Monahan’s Seafood Market has been in business for over 37 years now, but everyday we come to work acting like it’s our first day on the job. Propelled by a passion for fresh seafood and the need to satisfy our discriminating customers, Monahan’s strives to be one of the top markets in the country.
Here’s the recipe for the components necessary for the sandwich, you can save them to use in other things like salads as well.
Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish
1 cup warm water
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
½ pound carrots (grated through a medium fine grater)
½ pound daikon radish (grated through a medium fine grater)
Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolves. Place the carrots and daikon radish in a container and pour the liquid over. Let pickle for one hour. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
For the Shrimp
2 T sugar
2 T water
1 T fish sauce
1 T oil
1 shallot finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 pound wild gulf shrimp
1 T fish sauce
½ tsp black pepper
Heat the sugar and water in a pan on medium high heat until the sugar caramelizes and turns dark brown. Carefully (it will splatter) add the water and fish sauce and stir over low heat until the caramel dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add shrimp, caramel sauce, fish sauce, and pepper and cook until shrimp is pink all over about 3-4 minutes. Let cool.
Assembling the Sandwich
4 T mayonnaise
1 t soy sauce
1 lb. large wild gulf shrimp (see above)
¼ cup pickled daikon radish (see above)
¼ cup pickled carrots (see above)
½ cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 bunch cilantro
1 jalapeño or 2 serrano chilies thinly sliced (optional)
Cut baguette into four pieces and slice in half. Mix mayo and soy sauce together in a bowl and spread on bread. Divide shrimp among 4 sandwiches, place the remaining ingredients on each sandwich and enjoy!
When we opened our fish market back in ‘79 our staff was pretty thin. There were just a few of us and a key guy was “Schwartz.”
Mike Schwartz was a U of M student at the time and was working a lot of hours with us, considering he was a student. He had an interest in fish and cooking and already had restaurant experience behind him from his high school years in Livonia. From the start he helped us with recipe ideas for the market and even though Mike went on to become a lawyer and now a teacher, he still pops in to help out, make a prepared dish, or give some recipe ideas.
This past Tuesday Schwartz prepped an amazing lunch special for us. I’ll let him describe it for you along with the recipe. He used our wild gulf shrimp, which we think are the finest out there. The flavor and the firm “snappy” texture is so much better than the soggy, limp farm-raised shrimp that shows up everywhere nowadays. We also like to support the U.S. fishermen and fishing communities.
I have been telling Michael (Monahan) that he needed to have a lunch special that was served cold. Well, the forecast for the Art Fair this week was HOT. So I thought I should try to get him to serve one of the most refreshing sandwiches around, Bánh Mì. This sandwich usually contains sliced pork or a paté of pork, but I was looking through some of my favorite food blogs and came across Banh Mi burgers on the food blog, Closet Cooking. I remembered that he had a shrimp Bánh Mì sandwich a while back, so I searched the archives and found the recipe.
These fit the bill for a cool and refreshing meal on a hot day. There is some cooking, but that can be done ahead of time so that the stove can stay off in the heat of the afternoon. The caramelized shrimp will keep for a day or two and the pickled vegetables will keep for a week.
The trick to all of the fresh vegetables is to cut them thin enough. I use a mandoline for the cucumbers and the peppers. For the carrots and daikon radish I use my Borner 4 sided grater with a julienne side that is just perfect for this cut. If you use your coarsest setting on your box grater it is a little too large. I would suggest slicing the carrots and daikon on a mandoline and then cutting the slices into matchsticks.
As for some other variations, you could substitute red pepper flavored rice vinegar for the white vinegar in the pickling part of the recipe. You could also use Monahan’s Mustard Mayo dip instead of plain mayonnaise (add the soy sauce to the dip). You could also substitute Monahan’s Salmon Burgers for the Shrimp. I would sauté the salmon burgers for 1-2 minutes each side before adding the liquid in that cooking step.
The freshest most vibrant, refreshing and healthful taste of summer has got to be ceviche! What is ceviche? It’s raw fish, shellfish or even vegetables that have been marinated in fresh citrus juice (that “cooks” it), then other ingredients are added such as hot peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, or cilantro.
Most Latin American and Caribbean countries have some version of this dish. The origins of ceviche probably go way back to pre-Incan times, probably in Peru, when fish was marinated in a fermented corn juice called “chichi”. Later the Spanish brought citrus and onions and the limey, spicy yet refreshing dish began to evolve. Peruvians serve their ceviche with potatoes or sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, corn nuts or popcorn. They may have invented the original but I’ve had some amazing ceviche in Mexico. They make a nice spicy one, often with a tomato sauce (sometimes ketchup). Sounds weird, but in small amounts it tastes great! It’s served with avocado and tostadas, tortilla chips or saltines.
The key to making great ceviche is to start out with impeccably fresh fish or shellfish (sushi grade if possible). Whether you’re using fish or shellfish make sure you have a trustworthy high quality fishmonger that can tell you which fish is appropriate for ceviche and why his fish is fresh enough. If you’re using super fresh fish, I think that the basic simple recipes work best. Many chefs these days are trying all sorts of wild and creative recipes. As long as the fish is cooked through you can really add whatever you want, but I think minor variations on the classics are the way to go.
You can use halibut, redfish, red snapper, or firm fleshed fish such as snapper, striped bass or fluke. Scallops also make great ceviche!
1 lb. super fresh fillet—skinned and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Juice of 10 fresh limes
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small jalepeno peppers fine chop
2 T red pepper fine chop
2 T green pepper fine chop
2 T orange of yellow pepper fine chop
1 bunch cilantro chopped (stems removed)
2 medium tomatoes (in season) or cherry tomatoes halved
2 T olive oil
2 T pickled ginger (gari) fine chop
2 ripe avocados cut into 1/4 inch cubes (save a few pieces for garnish)
2 slices lime (for garnish)
In a glass bowl, combine citrus juices (enough to submerge fish) add fish and cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours.
Pour off most of citrus juice (leave enough for a light sauce). Gently stir in rest of ingredients. Serve in small bowls or martini glasses and garnish with extra avocado cubes and lime slices. Serve with tortilla chips
Oysters are the happening thing in America right now. Of course they’ve been a staple since ancient times but they seem to have historic waves of popularity in our times. Author Mark Kurlansky in his book, The Big Oyster- History on the Half Shell, gives us a look at New York at the end of the 19th century and how important the local oysters (yes fresh out of the New York harbor) were to the growth and culture of the city. Oysters were elegant fare for the wealthy but were also consumed by the poorest of the poor as a cheap and plentiful source of protein. Every major city in the U.S. had lots of oyster bars (usually in cellars where ice could be more easily stored); oyster mania was in full swing!
Americans have always loved their oysters but the oyster craze slowed because of dwindling supplies due to over fishing, disease, pollution and the Great Depression among other things.
Here’s some great news; oyster mania is back in full swing! Thanks to aquaculture, oysters are being farmed all over the world. Raised in their natural environment, filter feeding on the surrounding natural plankton we now have a huge selection! In our brief 40 year history we’ve really seen some changes. In 1979 we offered an amazing selection- Blue Points from Long Island Sound. That was it. Nobody had much to offer back then because oyster farming was still pretty new in the U.S. Soon we brought in some Chesapeakes and later we offered Pacific Olympias (the only native oyster to our West Coast). Now there are hundreds of choices.
We choose a small selection of what we think are the finest available oysters from the East and West Coasts. It’s interesting to have a huge selection but we feel that it’s better to have a couple types of fantastic oysters rather than risking the grey area of quality in offering a lot of variety. Quality not Quantity. Our selections for this weekend are Duxbury & Salten Points from MA, Beau Soleil from New Brunswick and the larger Delaware Bays would be great for grilling.
Razor Clams are something we try to get into the market when we can…we don’t see them a lot here in Michigan because harvesting is difficult and they are very brittle, fragile, don’t travel well and are very perishable. Our razor clam supplier gives us a heads-up whenever they have them but unfortunately that is not often enough. Sweet and tender they are one of our finest clams (when we can get our hands on them).
Rinse clams under running cold water. Set aside.
Prepare grill…when it’s nice and hot, make sure the grate has been oiled. Lay clams meat-side-up over grill. Baste with soy sauce or garlic and olive oil (a nice variation is to add a little chopped jalapeño pepper and cilantro or your favorite fresh herbs).
Grill until clam opens up and the meat firms up (about 4-5 min). Arrange on a platter and serve with more sauce for dipping with some nice crusty bread.
A rare and unusual treat that we love have been popping up lately— Razor Clams from Ipswich on Cape Cod. With a long shell shaped like a straight razor and a foot that’s as long as its body, it’s one weird looking critter.
These clams are not easy to catch.Hunting for them at low tide, you look for a keyhole shaped opening in the sand and you know a Razor Clam is hiding below. Getting them out is another story, they are incredibly fast, faster than a human’s ability to keep up with them. One tricky way to catch them is to pour salt into their hole—they don’t like that. When they pop up to escape the salt you can nab it.
Besides being super-fast burrowers, they’re also amazingly good swimmers. At high tide they come out and swim around. They distend their foot in and out, flap their shell and move along quite beautifully, feeding often near the surface.
Some of the reasons that these clams are rare at market is because harvesting is difficult and they are very brittle, fragile, don’t travel well and are very perishable. Our razor clam supplier gives us a heads-up whenever they have them but unfortunately that is not often enough. If you ever see these clams on our ice you’ve got to try them! Sweet and tender they are one of our finest clams (when we can get our hands on them). Steam them in white wine, garlic and parsley or spoon them out of the shell, dust in seasoned flour and sautée or fry. In Japan they are grilled on a habachi basted with soy sauce. We grilled some Japanese style the other night and we also basted some with olive oil and garlic. Both styles were amazing. Here’s a recipe.
The 2019 Copper River salmon season is upon us! I’m happy to report that there seems to be lots of kings and sockeyes heading up this year.The fact that these fish have to fatten up and become strong enough to make it up an incredibly steep 300 mile long river to spawn has made them probably the richest, most healthful, full of omega 3‘s, succulent and delicious foods in the world.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game sets periods of fishing. Fish counting determines how many fish are heading up river to spawn and how much fishing will be allowed. There are 2 openings a week, Monday and Thursday. Yesterday was the 5th opening and aside from some rough weather for a couple days, we’re hearing that catches have been good. The kings and sockeyes have been coming in good sized and gorgeous!
This wild, dramatic and ancient run of salmon has blessed us again with the taste and goodness of nature’s perfect food.Kings and sockeyes will be in for the weekend. Fire up the grill! We’ve got cedar planks and our Irish whiskey maple glaze or just a simple salt, pepper and olive oil would be great. ENJOY!
Every summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, something very special takes place at Monahan’s Seafood. Bernie serves up one of his most famous concoctions. Folks beg for it all winter, but no, they have to wait! There’s only one season that’s really right for this treat. Pure health and a cool, refreshing burst of flavor is what Bernie’s shrimp gazpacho is all about. Loaded with tomatoes, veggies and big chunks of wild gulf shrimp, it’s truly a meal in itself!
Another culinary gift from Spain, gazpacho has Moorish origins from the Andalusia region. There are many types of gazpacho but the most common type is tomato based, especially here in the states. Adding shrimp gives Bernie’s gazpacho an almost ceviche type of flavor and it serves as the main coarse of this liquid salad. People love this recipe. Even those who claim to hate cold soups give it one taste and they’re hooked. Light, healthy summer meals, picnics; this gazpacho is a one pot, portable, square meal!
Alert: Nature’s perfect food, just in time for Memorial weekend, the regal Copper River kings & sockeyes have arrived!