Category Archives: seafood

Poke bowl with a lot of flavor and crunch

Poke bowl with lots of stuff

KAPOW!!! With all that color and bright light, you would hardly believe that winter is far from over and that salad season hangs around in the distance. BUT, and I emphasize this with glee, when it comes to raw fish salad or poke, I’m all for the stuff if it looks over-the-top-tasty.

Poke, crispy won ton chips, shredded napa cabbage, green onions, egg, and achar (a cucumber-pineapple pickle) sit on a bed of red rice. On a whim I added some homemade kimchi because with so many toppings called for, why not one more? The recipe is certainly the first time I’ve seen flavors of Malaysia (those achar pickles) incorporated into a much-loved Hawaiian dish.

Poke bowl with some stuff

Poke bowls are still a fad (MotH’s photos got so many likes on Facebook) but I’d say the ones at the supermarket would make any poke bowl lover cry. This salmon-avocado-cucumber deal from Auchan figured that a container of ginger-whatever sauce would do the trick, but all I can comment is this — please try harder dudes!

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Sagra dei Pesci

Castiglione della Pescaia – And on the 4th day, there was a fish sagra.

Sagra dei Pesci

The evening before heading back home, we considered the idea of dinner service offered by the agriturismo’s hosts (the owner is a fisherman and cooks up these fabulous, multi-course meals), but then I had to spot this fish festival poster above. OH yes!

Regular readers know of my mad enthusiasm for traditional food events, and there was no question about where we’d dine that night. Held at a sports camp in the neighborhood of Casa Mora, we got there early before the crowds rolled in.

The menu was primarily fish with a couple of meat options thrown in for carnivores.

Sarde marinate con cipolla Tortelli al pesce
Baby sardines with onions — Spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortelli in octopus sauce

Tagliolini del pescatore Calamari ripieni in salsa
Tagliolini in a tomato-based seafood sauce — Stuffed calamari

It doesn’t look like we ate much but there was still some cheese, salumi and wine back at the cottage. Prices were a tad higher (altogether we spent 34€ which included service and a cup of beer), but that’s the norm for fish dishes in Italy anyway. The sagra was also open to dogs, so there wasn’t a problem with our two.

The following morning it was goodbye to our donkey companions (the westie saluted them with a woof!) and a promise to return soon. In October, not far from the agriturismo, there’s a festival serving mushroom dishes, chestnuts, wine, polenta, and wild boar. Che bontà!

La Dolce Vita - goodbye donkeys!

Tuscany day 3: Montelliccio dog beach, and more pesce fritto

Maddie at Mortelliccio

Our two “kids” are seasoned travelers in that they do fine on road trips, carry valid canine passports, and behave like saints at restaurants and in public places. This is the first time taking them to a dog beach/spiaggia per cani, and as it goes with all firsts, it’ll either be a good or a bad thing.

It was a hit.

Mr. B's first encounter sand

As I suspected, this landwiener stayed clear of the water and had zero interest in getting his feet wet. He was so engrossed with digging that all other dogs were ignored and not worth barking at.

Mr. B at Mortelliccio

I’ve never seen them so doggone ecstatic, so blown away by this fine, soft, dry material that falls back on itself. While Mr. B dug a hole to China, Maddie investigated the waves and had a sip. Bleah!

Maddie's first encounter ocean

The Mortelliccio location (north of Follonica) was surprisingly clean, long, and not crowded as I had imagined. Visiting before summer is most likely the reason, but I have no doubt the place sees a lot of quadrupeds and their humans during peak tourist season. From the pay-park (1€/hour) it’s a short walk to the beach.

da Mauro e Andreia

We spent an hour soaking up the sun before heading back for lunch, but not before picking up more of that delicious fried seafood from da Mauro and Andreia’s in Castiglione della Pescaia.

Lunch after the beach