Posted by: socalsalty | March 21, 2011

Trip Report and a Recipe

Ever vigilant, the Helmsman stands watch over MDR Harbor

Jake’s mom called last week and asked if I wanted to spend some time with Jake and Juju this last weekend, since I was in Austin the previous weekend. I’m happy for every opportunity to spend time with the kids, especially if it means Jake and I would have the opportunity to fish. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The light sprinkle that started up Saturday night, developed into a full scale storm on Sunday with driving wind and rain. Jake and I tried to make the afternoon half day out of MDR, the New Del Mar, but the boat was cancelled (NOTE to MDR Sportfishing…please either pickup your phone, or update the web page/phone message to let people know). Since we were in the area and geared for a rainy day, we decided to take a stab at the public dock at Burton Chace Park. After picking up some squid, we headed over.

Jake on the floating fishing pier

The public dock at Burton Chace is kind of cool. It’s a floating platform. Unlike most public docks/piers, it sits pretty low to the water. Between the rocking sensation of the dock, and the weird little noises the rocking creates, it almost felt like we were out on a boat. Jake and I setup our poles with a reverse dropper loop with 2 oz torpedo weights and size 2 hooks baited with squid strips. The plan was to work all the area around the dock hoping for a bass or halibut to take the bait. After about an hour though of getting rained on, Jake figured out a way to secure his pole in the fence and we retreated to the cover of the fish cleaning area. There, I took the opportunity to filet the cinnamon rockfish and sculpin I caught from the night before and contemplate dinner. Based on the wind, rain and cold, it felt like a soup day.

Jake with the cinnamon and sculpin from Saturday night

After getting home and getting Jake out of his wet clothes and into a hot shower, I proceeded to make dinner.

Salty’s Spicy Seafood Soup with Flat Iron Garlic Bread

2 qts of fish stock

1 – 1/2 lbs of fish filets (I used red snapper)

1/2 lb of whole shrimp (skin and tail on)

4 small red potatoes

4 roma tomatoes

3 carrots

1 ear of sweet white corn

2 serrano chile peppers

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning

Soup is perfect for a rainy day

1 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Defrost the stock and get it heated up in a 5 qt pot. Harvest the kernels from the cob and set aside. SAVE THE COB! Peel and dice carrots into 1 inch chunks. Add corn cob, carrots, tomatoes, bay leaves and seasonings to pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, back off heat to a simmer. Rinse and dice potatoes. When the tomatoes are soft, but before they disintegrate, remove and puree. Add puree to soup. Before the carrots reach ‘fork tender’, add the diced potatoes to the soup. Slice the filets into 1 inch thick strips. Devein and chop the chiles into small bits. When the potatoes are fork tender, add the fish, shrimp, and chiles to the soup and give them a few stirs to make sure they’re covered in the hot soup. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand (for at least 10 minutes).

While the soup is finishing up, work on the bread. You’ll need a round of sourdough bread, 3 cloves of garlic, some butter and olive oil. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Finely chop the garlic. Slice the bread and butter one side. Place some garlic bits in the pan and put the bread, butter side down on top of the garlic. Take a large heavy object (a cast iron skillet is what I use) and put it on top of the bread. Cook until nicely toasted and serve with the soup. Enjoy!



  1. The recipe sounds good and believe it or not very similar to an ” Old Drum Stew ” that people on the coast out here make. With any type of fish chowder/stew I like to add a pound of scallops during the last 10 minutes or so of cooking. I love scallops though , so it may not be good if you don’t like them.

    I’m getting ready for a fish fry here tomorrow πŸ˜›

    • I think it’s pretty common…pretty standard ingredients. What makes it SoCal is the cumin and serrano peppers, and of course the fish that went into it πŸ˜‰

  2. I would eat that πŸ™‚

  3. Hey Joe, just jotted down your recipe and will give it a try as soon as I will have some fillets in my bucket again. Planning on going fishing on Thursday of the weather will allow and nothing else unexpected comes between.

    I’m glad you had a great time with your son, even the weather wasn’t the nicest and your fishing trip turned out different than what you had planned for. My son unfortunately never was much interested in fishing when he was a kid and still, I enjoyed every single minute with him at the shore line. (Even when he actually was more a pain in the rear end than fun sometimes). Now he is 22 years old and he is living about 5,500mls away from me and I haven’t seen him for more than 3 years. The more I wished now, I would have gotten more chances spending time with him.
    Take Care and Tight Lines

    • Thanks Rick. Appreciate you coming by. I heated up the soup last night and was thinking it would also be good if I had some avocado to throw in there. Just throw it into the bowl when served. It’d be a nice addition. I also threw in some extrea Tapatio because it wasn’t hot enough for me πŸ˜‰

  4. Wow, I’m salivating. Great recipe! You’re such a good “chef”!. Did Juju stayed home??

    • Hi Auntie Phebe, Juju had a birthday party and Jake didn’t want to go. It was good, even if the weather was lousy.

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