Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fun Playing With Goodness from the Sea

Last Saturday, we finally made it to the relocated Bay Lobsters Fish Market 9224 Darrow Road, Twinsburg Ohio - literally right down the street from my house.

I regret that I forgot to grab my camera before we left the house - the new store is bright and clean, with a smooth parking lot, lots of freezer and fridge space - and some fabulous fish and seafood!

All of the case products were tagged with where they came from and whether they were wild or farmed, fresh or previously frozen. We decided on the lovely looking US wild-fished Striped Bass, and a pound of the dry packed scallops, which were in a rainbow of colors. Co-owner John Dziorney also threw a half pound of fresh Florida Grouper fillet into our bag, and we also tasted the house-made Lobster Bisque - which was simply delicious, right down to the wonderfully fresh lobster meat.

You cannot imagine my delight at being able to acquire fish and seafood this good, and so close to home! We started with the bass:


A word of caution - there were a few scales and pinbones. But this is a plus to me - because it tells me that this fish was probably filleted by hand, and not far from the sale point - this was NOT mass market crappo fish!

In fact, simmered in a coconut milk broth (which I was out of - thank heavens for the powdered coconut milk I keep in my pantry for moments like this) with very lovely green beans and red pepper from Heinen's (and a bit of leftover California cauliflower and carrots), it was exquisite. And I don't say that very often about Cleveland fish.

We actually got two meals from 1 pound of fish here.

So - it wasn't until Monday that we sampled the Dry Pack Scallops. Bob marinated them in Miller Farm egg white, Shaoshing Rice Wine, Kosher Salt, and cornstarch before I had a chance to photograph them.

I will plug Aaron Miller's farm again here, though he has no website, his products are worth the effort to obtain:

Miller Livestock is located in northeastern Ohio about 30 minutes from Youngstown. We strive to produce high quality beef, pork, chicken, lamb and turkey on clean, chemical-free pasture.

Beef is available nearly year-round, but spring and fall are the best time to purchase meat because the grass is the sweetest at these times. We sell beef by the half or quarter, as well as individual cuts and ground meat. Lamb and hogs are available summer and fall with greatest availability in the fall. Fresh chicken is available early June, September, and later in October. Turkeys are available throughout the fall or can be held for Thanksgiving. White and brown eggs from free-range laying hens are plentiful year-round.

Visitors are welcome—please call ahead. We welcome your inspection of our farm and look forward to meeting you.

Miller Livestock, Aaron Miller and Family, 9590 Kinsman-Pymatuning Road, Kinsman OH 44428. (330) 876-5655. E-mail:

The scallops would become part of Spicy Orange Scallops with Fresh Rice Noodles, from one of my favorite cookbooks, the late Barbara Tropp's China Moon Cookbook.

First, the marinated scallops are velvetized in simmering water:

Seasonings of orange zest, scallion and home-made hot chili oil (together with some "goop" from the oil) are combined and stir fried.

Onion is added to the wok - then fresh bell pepper, onion, and, in a trick I learned from the venerable Chef Ming Tsai, fresh jicama root playing the part of fresh water chestnuts (a completely different animal from canned waterchestnuts - which are inedible).

Looks a lot like fresh waterchestnut, doesn't it?

This was the first time, unfortunately, that frozen rice noodle sheets disintegrated when cooked.

I have to wonder if they weren't "previously frozen."

The dish came out fabulously:

And the one pound of scallops provided two full meals for the two of us.

Tuesday night rolled around, and we still hadn't touched the lovely half pound of grouper fillet that John had gifted us with. I felt badly - I'd asked Bob to freeze it, but he hadn't - and I was afraid that it wouldn't hold that long. It turned out I worried over nothing.

Bob sauteed the fillet, then sauteed veggies in leftover scallop sauce, and put it all together over rice. That had to have been very fresh grouper, because it was still damned close to pristine on Tuesday and we'd acquired it Saturday, which meant it had to have been out of the water for at least 5 or 6 days. Outstanding. Recommended. Delicious.

So - if you crave truly fresh and delicious fish or seafood - get thyself to Bay Lobsters in Twinsburg and taste the goodness. Shop carefully and you will be rewarded with goodness rarely seen in our landlocked seafood wasteland. Fun fish, fun seafood, fun people - go play!

1 comment:

  1. China Moon is a favorite - I need to make a batch of that fiery delicious hot oil.

    Looks like sparkling fresh fish.