Fish More, Worry Less (About Dinner!)

Photos by: Courtney Doyle.

October 26, 2020 by Courtney Doyle, Chef/Owner of Clandestine Kitchen, LLC

Fresh seafood, a perfectly curated pantry, and a little inspiration? That is exactly what we found when we wandered into the new Salty Days Fish Co., located at 93 South Street in Hingham.

The clean, welcoming store-front, incredibly fresh products, and honest-to-goodness awesome people are what has this place buzzing and what drew us in to check it all out. Chatting with one (of the four) owners had us day-dreaming of our early days in Northern California where fresh seafood, organic produce, and fresh flavor were always “king” and cooking at home was a privilege, not a chore!

Not in the mood to cook? No worries: Salty Days now also offers super-fresh poke bowls (raw seafood served with crisp veggies and steamed rice) as well as prepared sushi. We hear lobster rolls are coming, too...

The Raw Bar setup is the stand-out stunner – just glance in the direction of the selection of oysters, mussels, shrimp, and lobster while visions of recipes dance in your heads. You'll find that narrowing it down to your final selection will leave you feeling like you just can’t play favorites, so you'll find yourself back in their store ASAP to give a little love to all of the other shellfish in the room.

We had to grab a “Raw Bar To Go" (had to!), a few pounds of mussels, crab cakes freshly made for Salty Days by Captain Marden’s Seafoods, shrimp, and the locally-made horseradish aioli from the store’s pantry shelves, sourced from Maine specialty purveyor Schlotterbeck & Foss.

A t-shirt, koozies, and a few (free) Swedish Fish (we see what you did there) were added to our takeout bags and boxes before we left, armed and ready to rock a gorgeous, locally-sourced seafood-at-home menu that would dazzle and nourish even the most exhausted of Zoom-schoolers and work-from-homers. All courtesy of your favorite, friendly local chef that loves everything about fresh food and incredible ingredients that can be transformed into a 4-course meal in 20 minutes (Superhero cape not included)!

A quick curbside pickup at Ralph’s Hingham Wine Merchant provided us with perfectly-matched wines. We couldn’t wait to rip off the masking tape, unroll the white butcher paper, and turn our shopping experience into memories made over easy, delicious, and healthy dishes. There's something so special about fueling your family by supporting our local, small business community!

Nothing about life-in-general these days is easy but that doesn’t mean that we can’t carve out a little time to do something special that makes us relive memories and savor moments while taking the time to share delicious food.

We will always believe that “food is love,” and that taking the extra time to support local is one of the most basic ways we can share a smile. Even though masks are covering our smiles right now, the eyes still say it all!

We are choosing to see the magic in the little moments we can share over a Raw Bar To Go. Note: we also see that webcam over there in the corner at Salty Days and we could also find the magic of a frozen cocktail on the beaches of St. John, too (just sayin’).

Massaged Kale & Avocado Salad with Baked Crab Cakes & Horseradish Aioli

Massaged Kale Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head organic lacinato kale, shredded;
  • ¼ red onion, thinly shaved;
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar;
  • ½ teaspoon local sea salt;
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper;
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced;
  • 1 lime, zested;
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Method: Simply combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Using clean or gloved hands, gently massage the salad until the kale begins to soften and absorb the oil and vinegar.

Serve with baked crab cakes and horseradish aioli.

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Aioli (from Williams Sonoma Foods of the World: San Francisco)

Breaking out the recipe archives from our days at Williams Sonoma, Inc., we found Chef Mary Risley’s (of Tante Marie’s Cooking School) recipe for Steamed Mussels with Saffron Aioli.

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Aioli Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, pounded in a mortar (or use the back of a spoon!);
  • 1 cup dry white wine;
  • 2 cloves garlic;
  • local sea salt;
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature;
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 small fennel bulb;
  • ¾ cup minced shallot;
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards removed;
  • 2 oranges, zested;
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley;
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped.

Method: In a small bowl, combine the saffron and wine; leave to steep for 20 minutes

Next, make the aioli: sing a wire whisk, combine egg, garlic, salt, olive oil, and a touch of warm water, if needed, to loosen the mixture.

Third, cut stems and feathery tops of fennel bulb. Cut the bulb into ¼ inches, diced.

In a large pot, warm the olive oil. Add fennel until softened (about 10 minutes!).

Add mussels along with saffron and wine mixture; add orange zest.

Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

Boil, uncovered for 1 minute, then cover and cook until all mussels open (discarding any that do not open fully), shaking the pot occasionally (about 3-4 minutes).

Whish enough of the steaming juices into the aioli to make a sauce thin enough to drizzle over mussels completely.

Garnish with parsley and scallions and serve at once with warm, crusty bread (because you will want every drop of that sauce)!

Wine pairings from Ralph's Hingham Wine Merchant:

Both wines under $20!

For the Mussels: 2018 Cascina Val del Prete Roero Arneis Organic.

Hailing from Piedmont, this excellent white wine made from the Arneis grape is crisp and refreshing with wonderful aromatics that will pair perfectly with these Mussels!

For the Crab Cakes: 2017 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc.

Loire Valley is the home to this wonderful white wine made from the Chenin Blanc grape. Super ripe grapes are the secret behind this rich wine. Although it is dry, this floral wine offers a touch of honey that balances the crisp apple flavors and opulent texture and will be an excellent pairing with these Crab Cakes.

Photo by Sarah Hinchey Photography

Local Chef Now Dishing For The Anchor

Clandestine Kitchen (CK) Chef/Owner, (and local Hingham resident ), Courtney Doyle, will be stepping out of the CK kitchen and stepping out on the town, sharing her passion for food, total body wellness and supporting our local community with editorial lifestyle spotlights for The Anchor.

Local restaurant reviews, seasonal recipes, wellness/nutrition tips and more are now just one bite away for local foodies and community news followers.  Doyle believes that working together is the key to keeping our local food and restaurant scene strong and vibrant, especially during these unprecedented times that are taking a heavy toll on our local restaurants and small businesses.

CK, delivering healthy meals, snacks and more to residential neighborhoods and corporate locations throughout the south shore, regularly partners with local chefs, farmers, restaurants, local purveyors and small business owners to keep the community healthy and apprised of the growing health and wellness options in our surrounding towns.

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