, and would pair well with pork as well. The lemon in this marinade brings fresh flavor to the deep aromas of the basil and oregano.
1 lb. Wild Caught Salmon Filet
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
Our first recipe submission comes to us from friend of the store, Laura Allen. She whipped up this light and healthy meal with fresh Sea Bass purchased from us. Because Laura was chosen to be featured, she'll enjoy 15% off her next purchase! Scroll down to see how you can earn 15% off, too, and be the talk of the town!
Sea Bass with Citrus and Soy (Bon Appetit, March 2002)
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 6-ounce sea bass fillets
Chopped green onions
Mix first 6 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add fish; turn to coat. Chill 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.
Place steamer rack in large skillet. Arrange fish on rack. Pour marinade into skillet under rack and bring to boil. Cover skillet and steam fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Transfer fish to plates. Remove steamer rack from skillet. Boil marinade until reduced enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes; spoon over fish. Top with green onions.
A Note from Laura: I added cornstarch at the end to the sauce to thicken and then served it with sautéed spinach (coconut oil and shallots) and mashed cauliflower.
We will be featuring customer submitted recipes on our blog and social media on a regular basis. If you would like to be featured, send us an email with your recipe, any pertinent notes and photos of the final dish. As always, more is better so if you have photos of the cooking process or one of yourself, please include them. Be sure to specify which products were purchased at The Organic Butcher. Send all submissions to email@example.com.
If your recipe is chosen, you'll receive 15% off your next purchase!
Also, don't forget to tag us (@theorganicbutcherofmclean) on your Instagram photos.
Switch it up tonight with our line-caught Coho salmon from Alaska. Coho is slightly milder in flavor than Sockeye but with the same beautiful red-orange color. Because wild salmon is not in season, this is the highest quality fish on the market right now. It's frozen at sea to ensure optimal freshness.
Salmon is extremely high in healthy omega-3 fats and is as satisfying in flavor as a piece of steak. We love the recipe below for it's added punch of hot, spicy, sour and sweet. These four elements are what make Asian cuisine so savory.
The recipe calls for Sriracha sauce but a great alternative would be KimKim Korean Hot Sauce. It's locally made in Virginia and is similar to the more common ssamjang sauce found on Korean tables.
We also highly recommend Noble Barrel Matured Maple Syrup. It's unlike anything we've ever had. They pour their heart and soul into crafting this syrup. This blurb from their site says it all:
The Noble brand of handcrafted wares is proud to bring you Noble Tonic 01: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup. Noble procures medium amber grade Maple syrup from heritage sugar shacks in the ancient maple orchards of Québec. The syrup is then matured in Tuthilltown charred American oak barrels, with just a hint of raw Tuthilltown bourbon. This combination and process produces a distinct bourbon, maple and oak flavored syrup. Tuthilltown is New York's first whiskey distillery since the age of Prohibition. This small batch micro-distillery, using locally sourced heirloom corn, apples and grains, embodies the new American pioneering spirit of our age. Noble Handcrafted reflects this same spirit. We hope you enjoy this collaboration of tradition and craft.
Salmon with Sriracha, Maple Syrup & Lime (From the cookbook It's All Good)
1 1/4 lbs salmon filet
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha or KimKim Korean Hot Sauce
1 tbsp Tonic Maple Syrup
Course sea salt
2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together the lime zest and juice, sriracha, and maple syrup along with a pinch of salt. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, place the salmon on top, and pour the mixture over it. Roast until the salmon is done to your liking, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We get a lot of diehard Paleo customers in the shop as well many who are curious about the tenants of the diet. The following is a general overview of the plan. Not only is it very meat-friendly but it’s more of a guideline for eating than a traditionally restrictive “diet.” Paleo is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should return to a pre-industrial era by eating real, whole, unprocessed foods that promote healthy metabolic, digestive, and immune systems.
This means avoiding grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, corn, soy and sugar. And instead, filling up on grass-fed meat like cattle, bison, goats, lamb or wild game. The Paleo Diet also includes pasture-raised chicken, eggs and pork, and wild-caught seafood. In addition, one should eat a variety of vitamin- and mineral-packed, organically grown, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.
The Paleo Diet embraces healthy fats. The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation. Healthy saturated fat comes from grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, ghee, butter and coconuts. Also encouraged is monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts and seeds, as well as a healthy amount of Omega-3.
The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. Kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great options.
This seems like a lot to remember but it's really not. Below is an excellent and handy cheat sheet from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipino. As you can see, following this "diet" is hardly restrictive!
Because Paleo is viewed as a template to healthy living, there is room to personalize. Many people find that chocolate, some dairy, and some alcohol fit nicely into their personal regime. However, it’s recommended one stick to the Paleo template at its most basic before adding or subtracting. You may discover food intolerances, reactions, or or allergies you didn’t know you had.
Scientists are beginning to see the benefits of this way of eating. Test subjects who adopted the Paleo Diet reported significant improvements in their general heath, body composition and energy levels. Doctors are finding that it reduces the risks of many diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Some reported benefits are:
The Organic Butcher offers wild, grass-fed game meats, free-range chicken and wild-caught seafood, plus some prepared Paleo foods for your convenience.
Try our Bison Meatballs or Green Sausage (chicken or pork) and build your meal from there!
If you are looking for an impressive (but simple to prepare) Valentine meal that never fails, the Surf & Turf is the dish for you. It's essence is in its simplicity — an amazing cut of meat, a rich and succulent offering from the sea. That's it. It's almost no-frills, yet it's ALL frills.
The Organic Butcher carries only the highest-quality beef. We offer dry-aged, pasture raised and 100% grass-fed filets. Our Maine lobster tails are trap caught in the wild, then immediately frozen to lock in freshness. We have 7-8 oz and 10-12 oz options available.
As an added Valentine bonus, lobster has a reputation for being an aphrodisiac. You can read more about that here.
The filet mignon comes from the beef tenderloin, the most tender part of the cow. Don't spend a lot of time worrying about seasoning this cut, it's delicious with just coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper. Be sure to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. Melt some butter and olive oil in a heavy, oven-safe skillet, then pan-sear and finish in the oven to your desired done-ness. We recommend medium rare.
Optional: Deglaze the pan with some red wine and reduce for a simple sauce.
Broiling lobster brings out the incredible sweetness of the meat. Be careful not to over-cook. Once the meat turns an opaque white, remove from the oven.
Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic-Chili Butter
2-4 8 ounces fresh or frozen lobster tails
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
Clarified Butter (optional)
Thaw lobster tails, if frozen. Preheat broiler. Butterfly the lobster tails or cut in half length-wise. Place lobster tails, meat side up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.
In a small skillet cook garlic, orange peel, and chili powder in butter over medium heat about 30 seconds or until garlic is tender. Brush mixture over lobster meat.
Broil 4 inches from heat for 8-12 minutes (depending on size) or until lobster meat is opaque. If desired, serve with Clarified Butter.
Serve your filet and lobster with a simple salad topped with Crane Crest Real French Dressing. This dressing from Massachusetts has gained a cult following even though it has no website.
Crane Crest uses a secret recipe passed down from Gordon Crane, a World War II soldier who developed it while stationed in Paris. It is mostly oil, with secret spices that settle at the bottom. Believe us when we say it's life-changing. It might even score you some extra points this Valentine's Day!