Give the people what they want

It’s a fine Friday night and our truck is loaded with salmon, beef and honey for the farmers markets in Phoenix this weekend. Weather is going to be perfect and we’re looking forward to seeing you.

As you may know, we tend to rely on our local farmers markets to supply the foods that we do not hunt, gather, harvest or grow ourselves. That means lots of produce and a bit of dairy, and maybe a surprise once in awhile. Here’s a quick easy salmon recipe using only ingredients available now at your favorite Phoenix farmers markets. 

Keta Salmon with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette


1 Keta Salmon Loin OR 3 Keta Salmon Tail Portions

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced (reserve greens for salad)

2 large watermelon radishes, thinly sliced

2 lemons, cut in half crosswise, seeds removed

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

3 tablespoons Bariani Olive Oil

Kenny’s Spice Rub

1 teaspoon Raw Honey

12 ounces+ mixed greens. I used a lettuce mix, some spinach, a variety of microgreens and the green fennel fronds. Then we added 1 large bunch of I’itoi onions and a few cherry tomatoes. You can go with any of your favorites here. When it comes to salad, I’m a fan of as much variety and abundance as possible.


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, toss the sliced fennel bulb, radishes, lemons, garlic, 1 tabelspoon of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon Kenny’s Spice Rub (or salt and pepper). Roast until fennel and radishes begin to soften, about 8 minutes.

Season the salmon with Kenny’s Spice Rub (or salt and pepper) and nestle into the fennel and radishes. Roast until the salmon is opaque throughout, about 12-15 minutes total.

Remove roasting pan from oven. Careful, it’s hot! Squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a small bowl and mash into a paste. Squeeze the lemon pulp and juice into the bowl. Stir in the honey, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and another dash of Kenny’s Spice Rub. Place the salmon fennel and radishes on the greens. Drizzle with the dressing. 

I used a large salmon loin filet for this recipe. It was almost 3 pounds total and cooked enough to feed 4 salmon lovers at my house + a serving for the neighborhood high school wrestling champ. It took 15 minutes to fully roast. We skinned the salmon before plating to save a bite or two for the chihuahuas. If you’d prefer to eat the skin yourself, it is highly nutritious and a family favorite here when fried to extra crispy.

You could use any roasting pan or glass baking dish. I used my largest 14″ cast iron skillet.

The original recipe called for 2 large bulbs of fennel, I only had 1 so I added the radishes because I recently learned that I LOVE roasted radishes and the watermelon radishes, are big, beautiful, local and in season.



What’s the deal with halibut?

In the beginning of my fishing career, my biggest dilemma was salmon or halibut. King crab was already wrecked in the 1980’s due to overcapitalization and global mismanagement. Top crew had fled salmon boats to jump on halibut boats as the price for salmon plummeted and halibut soared into the stratosphere. I saw an opportunity to get in cheap and wait for the market to stabilize. Ten years later, the salmon industry was in worse shape, while halibut was still ascending. I questioned my ability to make good business decisions when salmon dock prices hit 5 cents a pound while halibut was at $3.75 to the fisherman. 

It reminded me of my Grandfather’s stories of the dustbowl days in northeastern New Mexico. He was a market contrarian. When others were selling out, he was buying small farms and ranches and built an empire of cattle, wheat, and corn over a 60 year period. He gave advice to anyone who would stand still to listen. A true statesman with a moral code, he enjoyed a reputation as the “Sage of Sedan”.

Salmon has proven sustainable over the last 20 years, while halibut stocks have been in slow decline. Salmon fishing with a well trained crew is a pleasure to me, while halibut fishing felt like a prison sentence with a chance of drowning.

In spite of my personal feelings, halibut is a resource in demand and available as a luxury fish. Well harvested halibut by a dedicated crew can be an amazing experience. Half of the time, when you order halibut off a menu in America, it is substituted with another whitefish, farmed or wild caught, with or without the retailers knowledge.

I have maintained healthy relationships with honorable fishing boat captains in Alaska. After catching millions of pounds of fish, I am an expert on grading fish quality. I am proud to share the highest grade of halibut I have seen in years. Pearly white, boneless, skinless half pound portions with a pedigree. Come see us for halibut filet! Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Alaska Halibut with Lemon Dressing

1-1.5 pounds of Alaska Halibut Filet (cut into 4 portions)

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

4 sprigs rosemary

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks (white and light green part only), sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

5-6 ounces baby spinach leaves

2 Tablespoons dry white wine or vegetable broth


1. Heat broiler/oven to medium-high heat (450F). Pat fish dry with a paper towel. Arrange filets on a lightly buttered baking sheet.

2. Broil 5-7 inches from the heat source for about 5 minutes. Remove fish from oven, and place 1/2 tablespoon butter on top of each filet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, then season with sea salt and pepper. Return to oven and cook an additional 4-6 minutes for thawed/fresh fish OR 7-10 more minutes for frozen filets. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.

3. Meanwhile, add remaining butter to saucepan with the lemon zest, remaining lemon juice and mustard. Heat gently, whisking until melted, then add the rosemary. Keep warm.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan’ cook the leeks and zucchini over medium heat until soft. Add the spinach and wine or broth, stirring until the leaves have wilted, about 1-2 minutes.

5. Serve the halibut and vegetables, pouring the warm lemon and rosemary dressing over filets.



Osso Bucco – Braised Beef Shanks

Our cross cut beef shanks contain a marrow bone and are an ideal cut of meat for braising and later utilizing the remaining marrow bones as part of the next batch of broth. Cooking meat on the bone yields a richer, denser, more nutritious meal. A traditional Italian dish, this recipe is similar to a pot roast and is best when planned in advance. I imagine it can be done in a slow cooker or instant pot a little differently, but I’ve always braised these in my dutch oven for many hours on a cool or rainy day.


1 Beef Shank per person

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

3-4 cups beef stock

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 large can of tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

several springs thyme, tied together

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed

sea salt and pepper


Thaw beef shanks completely overnight in the fridge. Dry well with paper towels. In a heavy, flameproof casserole, sauté half the onions and carrots until soft in butter and olive oil. Remove with a slotted spoon. In the same casserole, brown the shanks two at a time, transferring to a plate. Pour out browning oil. Add wine and stock, then bring to a boil and skim. Add tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Return beef shanks, sautéed carrots and onions to the casserole, cover and bake at 300 degrees F for several hours or until tender. Remove shanks to a platter, remove thyme and reduce the sauce by boiling, skimming occasionally. Spoon sauce over beef shanks and serve. Excellent with polenta, rice or mashed potatoes.