How to Buy a Freezer 🥶

There are several things to consider when purchasing a freezer. First, are the practical considerations of location and power supply. A porch or garage will do, but the freezer will likely wear out faster due to exterior heat. Close to the kitchen is ideal for accessibility and security of precious goods.

A reliable power supply that is grounded and not overburdened is necessary in order to store the food long term. The highest quality nutrition keeps the longest in a deep freezer of at least -20 degrees F. 0 degrees F is for short term (3-6 months) storage only.

The next issue is how to gauge usage. A popular metric for FishHuggers is one pound per person per week. Let’s assume a 6 month supply for a family or group of 4. That looks like 96 pounds total, which will easily fit in a small chest freezer or medium upright freezer. Price determines how cold the freezer will hold and how long it will last. Low end freezers are rarely worth the price and in our experience, typically barely make it past the warranty period. Commercial freezers are worth the extra money because your food will maintain its quality for much longer. Used freezers are great for your yearly supply of green chile or an abundance from the garden to process later, however, it can be difficult to determine age or condition, and freezers are rarely repairable.

All freezers are more efficient full. Bags of ice or water bottles and gel packs are a great way to keep your freezer full as you eat the food. Beware of colorful packaging for processed foodstuff. The pigments used to decorate boxes are toxic and contaminate with off flavors found in freezer burn from poorly packaged or mishandled frozen goods. In this case, oxygen is the enemy, so when you find a broken or frosted package, consume it next or feed to pets if undesirable. Perfect vacuum sealed product can last years in the right freezer without compromising flavor or nutrition.

My favorite “barn find” deep freezer was built in the early 1960’s. It’s decorated with custom turquoise paint and chrome trim over a solid steel body, and has a rainproof lid. It hums all day at -23 degrees F and was built to last, unlike anything today.

There is always a risk of loss, from blackouts to freezer failure and theft. Food security and predictable quality motivates me to invest in food harvested at its peak, which encourages seasonality. This forward thinking method supports my ability to serve my favorite meals any time of the year, like a boss flexing for no one to see. 💪 “We are grateful” echoes in my ears when we eat real food as a family isolated from the noise and fear of the world around us.

If you have further questions or need assistance purchasing a freezer, let me know, I’m here to help.

Pro Tip: Purchase a freezer thermometer to keep in your freezer so you’ll always know its temperature. These are widely available at most grocery stores and online.

Cheers,

Kenny

Wild Salmon (Pt. 2) – Keta

Welcome to part 2 in our 3 part series on Wild Pacific Salmon. Last time, we discussed Coho, one of the largest salmon with a medium flavor and firm texture. You may recall, Coho is America’s favorite salmon for grilling. This week our focus is on the lesser known Keta Salmon. 

In rural Alaska, Keta is intrinsically tied to subsistence fishing. Families in Alaska’s coastal communities rely on subsistence salmon fishing to survive. As the most widely distributed salmon species throughout Alaska, Keta is commonly caught for subsistence and preserved by smoking. As the 3rd largest Wild Pacific Salmon, Keta has an average weight of 8 pounds. Known throughout the US and around the globe as Chum, Dog, or Silverbrite Salmon, Keta has a firm texture, pink color and mild flavor. A 3 ounce serving of Keta Salmon contains 22 grams of protein, 2.9 mcg of vitamin B12, 683 mg Omega 3s DHA & EPA, 470 mg potassium and trace amounts of selenium and phosphorous. Lower cooking temperatures are recommended for Keta due to its lower oil content. Keta is a versatile salmon and is great for baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, sautéing, smoking, sushi/sashimi, roasting and steaming. 

Many of our customers here in the American southwest prefer Keta due to its milder flavor. Consider that its omega 3 content is superior to cod, halibut and almost all other whitefish. Keta is so mild you can use it as a substitute for almost any whitefish. Great for fish and chips, ceviche, or fish tacos. Sauces, salsas and chile all work well with Keta. Crispy seared Keta Salmon skin is special treat! Although it may seem fancy or illusive, poaching salmon is simple and the result is always delicious!

Try a fast fish recipe:

Easy Poached Keta Salmon

Ingredients

4 cups cold water

Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tbs)

1 medium onion, quartered

1 stalk celery, cut into 3-in. chunks

1 carrot, cut into 3-in. chunks

1 bay leaf

12 peppercorns

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

Pinch sea salt

1.5 pounds Keta Salmon filets

Directions

In a 3-quart saute pan or shallow pot, combine water with lemon juice, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, and a large pinch of salt.

Add the salmon to the poaching liquid. The water should just cover the salmon. Turn the burner to medium, and heat until the poaching liquid just starts to simmer. Do not bring the liquid to a full boil.

Cover and cook the salmon for about 7 to 10 more minutes.

Transfer the salmon to a plate or platter and allow to rest for five minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with a topping of choice. Some of our favorite toppings include green chile salsa, yogurt dill sauce, lemon caper butter sauce, honey ginger glaze and dijon mustard.

Tip: For a variation on poaching liquid, use half dry white wine (or sake) and half water in place of 4 cups of water. Other options for poaching solution include fresh pressed carrot juice, green tea or homemade broth.

ENJOY!

Brenna & Kenny

Wild Salmon (Pt. 1) – Coho

As mentioned in last week’s post, we are currently offering 3 species of Wild Pacific Salmon. Each salmon has its own unique flavor and nutritional profile. Today we’ll focus on Coho, a longtime FishHugger favorite.

Coho, also known as Silver Salmon, is the 2nd largest species of Wild Pacific Salmon with an average weight of 12 pounds. Generally, Coho is considered America’s favorite wild salmon and widely considered the best salmon for grilling. Coho is known for its delicate flavor and firm orange-red flesh. A 3 ounce serving of coho provides 20 grams of protein, 4.3 mcg of vitamin B12, 900 mg of Omega 3s DHA & EPA, 9.6 mcg of vitamin D and trace amounts of phosphorous, selenium, and potassium. The marine derived omega-3 fatty acids found in coho (and all wild salmon) are readily absorbed by the body, and much more nutritionally valuable than fish oil capsules.

Here’s an easy recipe to try:

Planked Alaska Coho Salmon with Mediterranean Medley

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons of one of the following: fresh marjoram, Thai basil, basil, or oregano
1.5 pounds Alaska Coho Salmon filets
1/2 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Soak wood plank in water 30 minutes to 2 hours. Blend herbs.

Pat wood plank with paper towels and lightly oil one side. Lay Coho Salmon on coated side of plank. Squeeze lemon juice on salmon; season liberally with salt and pepper. Pat/rub 1 to 2 tablespoons herb blend on each salmon portion or all onto salmon side. Let the salmon rest 5 minutes before cooking.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill salmon using indirect heat in covered grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cook just until the salmon is opaque throughout.

Tip: This recipe works great whether you use a plank or cook straight on the grill. Or bake at 400 degrees F (6 to 7 inches from heat source) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6 people with a total prep and cook time of 30 minutes.

We are currently offering a June 2021 special on a case of coho salmon (25 pounds). Join our email list to get access to monthly market specials or contact us for details.

Eat Well,

Brenna & Kenny

Hello New Mexico!

The changing seasons push us along a well worn path more than the calendar does. When my fig trees in Phoenix are ripening, it’s time to pack for a mini-migration.

I’m excited for cherry season to start, especially after late frost killed ‘em all last year around Albuquerque. We picked and juiced 400 pounds of locally grown cherries 2 years ago and fermented the most amazing cherry chocolate chile meade. I am hoping to repeat the experiment and have a party!

Beef harvest is on schedule in spite of the current drought conditions. My grandfather insisted on under stocking the summer ranch near Sofia, New Mexico so we would always have fat beef to eat, save the grass to build soil and sequester carbon.

We look forward to our first day back to the Los Ranchos Growers Market tomorrow to visit with friends and shop the market. We intend to be there most Saturday’s throughout the summer and our market calendar & events page is currently updated through early July 2021.

We stock 3 varieties of wild Alaska salmon to fill your freezer along with a little halibut and black cod to treat yourself and maybe a lucky few.

See you at the market!

Kenny & Brenna

Shameless Self Promotion 🤩

We asked an artist farmer friend to interpret our business in an image. She produced a surreal and stunning stippled drawing that we have displayed at markets for years. The image has recently been applied to 50 white cotton tee shirts as the first FishHugger merch! Order and pick one up for $20 or have it shipped anywhere in the USA for $30. Sizes range from XS to XXL. If this new venture proves popular, more images from the same artist are ready to apply to other products.

We plan to extend our time in Arizona for another week or few. Our market calendar is updated often to help you get what you need seasonally. In addition to the Phoenix markets, we are currently scheduling pick up appointments through May 8.

Market research side note: My small scale survey suggests that vegans spend more per visit than strict carnivores or omnivores. My best explanation is that vegans want to feed non-vegan friends and family members high quality wild fish and grass fat beef. Does that mean FishHugger foods are vegan approved? You be the judge!

Cheers,

Kenny

7 Weeks Phoenix!

Spring is nearly here and we intend to continue our favorite Phoenix Farmers Markets for 7 more weekends, through May 2, 2021. We welcome orders placed for pick up at the market or appointments for a personal shopping experience in our private test kitchen. Contactless curbside pick up also available. Our calendar of markets and events is always kept current and our product list is updated frequently to reflect availability.

Brenna & Kenny

Steak with Leeks and Anchovy Butter

Day to day, we find that our family’s primary protein is grass-fed ground beef. A few times per year though, we do treat ourselves to an excellent steak. Our beef is dry aged 21 days and we recommend an additional few days in the fridge of wet aging prior to cooking your steak, it’ll be tastier and more tender. Here’s a great recipe to try if you’re interested in pan searing, rather than grilling your steak.

Steak with Leeks and Anchovy Butter

Sea salt and black pepper

Two 1 pound steaks or one 2 pound steak

1/4 cup oil-packed salted anchovies

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 small shallots, minced

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

3 lbs leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and split lengthwise

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, smashed in their peels

1 small bunch thyme

Combine 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Season steak on all sides and let sit 1 hour at room temperature.

In a saucepan, combine anchovies, vinegar,  and shallots. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until vinegar has completely reduced and shallots are soft. In a medium bowl, combine shallot mixture, 1 cup softened butter, and parsley. Stir to combine and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Place leeks, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with 1 tsp salt and add wine, 2 tbsp butter, and 2 tbsp olive oil to pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375. 

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil until it shimmers. Turn heat down a tick, then carefully add steak to pan. Let steak sear undisturbed for 4 minutes if cooking two small steaks, 7 minutes for one large steak. Using tongs, lift corner of steak to see if a golden-brown crust has formed. If steak lifts easily from pan and has good color, flip it. Sear second side 4 to 7 minutes.

Add garlic, thyme, and 4 tbsp butter to pan. As butter melts, use a large spoon to ladle butter over steak, basting repeatedly for about 30 seconds. Transfer pan to oven. If cooking two small steaks, cook for 4 minutes. If cooking one large steak, cook for 8. Remove steak from oven. Flip it in pan and baste it a few times. Using a meat thermometer, check steak’s temperature. You want it to be about 130. If it’s not quite there, baste again before returning it to the oven for a couple of minutes more. Transfer steak to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Let rest at least 10 minutes (15 to 20 minutes is better).

Slice steak and arrange on a platter. Smear half the anchovy butter on sliced steak. Cut leeks in half and scatter on platter. Serve remaining anchovy butter on the side. Serves 6.

ENJOY!

Brenna & Kenny

Arizona Grown Medjool Dates

While on my path to hunt and gather food for my family, I stumbled onto a small date palm grove in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Dates are considered a superfood with a medium glycemic index for diabetics and blood sugar issues. A health food that tastes sweet is a great way to assist in breaking our sugar addiction.

I picked 300 pounds of medjool dates and froze them for long term storage. We are offering a free half pound bag of dates with any purchase of FishHugger goods. 15 pound boxes of dates are available for $60.

Dates will stay fresh and juicy in the fridge or freezer for a year. They are also shelf stable in your pantry or in a bowl on the counter and will dry slowly into a chewy treat.

A daily dose is typically 3 to 7 dates, depending on regularity and body weight. We have 200 pounds left in stock for this season.

My favorite way to eat them is to remove the pit and stuff a pecan and a dark chocolate drop inside. Look up the properties of medjool dates and you’ll know the benefits and value.

Please be bold and come see me for essential food at the markets in Phoenix or our private shop for personal service and food therapy advice.

Cheers,

Kenny

Albuquerque Delivery – March 9 – Order Now!

We’re making an essential trip to New Mexico and now taking orders for delivery in the Albuquerque area on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Everything is current on our website, including our product list and pricing. Please review it before ordering as some of our menu items have recently changed. Orders will be accepted through Friday, March 5 and can be placed by email or phone. Further inquiry welcome.

Thank you!

Brenna & Kenny

Butter is up 🧈 🥩

I want to share some good news! The per capita consumption of healthy butter has been going up since the margarine racket has been exposed. Corn syrup sweetened drink consumption has been falling slowly over the last 2 decades to about 40 gallons per person per year. Considering some of us drink none, some people are big gulping 80 gallons or so and wondering why they feel bad.

This week’s happiness is homemade honey ice cream. The land of milk and honey frozen is the way to describe the taste and healing properties of good food shared with good people.

My recipe makes 1 gallon

1 quart of honey

6 high quality eggs whole

1/2 gallon best heavy cream you can find

1 quart whole milk raw & grassfed

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp distilled spirits

Whip until foamy and freeze with an ice cream freezer.

This is my favorite meal replacement with no guilt. We have refined this recipe more than 100 times over 3 years. Seasonal fruit on top is worth the garnish. I hope some of you are inspired to make a batch and start a small business with our honey. The premium ice cream market is just one idea to utilize honey beyond simple retail. 

We are seeing case sales of honey and frozen goods rising for consumption and prepping for potential short term food shortages due to logistic and transportation issues. We are taking appointments for anyone needing to stock up. We also offer some delivery options.

Call or text Kenny at 602-576-0320

Best Practices Collection

1 small freezer $250

50 pounds ground beef $500

15 pounds salmon $270

36 pounds honey (12 quarts) $180

6 liters olive oil $150

$1350 total

Pull the trigger on this opportunity for a taste of real food security. We always know what’s for dinner and how many we have left in the freezer. Sleep easy knowing that American farmers are producing more than we can eat. Distribution from farm to consumer is the short term problem we are all facing. I used to keep 2 months of food on hand and now it seems prudent to store 6 months or more. One pound per person per week is a popular model to follow. 

Happy February,

Kenny