Monday, July 25, 2011
The Belize barrier reef, the world's second largest barrier reef next to Australia's, is apparent in it's fisheries regulations, which state that no lobster can be taken during the closed season from February 15 through June 15th. It is also unlawful to possess or sell, even frozen lobsters, during this closed season.
We fill in our menu with lots of shrimp and fish dishes, but hey, lobster is lobster so we're glad to be including these denizens of the deep back into our reperatoir of foodie fare.
This is the first summer season that we have kept the Barracuda Bar and Grill open, largely because it is such a chef driven restaurant, I won't let anyone else come and cook there or attempt to keep the restaurant open in my usual summer absence. This summer we stayed on to complete our 5 year renovation plans, fianally getting our own home above the restaurant in order. I must say that even summer now is bringing the tourist trade and alot of people coming to look at real estate in thier desire to retire in paradise, so the Bartracuda Bar and Grill has been open and though not hopping, it has been a pleasurable pace to cook at , and of course leaves a little time for culinary experimentation and personalized serrvice of our guests like 6 course tasting dinners filled with fresh veggies, seafood and the Italian-Caribbean blend of fusion cooking that we call Mediteribbean.
Avacados are in abundance right now and one of our little Tapas items for the tasting dinners has been a simple lobster and avacado salad, laced with fresh tomatoes, garlic, firm but ripe avacados, fresh basil and tiny slivers of crispy roasted garlic on top to give a crunchy, slightly bitter aspect to the freshness of the dish.
The lobster fisherman are bringing the fresh lobsters right to our dock on an everyother day basis, so keeping fresh lobsters on hand for Lobster Bisque, Lobster Thermidor, Lobster Coconut curry, Lobster Scampi, and even just plain lobster baked with garlic butter and lots of fresh limes for squeezing. Another great dish we prpare using all of our fresh available seafood is a uniquely Mediteribbean dish we call Mediteribbean Seafood Stew. It's somewhere halfway between Boulabaisse and Ciopino, incorperating seafood stock, marinara almost equally, add lots of our fresh chopped herb mix of Thyme, Marjoram, Basil and Oregeno, grown right here on the second story herb garden, lots of garlic and a splash of white wine. We simmer the seafood just until done, adding the larger peices first and the smaller, faster cooking things like shrimp last so that none of the seafood becomes overcooked, a personal complaint of mine. There is nothing worse than someone overcooking seafood, especially of the shellfish variety. So I always pay special attention to cooking times in mixed shellfish ingredient dishes.
If you make it down to Hopkins this summer, be sure to stop into the Barracuda Bar and Grill at Beaches and Dreams.