Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18: Crab-stuffed Flounder Day & National Drink Wine Day

Crab-stuffed Flounder Day

Another dish I've never had!  Since I love eating fish, I decided I'd give this a shot and try making it.  I figured all I would have to do is: get fish, get crab, stuff crab inside of fish, season with whatever I felt like using, and cook until done.  Totally should've been easy, right?

Couldn't find flounder that I felt comfortable buying.  I didn't
even have Flounder from The Little Mermaid, so have a
Nemo instead.  They're Disney relatives, right?I did mess up
by not looking at the Country of Origin Labeling - this crab
was from India.  I just read "wild-caught" and chose it.
I'll be much more mindful next time.
Well, it didn't happen.  Why?  When I eat fish, I do my best to follow the advice put forth by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.  Seafood Watch does a great job of making it easy to make responsible choices about the fish you eat.  So, prior to heading out to the grocery store, I checked the Seafood Watch's pages for crab and flounder.  Looking at the crab page, I figured I'd do pretty well, since I was heading to Whole Foods and only one type of crab was listed as "avoid."  Then I looked at the flounder page and realized I might run into problems.  I'm currently on the East Coast and Atlantic flounder is listed as a fish to "avoid."  Plus, flounder is generally caught with trawling, a fishing practice I really don't like.  Since I was going to Whole Foods, I thought I might have a chance of finding the Seafood Watch-approved Pacific flounder.  No dice.  Since I'm on the East Coast and Whole Foods tries to provide local foods when possible, only Atlantic flounder was available and the fish counter guy let me know that they never carry Pacific flounder.  So I'll save eating flounder for when I'm on the West Coast. (Although, I may not ever eat it due to the way it's caught.)

If you're interested in consuming sustainably harvested fish, I highly suggest getting the free pocket guides and mobile phone apps from the Seafood Watch.  Also, if films are more your style, check out the movie End of the Line.  It's what I show people who have never thought about where their fish comes from.

National Drink Wine Day

When my friends heard about this day, the response was, "We can totally celebrate that day!"  While I haven't yet (I really don't think I could type well if I were intoxicated and yes, I consider buzzed intoxicated since I feel buzzed driving is just as bad as drunk driving) we did do a wine tasting at Total Wine & More

Our current wine collection.  Not pictured are the three open
bottles.  I'm not a lush, i swear!  Plus, it's always good to
have a few extra bottles to give as gifts.
If you're interested in trying wines prior to buying them, there are plenty of wine tasting opportunities.  Every state has at least one winery and wineries are excellent places to go for wine tastings.  At wineries, you're guaranteed to talk to someone who is passionate about wine.  If there are no wineries close to you, there are still plenty of opportunies for wine tastings.  Total Wine & More has wine tastings twice a week, Cost Plus World Market has wine tastings at some locations, Trader Joe's has wine tastings, and Whole Foods has wine tastings and wine events in some locations.  Wine festivals are also another great way to try new wines.

Holding your own wine tasting is also a great way to celebrate National Drink Wine Day.  Get together a bunch of friends, have everyone bring at least one bottle, and you provide snacks.  Try to make sure there will be a variety of wines, either by assigning everyone a country to bring a wine from or by simply asking in advance what everyone will bring.  It kind of sucks to have ten different brands of California merlots.  Unless of course, you're going with a California merlot theme and will be trying all Spanish wines the next week.  Once, my friends and I decided to try to find out if there were any good cheap wines.  We each brought three bottles of wines that cost less than $10.  We ranked the wines on a scale of 1-10 on taste and then for every $1 below $10 that the wine cost, it got an extra point.  I managed to win because I brought a $3 wine that was mediocre.  (Thank goodness for Big Lots!)

Korean pancake with crab and hot sauce.
A glass of the Weingut Geil with the
Spier waiting in the background.
Today, since I'm using the crab I bought to make Korean pancakes (similar to the Japanese okonomiyaki), I opted to buy a bottle of Spier Chenin Blanc since the tag at the store said it went well with crabcakes.  (I figured if it went well with crabcake, it would go well with Korean pancakes with crab.)  Despite having multiple bottles of wine at home, I actually bought five bottles of wine including a chocolate wine that I'll talk about when I talk about National Chocolate Lover's Month.  Since I already have an open bottle of Weingut Geil Gewürztraminer Kabinett, I figure I'll have a glass of the Gewürztraminer and then a glass of the Chenin Blanc.  (I really do love pairing Gewürztraminer with spicy foods.) 

If you do decide to celebrate National Drink Wine Day, do so in moderation.  While wine can have health benefits, those health benefits go flying out the door if you over indulge.  And NEVER drink and drive.

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