Mel Canares doesn’t really have a name yet for his fried chicken sandwich joint — at least one that’s printable in a family blog (ahem), as evidenced by his Instagram handle. Cocina Canares, another moniker by which he sometimes refers to it, actually doesn’t even have a real bona fide structure, either.
Instead, Canares, a former corporate chef for Genentech, cooks and serves his fried chicken sandwich out of his backyard in South San Francisco.
He serves one thing, and only one thing — that sandwich.
I love carrots — now more so than ever before, too.
That’s because during this unprecedented shelter-in-place mandate, I’ve been relying on delivery services to get all of my groceries.
As someone who’s used to combing through new cookbooks to hone in on an inspired recipe to try, then racing out the door to a grocery store or two to find just the right ingredients called for, this has been an adjustment.
Now, I let the ingredients solely dictate what I make. And because I only schedule deliveries once every 7 to 10 days, it requires a lot more planning. I covet peak-season produce, of course. But because so much of that is quite perishable, I also need a mix of sturdier fruits and veggies that will last at least until the next delivery.
That’s where carrots are a godsend. They hold up well in the crisper drawer for weeks, and they can be used in so many ways, both raw and cooked.
The “Best Sellers Sampler” from Cameron’s Seafood.
Time to get to work.
Time to get messy.
Time to get cracking.
Indeed it was when a “Best Sellers Sampler” showed up on my porch last week as a sample to try from Maryland-based Cameron’s Seafood.
The company was founded in 1985 and remains family-owned. It specializes in Maryland crabs from the Chesapeake Bay, where the climate is colder, thereby building up an extra layer of fat on the crabs that burrow into the mud during winter. For crab lovers, that means crabs with flesh that’s buttery, sweet and rich tasting.
The bountiful “Best Sellers Sampler” ($99.99) includes 1/2 a dozen Maryland blue crabs, 1 pound spiced shrimp, 2 crab cakes and 16 ounces of crab bisque.
Originally established in 1822, it is one of the oldest markets in the country. Over the years, it has also grown into one of the most important East Coast fish markets in the country. Second in size only to Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, it handles millions of pounds of seafood daily from the United States and internationally.
I received two samples: A one-pound fillet ($35) of Fjord salmon, farm-raised in Denmark without antibiotics or GMOs; and a one-pound fillet ($27) of wild Atlantic halibut. They arrived in the mail neatly wrapped in plastic wrap and packed with ice packs.
If any food has celebration written all over it, it’s caviar, isn’t it?
First, it’s the anticipation that comes with the opening of the tiny jar or tin. Second, the delicate handling of it with a mother of pearl spoon so as not to impart any unwanted metallic taste. Third, the arranging of the accoutrements of minced onion, hard-boiled egg and sour cream on teeny, pillowy pancakes. And fourth — well, it’s the price. Let’s face it, if caviar cost the same as popcorn, we’d be eating it all the time. Instead, it’s a splurge, leaving it reserved for only the most special of occasions.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve coming up, now’s the time to indulge if you can. I did just that when I a chance to try a sample 2-ounce jar of French Sturgeon Caviar from Southern California’s Anderson Seafoods.