I've been getting into some really good stuff lately.
Spiny lobster season just opened down in southern California, and I made a trip down there for the ritualistic midnight dive on opening day. The worst part is waking up from a warm, peaceful slumber to don a cold wetsuit. The best part is blindsiding a big lobster by pinning it to sea floor before it can scoot away. They're quicker than they look. So far I've made BBQ lobster and lobster rolls, and the rest are humming away in the freezer to be carefully rationed until the next time I can go bug diving, probably next season's opener.
I helped my dad take the boat back to San Diego and we hooked a small yellowfin tuna on the troll. Bad gaff job, but in my defense there wasn't a lot of fish to work with. It's been a wild El Nino summer down south, with the warm water bringing exotic species into the socal bight. I know there was a wahoo out there with my name on it but I couldn't find the kelp paddy it was under.
In my mind there's no better way to appreciate yellowfin tuna than poke. This time I did it with a little spicy mayo, crushed nori, toasted pine nuts, green onion, and sesame oil.
Meanwhile up north, I've been finding the most perfect chanterelles and sweet tooth hedgehogs in coastal redwood forests. My favorite recipe right now combines chanterelle buttons with sweet corn and parmesan.
But I don't always hit the mushroom fruitings perfectly. I struck out on a porcini hunt last week, so I picked few pounds of sea beans as a consolation. They're salty. Maybe they'll make a good pickle with vinegar, garlic, and coriander. I'll let you know how they turn out.