Seafood and Wine Tour

Seafood and Wine Tour

Other than our 10-day trip to Desolation Sound every year, this Seafood and Wine Tour is the big expensive trip of the summer. I get a bigger food budget, seafood is pricey and the boat takes passengers ashore for a few wine tastings at local vineyards. I like this trip, I spend more time in the planning processes than I do for other trips because I want it to be well balanced between fish, shellfish and little additions of meat. Four full days of nothing but seafood can be a lot, so I like to throw in one meal that isn’t quite as seafood heavy as others, just for a little palate cleanser. I also like to incorporate a little wine into my dishes, the big hit this trip was my raspberry rosé sorbet, I’ll be making that one again for sure, if not a variation of it with other fruit.

Day 1
Lunch: Tuna tataki (seared tuna with a ponzu sauce), rice and green salad with avocado and carrot miso dressing
Dinner: Beer battered fish tacos with mango salsa and cilantro crème, lemon lime coleslaw and fried ripe plantains
Dessert: Tres leche horchata cake

While I was prepping lunch we kept tacking back and forth, back and forth. I had to adjust my stuff on the counter to make sure nothing was going to fly off, it’s something that I’m use to and pretty much do it without thinking these days. To bad the crew couldn’t sit down and enjoy their meal fully, they had to jump up a few times during lunch to handle lines. After lunch the passengers went ashore to the Lopez Island Vineyard, it’s a beautiful place with really great wine, this is probably the best vineyard in the San Juan Islands. While at the vineyard they tasted two white wines, a rosé, two reds, a port and finished off the tasting with little chocolates. Right before dinner more bottles of wine were opened and oysters were handed out to be slurped down while I fried up tilapia for fish tacos.

Day 2
Breakfast: Crab cake eggs benedict with roasted red pepper hollandaise
Lunch: Cioppino with mussels, shrimp, crab legs and squid, fresh baguette
Dinner: Lemon grilled whole trout with white wine pasta shells and broccoli

It was a relief that we didn’t end up sailing this morning, cioppino is a very messy soup and would have been impossible to eat if we were heeled over too far. Cioppino is a seafood soup, with lots of wine, whole shellfish still in their shells and tomato chunks. My version had a bunch of fennel in it and I think that helped the whole dish come alive and stay light. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, I hadn’t ever had it before, I appreciated the fresh briny ocean flavor. At the end of lunch I ended up drinking a cup of the broth left over at the bottom of the pot, it was that good. Today the passengers went ashore to San Juan Island Distillery to taste Westcott Bay cider and gin. I’ve been here in years past and it’s a very cute place. You go inside a little room, taste a few ciders and then head outside to taste their gin in very tiny glasses. Today ended up being a lot of first food wise for me, first the soup and then dinner, hadn’t grilled whole trout before. They got a little dark, I’m still learning how to control my heat with briquettes, but they were tasty and had great flavor, I filled their cavity with herbs and lemon to perfume the flesh.

Day 3
Breakfast: Salmon quiche with shallots and spinach, cayenne cheddar bread and fruit
Lunch: Goan fish curry with rice, green beans and potato pea samosas with mint chutney
Dinner: Chorizo beef burgers with shrimp and paprika mayo, poblano potato salad and grilled asparagus
Dessert: Raspberry rosé sorbet

Crabbing season is open! We dropped pots last night right after midnight and I helped pick them up this morning to find several keepers. We had great weather and sailed all day, there was no stopping at a vineyard, we got the passengers to work for their wine tonight. After we anchored we quickly threw pots over the side to catch more, the total count for the day was around 16 crabs. One of our more enthusiastic crab murdering volunteers showed passengers how to kill and clean the crab, then they were boiled up for an after dinner snack.

Day 4
Breakfast: Scandinavian inspired: whole wheat bread, pickled herring, lox, remoulade, boiled eggs, onions, cheese and chicken liver and bacon pâté.
Lunch: Squid and chili pasta with cherry tomatoes, green salad and roasted garlic bread

It was a nice last day, the passengers thanked everyone several times for the great trip and they all seemed grateful for the work that we did for them. Now I’m going to take a shower and do laundry so I no long smell like day old seaweed.

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