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It’s that CSS time of year again…we’ve had a nice little vacation and are excited to welcome both returning members and new members to our program!

To our returning members, you’ll find the Brainfood Blog is a little different format than the write-ups you may be used to.

To all members, we hope that you’ll find the BB a helpful resource for all things fish.  We will be posting our weekly CSS write-ups here along with frequent posts, pictures, recipes, happenings, etc. so check it often and please feel welcome to share it with non-css members as well.  Also, if you should ever have a question for our resident in-house Fisherman/Chef/Monger/Cool Guy Extraordinaire, (he’d be so freaked out if he knew I was calling him that, but come on…let’s call it like it is – the guy’s a wealth of information) Hans, we welcome you to ask it here. We will get back to any and all questions.

At H&H we understand…it’s not easy trying to choose fresh, good, ocean-minded seafood in an industry with a whole lot of “grey matter.” Deciphering through it all can be frustrating – we want to share with you our passion for sustainable fish ‘cause it’s what we do and it’s what we know. We love learning new things too – so give us what you got/know/heard/love/ate/cooked/caught/whatev– so long as it’s in the name of lovin’ fish then we’re here for ya.

Well then…without further ado…

To kick off our Spring 2012 Community Supported Seafood Season we are pleased to be offering up some of the best species the Monterey Bay has to offer this time of year – Petrale Sole and Grenadier (aka Black Snapper).

If you get 1 MEAL PER WEEK then you’ll be receiving Petrale Sole.

If you get 2 MEALS PER WEEK then you’ll be receiving Petrale Sole AND Grenadier (Black Snapper).

Let me tell you a bit about them both…

Petrale Sole

Many of our CSS veterans are Petrale Sole Professionals by now but this time of year when the local fishing gets a little more limited the Petrale Sole can generally be counted on to show up. Petrale Sole are trawled on sandy or muddy ocean bottoms with little or no lasting damage to ecosystems. They are sweet and mild in flavor with a firm, fine texture. Petrale Sole can be tricky on the grill, we recommend a quick sauté, broil, bake, or poach.

I’ve shared this recipe before but it is a good standard pan-seared recipe. Maybe try adding different herbs/spices, the cooking technique will be the same. 

Pan-Seared Lemon Sole

YIELD: Makes 2 servings


1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 lb of sole fillets

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lemon, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained


Place the flour on a plate. Season the sole with the salt and then coat it in the flour, shaking to remove any excess; set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice the lemon into 12 thin circles and add them to the skillet. Cook until the lemon is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Push the lemon to the side of the skillet and add the sole. (You may need to cook it in batches.) Cook until the sole is the same color throughout and flakes easily, about 2 minutes per side. Add the remaining butter and the capers to the skillet. Remove from heat and tilt the skillet to swirl the butter until it melts. Transfer the sole and lemon to individual plates and spoon the capers and butter over the top.

Nut Crusted Sole with Citrus Salsa

The following is a most lovely recipe from I really strive in my recipe quest to keep them light, but that is so hard to do when searching for Petrale Sole recipes plus I’m trying to find new recipes I haven’t shared before.

How good does this look?!?!

Bear in mind this recipe calls for 1 ½ lbs of sole so adjust to your need accordingly.


Grenadier / Black Snapper

Grenadier, at our Farmers’ Markets we call it Black Snapper.  It is also commonly referred to as “Pacific Roughy,” and if you’re a fan of the Orange Roughy – then you’re in luck. The name doesn’t lie; it tastes like the Orange Roughy’s smarter, better looking, more sophisticated, Pacific cousin. We love it. I often suggest it to my market customers who either aren’t sure they love fish (duh) or have children that are picky. It is mild, flaky, delicious. UG-LY as heck though, man – what a fish! I’m not even going post a picture on here it’s so ugly. JFGI if you dare. No, but never mind that. Let’s get back to discussing how delicious it is… and versatile to cook –give it a sauté, poach, steam, bake, or broil. Best of all – it’s caught right here in our bay by our local hook and line boys along with Sablefish/Black Cod.  So here’s the thing…let’s get back to that “grey matter” I was discussing earlier. Watchdogs might tell you to “Avoid” this fish. This is where H&H breaks it down on a local level; there are 6 different species of Grenadier, much is not known about our local species which can lead to an overly extreme amount of caution. In other parts of the world Grenadier is often caught incidentally in bottom-trawl fisheries. Even the MBA’s small print will tell you “habitat damage is less of a concern with bottom longlines” and that “little is known about the grenadier species found in the Pacific Ocean.” Our California Grenadier gets a bad rap because it gets grouped with Giant and Pacific Grenadier. The moral of our story? Shop Local. Ask your trusted fishmongers. Read the small print.

In general, you can easily use any snapper recipe you enjoy for Grenadier. It has a bit of a finer, smaller grain than most “Red Snapper”, or Rockfish. This is part of what makes it so delicate and tasty, but it adapts to most snapper recipes just perfectly.

In honor of our recent Mexico trip, (not tacos cause I can’t even look at another taco) here’s a nice, simple recipe adapted by Hans and I that we love: 

Baked Black Snapper with Cilantro, Garlic, and Lime


1 lb grenadier fillets

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I almost always sub coconut oil but that’s just my preference here)

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lime zest lime wedges


Preheat broiler and lightly oil a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep). Pat fish dry and arrange in 1 layer in baking pan. Brush fish with oil total and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Lightly heat coconut oil to spread easily) Toss together cilantro, garlic, and zest in a small bowl. Broil fish 6 inches from heat, without turning over, until just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer fish to a platter/plate and sprinkle with cilantro mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

Sautéed Snapper with Broken Black-Olive Vinaigrette

Here’s a sauté recipe that looks delicious courtesy of Don’t worry that the recipe calls for skin-on snapper – it’s just as well to have the skin already off which your Snapper does. Sometimes the skin on can add flavor to your dish but in this case it won’t matter. Also, you needn’t worry about the bones either, we’ve taken those out for you as well. Geez, I don’t know where gets their snapper but we’re hooking you up with the fine fillet job. The fish will be delicate so use caution when flipping it. Also, keep in mind the recipe calls for 4 6-oz fillets (= 1.5 lbs) so adjust the recipe accordingly depending on your portion size. Let me know if any of you try this recipe…I’d love to know how it is.



If you’re a returning member, please remember to bring BOTH of your coolers with you today. New members, go to your drop-site between 2:30-6:30pm. Find our CSS cooler and locate your little cooler inside with your name on it. Sign for your fish on the sign-out sheet, enjoy, and lastly…tell all your friends!

If you get 2 meals per week, both the fish today are equally fresh so you can enjoy which ever fish you prefer first.

For more information on your particular drop-site, log into your Farmigo account and click on the “Directions” tab.  Please review pick-up protocol for specific instructions and remember to respect our site hosts.

If you have any questions today please call the lovely Megan at 831-234-9484. This is our CSS line…use it any CSS delivery day if you have urgent questions or concerns since we are in and out of the office on Tuesdays.


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