Seattle: Another Shot At DamNation

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And this time, it’s FREE! Fresh off even more impressive kudos, like the Audience Choice Award at Telluride, and stellar reviews in Outside, DamNation will be screening at select Patagonia stores around the country on June 5th. Fortunately for us, Seattle is one of those stores. But the film did sell out at SIFF a couple weeks ago, so you’ll need to call the Seattle Patagonia store <206.622.9700> to reserve seats.

I will be there to do a little Q & A after the screening, hang out, chew the fat, whatever. I think it’s going to be a great event for a fantastic movie.

Details: DamNation Film Screening, 7:00pm, Thursday, June 5th at Seattle Patagonia. Reserve seats: 206.622.9700. Cost: nada, zip, zero, zilch. For more info or to watch the cool trailer, click HERE.


Serious Halibut

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With the spring halibut season upon us, I thought I’d share one of our favorite ways to cook the giant flounders. This is a shot of the heat just coming up on a dish of Chinese-style steamed halibut with black bean sauce. And even though we ate this to the point of gluttony, my mouth waters again just thinking about it. Better yet, it’s incredibly easy to make:

Start by prepping the sauce. You can either go with dried, fermented Chinese black beans and make your own sauce from scratch, or for max ease, go with a pre-made black bean sauce. You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores near the soy sauce and chile paste. Small jar, often called “black bean sauce with garlic” or “garlic black bean sauce.” Put a couple tablespoons of the sauce in a small bowl and mix in a half-teaspoon or so of grated ginger and the same amount of crushed garlic. Add a dash of rice wine vinegar and a half-teaspoon of “sambal” chile paste. No hard-and-fast rules here, just add the ingredients to fit your taste. Mix thoroughly.

Cut halibut fillet into serving-size chunks, ideally about an inch thick. Spread the sauce on the fish–it’s pretty potent, so just a thin layer will do. I like to place some dried shiitake mushrooms around the fish as well–the steam will collect in the plate and hydrate the mushrooms for a great aromatic addition. Steam on a plate inside a covered bamboo steamer basket placed over a pan of boiling water. Depending on the seal between steamer and pan, and the thickness of the fish, it usually takes about 10-15 minutes at a rolling boil until done, but it’s easy to check–the fish flakes apart and turn opaque all the way through when it’s ready.

Shortly before it’s done, or just as you take it out, sprinkle with finely sliced green onions and/or cilantro for a fresh touch.

Serve with rice and vegetables (we like pan-seared baby bok choy or steamed asparagus) and don’t forget to spoon the liquid that collects in the plate over the fish and rice. Mmmmmmm…so good! Now you just have to go crank one of these monsters up off the bottom in 200 feet of water. Or…swing by your favorite fish monger’s before dinner.


Patagonia Photo Contest

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Yes, you could actually win a “rad” trip to hang out with…uh, me. But it’s still a cool contest anyway. And fortunately, the prize also includes a float trip to experience the newly free-flowing Elwha River, a screening of DamNation on the Olympic Peninsula, some other river- and fish-related activities, and time with DamNation producer, underwater photographer, biologist and all-around awesome guy, Matt Stoecker.

As part of the promotions for the multiple-award-winning DamNation movie, the film crew and Patagonia’s photo editors will pick the winner from photos of bad dams or favorite river scenes. For details on how to enter, click HERE. And while you’re on the website, check out the movie trailer and screening dates. If nothing else, go see the movie or download it and watch. It’s definitely worth your time.

And if you win, well, we can talk more as we float down the Elwha or get in the water to look for fish. Good luck!


Where We Live

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I snapped this rather blurry shot on the way home from the DamNation screening Sunday night around 9:15. Weston and Skyla were both wiped from the big day in the City, but they wanted to go out on deck and “fly in the wind.” When we came out of the lee of Alki Point, the southwest breeze took our breath away and we could stand at funny angles leaning into it. In the fading light, I could hear the kids laughing and see the places we’ll be fishing when salmon season opens in a couple months, and the places we pulled spot prawns from last week. And I felt very lucky.


A Lesson From Captain Brian

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All the warm weather this week had me thinking about this time last year, when we fished the Outer Banks with our great friends Brian and Sarah. Aside from the big cobia Brian and I got on a fly one day, this was a real highlight: Watching my kids soak up some wisdom from one of my best buddies. There’s something about wanting your children to spend time with the people who’ve been an important part of your life, and when it happens, it’s a great feeling.

On this day, it was blowing to beat the band, the water was dirty, and prospects were dim. But we pounded out there anyway, and Brian patiently found some critters to bite our hooks. Weston’s smile–bigger than the fish–says it all.

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