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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
Gunnar was talking about brewing & fish tacos, two things that go well together. But, I didn’t want to hijack his threads with my meanderings, so I'll bore folks here.

I’ve been a slacker the past couple months when it comes to brewing, I’ll get back into the swing of things in the next month or so. I do have 8 gallons of October ale that has been in the fermenter for going on 12 months now - I need to bottle one of these days.

The focus lately has been on fish. It’s the season to put up the year’s supply of fish.

We did recently have fish tacos, we used fresh halibut (the recipe for the white sauce was a little different from Gunnar’s). But, however you sauce them up fish tacos are tasty.

We’re going to put the net in the water on tomorrow’s morning tide. Another 20 Red salmon and we’ll be set, then we’ll likely fish one or two tides for folks who can’t get out and do it themselves.

Two Saturday’s ago we put the net out and pulled in 12 Reds and 5 Kings (jacks). A big ass King hit the net – at first I thought a seal had stealthed in on us and was stealing our fish : -) But it was a King – it blew right through my Red net, left a fair size hole too : -)

The Red and King runs have been okay this year. Maybe a few more Kings that usual, but the Naknek River isn’t a noted King fishery. The Red (sockeye) run is a little below the 20 year average.

So far this season they estimate that 1.2 million Reds have moved up river to spawn and around 5 million fish have been harvested, so things are in balance. The run has likely peaked and will taper off sharply in the next few weeks.



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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
You should "hijack" my threads, as there is not enough discussion on much of any threads to be of concern.

I would give you grief about the Oktoberfest, but I have meads sitting in carboys that are over a decade old.

Cool on the fish. I am in sleepy slumber land regarding fish harvesting this time of year. But I don't get a chance to harvest salmon.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Hal, do you have a preference between eating the halibut or eating the salmon?

Halibut can be pretty expensive so I don't eat it that often. It's also very delicate and it can be hard to keep it from breaking apart on the grill. But I've had halibut prepared in restaurants that was amazing.

I prefer salmon because I think it's easier to prepare and generally pretty consistently enjoyable. I also think the Copper River salmon is one highly hyped thing that actually lives up to the hype. I'm never disappointed with it.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
Gunnar, it’s not an Oktoberfest beer – it’s an old style English Ale, it’s just a “Strong” beer. I’ll dig up the recipe when I get back from the beach today.

We’re coming up on low tide and I need to get my butt in gear and get the net out. I slept in a bit later than I should have.

Mead is best brewed with patience and time, isn’t it?

David, for us halibut is just something for a change of pace – salmon is the fish of choice. I don’t cook much fish on the grill, whatever kind it is.

My preferred method for salmon fillets is to throw the pancake griddle in a very hot (450-500) oven until the griddle is smoking hot. Season the fillets however a person wants – throw the fillets on the griddle – 3 minutes on one side then flip them over for two minutes and then get them on the plate and to the table.

As you say, halibut is more delicate and needs to be babied, but it is tasty.
Best thing that comes from halibut is fish head stew. A lot of meat and incredible flavors comes out of the head.

Gotta run – the tide doesn’t wait for slackers.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
I, too, prefer salmon over halibut, but last weekend when my wife and I were in Portland, we ate at a seafood restaurant (Southpark) and ordered fried halibut collar. Absolutely delicious. That, with a local farmhouse ale, was a memorable meal.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
We had a good day with the fish. We spent 6 hours on the beach and hauled in 59 Red salmon. We’ll a couple more times for folks who can’t get out themselves, and then we can put the net away until summer.




Traffic on the Naknek River. 07-16-2016.




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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Looks like you had a more peaceful day, Hal. My son and I went to the Bite of Seattle and it was unbearably packed.

I snapped this photo while waiting in line for some wood plank fire roasted salmon. $10 for a small (3 ounce?) portion of salmon on fry bread with blueberry slaw. It was good but too small.

Bite of Seattle 2016

Gunnar, I thought of you when I saw this place:

Bite of Seattle 2016
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
David, you’re a tougher man than me to deal with crowds like that. I’ve grown very accustomed to not have crowds around me. Not counting river traffic, we probably saw 5-6 people on the breach.

The salmon snack sounds good. But it does sound a bit spendy, this coming from someone who is just about to go and spend 60 bucks for a couple burgers and pints.

But on the other hand you got to spend the time with your son, so likely it was worth the price of the snack.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
October Beer

Gunnar, here’s the basic plan for English October ale.
https://www.homebrewersas...ober-beer/

I think there’s an old timey recipe in one these old standbys:
Samuel Child, "EVERY MAN HIS OWN BREWER . . . .
Anonymous, THE LONDON and COUNTRY BREWER. . . .

I hop it a little more, but don’t get carried away with things. I use Wyeast Belgian 1388 – it seems a good choice for a high test brew that is ferment and condition for a long time.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Yeah, it was a test of my patience for my fellow man, no doubt. The upshot is Jake is old enough now that I can give him $20 and say, "Go find something to eat and meet me back at this spot," and he can be trusted to manage it. That makes it a little easier to handle.

We took the bus downtown -- $5.50 roundtrip for an adult and $3 for a youth compared to paying gas, bridge toll (on the most direct route), and probably $20 or $25 for parking at Seattle Center. The bus ride home was standing room only. Jake and I wound up sitting in the accordion section of the articulated bus -- where the trailer and front of the bus hitch together -- but at least we had seats. Some guy who was standing in the accordion zone fell in my lap when we turned a corner.

I'm figuring out that watching people attempt standing in that area of the bus is like free entertainment. Everyone tries leaning to counter the force on the turn but the floor rotates and you find you aren't leaning the right direction anymore and, boom, down you go.

The proper name is articulated bus, but I call them "accordion buses" because of the bellows between the front and back sections. Did you know they are also referred to as:

* Banana buses.
* Bending buses.
* Bendy buses.
* Caterpillar buses.
* Slinky buses.
* Tandem buses.
* Wiggle buses.

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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
: -) Don’t see buses like that here in the village : -) But, I bet they are good venues for people watching. And people watching is always darned interesting. It can take 24 hours to get from here to Billings – most of the time spent sitting airports. Terminals and planes are great places for people watching too. Though I’m never certain what to think when I notice that people are watching me : -) : -)

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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Ha ha, Hal, if I saw you waiting for the same flight I was on I would ask to be put on a different flight!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
October beer! Yes, my Burton ale currently on tap is very similar to that. I should say kegged, not on tap, as I probably haven't poured a glass since March. Not quite a summer beer.

Dave, I bet you could have got an awesome fish sandwich at that Scandanavian food truck. As mentioned earlier, we were in Portland last weekend. We also ate at a Russian restaurant. The "baltic sprat buterbrodi" was unbelievably good.

http://static1.squarespac...r_v135.pdf
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
I also cook salmon similar to Hal's method, but I blacken it. I cook in my cast iron skillet, heated up on the propane burners I use for brewing. Dip the salmon fillets in melted butter, then sprinkle blackened fish seasoning over it. Sear it about a minute a side.

The last time I did this, I heated the skillet too hot. When I threw the fillets in the pan, evidently the flash point of butter was exceeded, and there was a fire in the pan. Fish came out great, though.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
: -) : -) David, I wish more people thought like you do. Then whenever I flew the plane would be half-empty and I could have a whole of seats to myself.

Hmmm . . . perhaps I need to work on looking a little “different” and make people nervous?
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
Gunnar,

I like some of the brews inspired by 17th and 18th century recipes – of course those brews were sometimes heavily adulterated, but the recipes give a person a point to start from.

I’m not all fond of today’s Barley Wines and Imperial Stouts / Ales. But good old fashioned Strong beers / ales are worth exploring.

The beer scene in Anchorage (and other places on the road system) continues to grow. They are crafting some very good beers now days. Many, maybe most, of the small brewers have figured out there is more to the craft that tuning out beer with a mega hop load. They’ve figured out that beers and ales need to have a full flavor profile to be good. Hops are good, but sometimes people who don’t really know how to brew use hops to cover their shortcomings and mistakes.

I’ve not encountered the flash point of butter : -) That’s interesting : -) I typical just use a little olive oil, sometimes peanut oil. Once in a while if I am going to sauté salmon, I rub the fillets with Italian dressing – I like doing that if I’m going to serve the fish with Italian links (moose or caribou) and pasta.

The last time we were in the City we dined one night at a place called the Kincaid Grill. It is a surprising place. It’s in a small strip mall way out on Jewel Lake Road. Inside it is quite, comfortable and well staffed. Susan had the duck (confit dark meat and smoked breast). I had the cioppino. A huge bowl of king crab, Gulf shrimp, Kodiak scallops & fin fish, in a nicely seasoned tomato fume.

I had a couple pints of Iron Horse High Five Hefe – the brewery is located in Ellensburg, WA. Maybe David is familiar with it. It was a good beer, went well with cioppino.

The Kincaid Grill is spendy though, even by Alaska standards.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Yes, Hal, I am familiar with the Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg. I've never been to the brewery but I have seen their beers on tap (and in cans) around Seattle. I have tried their Irish Death Dark Ale and their Iron Horse IPA. I would pick the IPA over the Irish Death but if I recall correctly it's unfiltered and I swear unfiltered beers tend to give me a bad headache the next day.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
Iron Horse is fairly well distributed. I was ticked off when Irish Death replaced Guinness on tap at my local watering hole in Helena. The bartender told me that the local kids at night like it because it is 8% abv.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Give me a Guinness over Irish Death any day.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
I realize some folks are going to take offense at this, but I’ll take a good Scottish style ale over Guinness any day of the week. I like that peat smoke flavor that comes with a Scots Ale.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
Hal, no one should ever take any offense at anyone's personal beer preference. Folks in Helena who think I am a beer snob (I am a beer know-it-all, there is a difference) are astonished when they find out that I drink PBR, Coors, and Rainier on a regular basis.

I love Scotch ales. My local brewery, the Blackfoot puts out an awesome strong Scotch ale. And Cold Smoke, from Kettelhaus in Missoula, is immensely popular, to the point that they had to curb their distribution as they were stretched too thin.

Our antiquated liquor laws in Montana are a continuing battle, mostly due to the old licensing system. That could be easily fixed, but as we know, all our politicians are dumbarses, so it doesn't.

And, not to slight Guinness. It is a world class beer. Everyone has their own taste preference, that should not be mocked (I quit mocking clammy bud light drinkers years ago).
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
: -) : -) Just being polite.

The interesting thing I find about Scottish-style ales is the peat. I like the flavor profile in ales, but I don’t like Scotch whiskey. Susan does, and drinks (what are apparently) some good whiskies.

When I was young and foolish I had a taste for ryes. I say foolish because rye whiskey and water gives me cotton mouth, thus encouraging me to drink more to quench the thirst. That is not always the wise thing to do, especially now that I’m (long since) not in my twenties.

The last time she was in the City, Susan brought home a single malt (barley) whiskey distilled in France. Brenne, it’s aged in Cognac casks. The distiller has been in business since the 1920s. It’s not peat smoked malt, but it has a very intense flavor profile.

At some point when I was in my mid-twenties I discovered brandies. Now brandy is an amazing beverage. I’ve never had the money to explore brandies as they should be delved into. Armagnacs and Cognacs are always a good place to start – but shelling for the genuine top shelf . . . well that hurts my wallet and my conscience.

For many years I’ve heard stories about Armenian brandies, I’ve tried to find them every time I travel to metropolitan communities, but I’ve yet to sample any.

In addition to French brandies, the Spaniards turn out a good and affordable product. A 12 year Torres is damned good sipping liquor.

It surprises some people to learn that Mexico produces some excellent brandy. The Presidente label comes to mind. I’ve never saw their top shelf product sold in this country, but what is available here is well worth drinking. The Argentines and Chileans also produce excellent brandies. There are craft distillers in California, Oregon, and Texas who will be world class in years to come.

The past few years I’ve been exploring rum and it’s siblings (not the evil crap that is spiced), but real rums. Hawaii, Venezuela, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and many others produce amazing sipping liquor. Folks who think rum is only Bacardi or the Captain-whatever stuff are missing out on a real treat.

Though to be honest, when it comes to everyday swilling, I rely on cheap label, Caribbean labels.

Anyone who enjoys reading about brewing & distilling (and the products thereof) would likely find this of interest:
Image result for the drunken botanist
Amy Stewart, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks (2013).

Well enough of this.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
I went to Costco in Kirkland, WA, this afternoon and:

Fresh wild-caught Pacific halibut was $19.99 / pound.
Farm-raised filleted Atlantic salmon was $8.99 / pound.
Farm-raised filleted steelhead was $7.99 / pound.
They didn't have any wild-caught salmon of any kind.

USDA Choice tenderloin steak was $13.99 / pound.
USDA Choice boneless ribeye steak was $10.99 / pound.
USDA Choice New York strip steak was $9.99 / pound.

It all looked beautiful. You have to buy about 2 pounds worth to get it for those prices. I didn't buy any of it today.

Big, plump blueberries were going for $5.49 for a 2-pound clamshell. I did buy some of those.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
That is quite pathetic. That I, in Helena Montana, has a better fish selection tHan Dave in PNw, well, that is some what amazing
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Posted by ZZZzz (-560) 2 years ago
I might be headin' your way Gunnar. Maybe we could go fishing. I am kind of crippled up so we would have to fish off the bank with worms but I have a nice convertible fly rod you might like. Was kind of made for extended fishing trips on foot.Actually on well prepared. FEET. Foot would be reserved for when you had to crawl back with part of the bear still atached.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Reply to Gunnar Emilsson (#367674)
Well, it was just one store and Costco. They also had tilapia which I didn't look at, probably some tuna, and frozen scallops. I don't believe I've ever seen Costco carry previously frozen salmon.
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Posted by ZZZzz (-560) 2 years ago
I had some fresh salmon Thursday still liked the fresh shark and whatever they pulled out of the sea that day when I worked in Hawaii the only time I got to fish was fishing for good time with the locals late at night after work. So local hangouts no fishing and no nothing work 5am 7 days.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
David,

Farmed fish? Man that sucks. There has to be an outlet there that sells good fish. Maybe one of the fishmongers at Pikes Street Market would have wild caught sockeye.

Copper River starting buying salmon from here a few years ago is selling it under their label to meet demand. “Bristol Bay: our fish is so good Copper River Seafood’s buys our red salmon.”

Your beef prices are good.

The AC Store here in the village (Alaska Commercial Company) has beef short ribs on sale this weekend for $9 a pound. Ground beef is at the usual price, $11 per pound.

We were in the City over the July 4th weekend. I but a whole beef loin (New York strip) – it weighed around 13.5lbs and cost $120. I’m going to take a center cut roast out of it, save the trim for stir fries, and use the use for burgers.

It’s spendy but it makes great burgers. You slice the meat about ½ inch thick, put the slices in the freezer until they are almost frozen and then chop the meat by hand into pieces about the size of pea. Take the suet and do the same, but chop it finer, about the half the size of the red meat. Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper and mix it together until you have a 80/20 blend. When you mix it up and form the patties, you need to take care not to compress it too much – you don’t want to take that beautiful meat and turn it into a compressed fast food patty.

When I’m ready to form the patties I add a little powdered milk for binder. I usually make 6 ounce patties an 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick.

It takes a lot of knife work to chop the meat and sharp knives, but you wind up with a quality product and if you cook them properly they are some darned good burgers.

I like to serve them with melted blue cheese on sliced and toasted homebaked white bread. I encourage folks to try them as they are before soaking them with condiments or adding lettuce & the like to them. I think they taste best when the meat, cheese and bread are left to speak for themselves.

Once in a while I’ll serve them with a drizzle of melted peanut butter and dill pickle chips. If you can get real dill pickles, not the “modern” ones that are full of corn sugar – it is an amazing taste combination.
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Posted by David Schott (+13388) 2 years ago
Hal, your burgers sound really good. I've been seeing beef prices coming down a little bit. I can buy 80/20 ground beef for $3.99/pound at Fred Meyer. A year ago it was probably more like $4.99/pound.

Time magazine had an article last year about a study that found 43% of salmon was mislabeled with 69% of the mislabeling being farmed Atlantic salmon labeled as wild salmon. The bulk of that mislabeling happens in restaurants.

I've said it here before, I'd rather eat fresh farmed salmon or steelhead than previously frozen salmon that is too often flattened and mushy.

One of the reasons I didn't buy any meat yesterday was because we had dinner reservations last night and we have dinner plans again tonight. Plus it's hard for just my wife and I to get through 2 pounds of meat before it spoils and I'm not big on freezing it. If I buy 2+ pounds of fish at Costco I have to be ready for a fish-eating marathon.

We were celebrating a birthday last night and we went to a local restaurant called "Spazzo" (Dinner Menu). I had the clam linguine -- manila clams steamed in olive oil, pinot grigio, butter, herbs (red pepper flakes), and fresh tomatoes. The clams were particularly large and meaty and quite suitable for grossing out my kids when I ate them.

Picture from Yelp:

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Posted by ZZZzz (-560) 2 years ago
I dunno. I had a professional Chefette or is that Cheffette live with me.Would post a pic here but too many azzholes here and I don't know how and green in other's eyes is the way here.Yeah she spoke 6 or so languages too.A fiend of mine at the time told me of all of the good things about staying at my somewhat humble abode on most of a city block was the food and that we did not have to drive home from the bar.She went 2 for 2 in winning Halloween costume contests.Was a World class executive
at one period in life.Will keep this pg rated but you can imagine 6'3 - in 6 inch heels and 61kg and then dream if you like lol. Gormet meals every day.Dunno what the problem was.I just kept telling her "Barb,everyone likes you but me" You see,she really did not like being called Barb.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12833) 2 years ago
Reply to ZZZzz (#367675)
ZZZzz wrote:
I might be headin' your way Gunnar. Maybe we could go fishing. I am kind of crippled up so we would have to fish off the bank with worms but I have a nice convertible fly rod you might like. Was kind of made for extended fishing trips on foot.Actually on well prepared. FEET. Foot would be reserved for when you had to crawl back with part of the bear still atached.


I like to fish from the bank with worms as much as the next guy, but it is way too hot around here for that kind of fishing now. Bank fishing with worms should pick up again when it starts to cool off around the end of September. Right now the trout are in deep water, and they don't really taste any good this time of year.

The only fishing I am interested in this time of year, is hiking to a high country lake and fishing with flies or grasshoppers. There is some bank fishing with worms to be had for perch and walleye, but that is after dark, and since I am fond of drinking beer that time of day, I usually avoid it.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9107) 2 years ago
David,

Nice looking clams. Bet they were tasty too.

The next time you are in San Francisco try the clams & linguine noodles at Jackson Filmore (on the corner of Jackson & Filmore in Pacific Heights). They serve up a good bowl of clams.

We don’t have clams here, we do have pretty decent mussels though. I don’t know what kind of mussel they are – we call them Peterson Point Pissers. You harvest them on the beaches at Peterson Point, when you pick them up they spray water, thus the name.

They are fair sized, especially in the spring. You have to soak them in fresh water for a couple days to purge the grit. They are good steamed on coals or with noodle dishes, but I like to shuck them and make chowder.

As the tide goes out, they pop right up to the surface and you just walk along with a bucket and pick them up. You can fill a 5 gallon buck in less than an hour.



Gunnar,

Susan landed a nice little King yesterday afternoon at the neighborhood creek. Probably 20-25lbs. She fished for around 45 minutes and had 3 or 4 on the line, but only landed the one. She was fishing with light gear and it put up a good fight for her. I think she had 12lb test on her spinning rod and a Blue Fox Vibrax (maybe a number 3 or 4) with a red bell. You’re not supposed to harvest Kings from the creek, they’re doing some population study / research, so she did the catch and release thing. It had been in the fresh water for a while too and was a little redder than we like, so letting it go was no great sacrifice. Me, I don’t catch & release, so I just sat and watched.

The Red run is sputtering out. Chums are starting to come in along with a few Humpies. Silvers should start running in a couple weeks and they is usually a small run of Kings that come in when the Silvers do.
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