December is upon us and it looks like no one told the weather in Florida. Today it was 84 and sunny skies. This is all well and dandy for the golfers, but for catching Stone Crabs who don’t have handicaps, it’s just no good. Crabs need a little push to get going, and this often comes in the form of bad weather. Inclement, cold weather stirs things up, makes it safe for the crabs to get on the move, which eventually leads to a fisherman’s trap and, subsequently, your dinner plate. Right now, you may notice more dark spots on claws than usual. This is because the crabs are having to bury themselves for safety in calm waters. For now, it is safe to say the stone crab season is off to a rocky start.
High winds on the East Coast have really affected fishing and availability for many species. This time of year, supply can always be a day to day gamble. New York just closed its Wild Striped Bass season, but, fortunately, Maryland and Virginia are open. Most of the fish out of these areas are averaging between 5 and 15 pounds.
Wild Canadian Halibut has been a tricky catch due to the weather. The wind has kept many day-boats in harbor, causing this fishery to be a boom or bust supply. We do have Farmed Norwegian Halibut from Nordic Seafarms that arrive to us still in rigor. These fish are stunning in quality and should be a valued option for any menu wanting to feature fresh Halibut.
Domestic Cod will be an issue until next May, when the trip boats’ quota starts over. The government has decided to cease the current catch because of the uncertainty of what has already been caught. We have the “Codfather” ( http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/09/25/codfather-faces-sentencing) to thank for this. So, until the new quota begins, we will have only domestic day-boat fish available, a small resource to fill such a gaping demand.
So far so good is the story on North East Bay Scallops. Supply seems to be keeping pricing reasonable, at least reasonable for Bay Scallops, and it appears this trend will continue until we see temperatures below freezing during harvest hours.
Not all meat is created equal. A steak is not a steak, especially when it comes to the process. No one knows (or cares) more about this than Chad Bicker, owner of CDK Farm. CDK is situated on four pristine pastures in Lena, Illinois. There, 100% Black Angus are grass fed, grain finished and processed weekly to order. Hormone and antibiotic free, these cows are processed nearby, resulting in high quality, stress-free beef. Cuts can be custom; for example you can choose from whole, cleaned, square, or flat cut sirloin, or if you want winter favorites such as Brisket, they only require a few days’ notice. The real test is in the flavor, and that is exactly where CDK delivers. These well-marbled steaks are dry-aged on the hook for at least 21 days and offer a deep, umami filled bite, placing your taste buds somewhere on the journey between rocking chair and rollercoaster. When choosing your next steak, choose one that will make a difference.