The "Steps"

Good morning to all of our beloved friends and clients and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back at my beloved Metro Seafood.

That's right I did take last week off and decided to go to the beach to commune with the waters that so unselfishly allow me to be a fishmonger. Now I cannot speak for all of you but I knew full well that I was going away a month ago and fully planned on getting myself into "Swimsuit" shape knowing that I had 30 days. Well as time passed, I thought hey, who needs thirty days, I can bang this out in 2 weeks...and then came the last week and thought, all I really need is 7 days and a good fasting program and I will be frolicking half-naked in the surf in no time. And then the night before I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and firmly resolved that I would use my time away to get back into shape. I can honestly say that the first 45 minutes of my vacation was spent following the most healthful and regimented diet program and then...I had my first beer and as they say, the proverbial chain came off. Now, I did go through a period of "Fat Grief" but by day 5 I was in full acceptance of my Cod Given Body; I would like to share these stages with you as to soften your body blow as you embark on your summer holidays.

The "Steps" are as follows:

Denial: This one is easy, especially if you haven't taken your shirt off yet "Hey, this is not going to be that bad and then you disrobe and begin to apply sunscreen...denial over.

Anger: What in the name of Artisanal Cheeses was I thinking, I had a month to get "Beach Ready" now I'm slathering sunscreen on a Manatee; The anger lasts only until the second beer.

Bargaining: This is when you either pray for a full week of rain while you're at the beach or that the glare of your baby oil sheened body might blind the rest of the beach goers.

Depression: Is when your love ones take a picture of you on the beach and you see the "Rolltastic" horror of your own physique: The Tequila Bottle is now beckoning you.

Acceptance: Yeah, that's right fellow traveler, you just poured yourself a Margarita and all of your insecurities and fears are melting away like the ice in your glass and by your third cocktail your realize that you are beginning a love affair with that special someone. Yeah, that's you tiger now pass the Salsa and Chips and let's remember what time away is really about...Over eating and toasting that beautiful marshmallow you call your "Bod".

I hope you enjoy today's healthy Summer Recipes featuring Spicy Halibut Tacos with a Jalapeno Baja Sauce & Barbecued Spice Rubbed Sockeye Salmon. And as always, THANK YOU for allowing us to be your most grateful Fishmongers.

Today's Featured Recipes Created With Love for You...

Spicy Halibut Tacos with a Jalapeño Baja Sauce Serves 4

Sure, everyone loves "Taco Tuesdays" but I promise there will not be a complaint should you incorporate Taco Wednesdays, Thursdays or even Saturdays into the mix.

Should you decide to couple Taco Tuesdays with Tequila Thursdays then I think you might be on to something.

Ingredients For the Halibut Tacos 4 Halibut fillets 6 ounces cut into 1½ inch strips; skin removed 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for the skillet 3 cups of shredded cabbage ½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro 2 scallions sliced very thin 1 cup of grape tomatoes quartered The juice of 1 lime 4 Flour or Corn Tortillas grilled or warmed in a pan

For the Spice Mix 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon each of cumin, chipotle powder and garlic powder ¼ teaspoon each dried thyme and onion powder Salt and Pepper Combine in a small bowl and set aside

For the Jalapeño Baja Sauce ½ cup Lebneh; you could also use Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small clove of garlic minced very fine 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro The juice of 1 lime; or more to taste 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed and roughly chopped Salt

How it's done First combine the cabbage, cilantro, scallions, tomatoes and lime juice in a bowl; season to taste with salt and set aside.

Next make the Baja Sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and "whizz" until smooth; season to taste with lime juice and salt and set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat your non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium high heat.

Toss the Halibut fillets on a platter with the olive oil and season generously with your spice mix; you will not need all of the mix.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and sear the fillets for 3 minutes per side or until the fish is just opaque when fork tested.

Now it's time to put together the magic that is Taco. Place the fish on each warmed tortilla, top with the cabbage salad and drizzle over your Baja Sauce. Are you crying? No, that's just the condensation from my icy cold Corona Bottle...I thought it was Cerveza Saturday.

Barbecued Spice Rubbed Sockeye Salmon Serves 4

This Lean Wild Salmon only comes to us this special time of year when the Salmon are swimming up river to spawn. Ironically this is also the time of year when most golfers begin to show off their awesome arm tans.

Ingredients For the Sockeye Salmon 4- Sockeye Salmon fillets 6 to 8 ounces each with the Skin on but scaled; of course you can use Organic Salmon or Arctic Char with Great results 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the Barbecue Spice Rub 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar ½ teaspoon salt; I use kosher salt for this ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

How it's done In a small bowl combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt.

Brush both sides of the Salmon fillets with olive oil then generously sprinkle the spice rub on both sides of the fish; note: You will not need all of the Spice rub so hold some back for a rainy day.

Preheat your gas grill to medium high heat. When the grates are hot brush them with a little oil and cook the fillets, flesh side down first, for 4 minutes per side or until the fish is just opaque when fork tested. Transfer the fillets to a large serving platter and sprinkle with a little of your best sea salt.

Garnish with lemon wedges and get ready for your dinner-mates to spontaneously show their Golfers tan lines at the table. No, I don't know why they would do this, it just happens, so roll with it little chef.