Albacore Season

As a PNW import from the bordering cities of Iowa and Illinois I always love to show off the magnificent bounty we pull from our wild coast line, especially when family from the "old country" come visit! A cornucopia of halibut, black cod, ling cod, true cod, steel head, coho, shellfish, oysters, crab, powerfully pulled from the ocean by people who exhibit a true grit, representing the shadow of one of the most ancient careers, fishermen.

Listing back and forth on vessels that could be deemed we'll-sea-worthy, nets, lines or pots are all dropped and while fighting to keep balance, and in effect keep alive, they're forced to haul hundreds of pounds of fish over the edge. One wrong move and instead of harvesting he or she could be the harvested, falling overboard and potentially being swallowed by the silent, limitless abyss. Assuming all goes well, the boats return with the catch and follow the next migration of seasonal harvests.

Right now, mid July, these heroes are out in the ocean pulling albacore tuna from the depths! I adore it and I happen to have some of those visitors from the midwest in town right now. Last night, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to have a few pounds of freshly caught albacore loin and a kitchen's worth of mise en place. As if I were on some sort of black box or Iron Chef style competition, I started whipping up a hand full of different ways to try this, even in Washington, rarity! First, I very simply sliced the fish very thin, drizzling olive oil and sprinkling salt on the fish. I wanted to expose them to the simple beauty of a few honest ingredients working harmoniously! Then, a little heat was added and we tried a few seared preparations. Finally, this, an ad-libbed recipe I worked up on the fly for the family. They didn't get the infused version, but they loved it none-the-less!

- Hemp Cook Aaron