Tasty Savages, Snappers & Choppers

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

A while back, I mentioned getting snapped by a baby snapper bluefish with painful and gory results. Everytime I enjoy a nice bluefish dinner, I look at it as payback time.


These violent cannibals seem to kill for the sheer joy of it. When we gut a bluefish (watch video) at the market, it’s always a lesson in the variety of available baitfish from whatever area the blues were caught. Whole (and pieces) of menhaden, anchovies, porgys, butterfish, flounder, sardines, black bass, sometimes lobster and crabs, and even, yes, other bluefish. In 1874 Professor Spencer W. Baird reported on bluefish to the United States Fish Commission about the character and habits of these amazing fish:

“The Bluefish has well been likened to an animated chopping-machine, the business of which is to cut to pieces and otherwise destroy as many fish as possible in a given space of time. Going in large schools, in pursuit of fish not much inferior to themselves in size, they move along like a pack of hungry wolves, destroying everything before them. Their trail is marked by fragments of fish and by the stain of blood in the sea, as, where the fish is too large to be swallowed entire, the hinder portion will be bitten off and the anterior part allowed to float away or sink. It is even maintained, with great earnestness that such is the gluttony of the fish, that when the stomach becomes full the contents are disgorged and then again filled. It is certain that it kills more fish than it requires for its own support.”

bluefish belly

Inside the belly of a bluefish that came in

It’s the beginning of fall and the blues are abundant, the farmers market outside our door is still full of local produce. It’s time to enjoy the bounty, especially tomatoes. There’s nothing better with bluefish than tomatoes in season. The flavorful richness of bluefish goes perfectly with the acidity of tomatoes. Roasted with herbs, capers & balsamic vinegar, grilled with fresh salsa or served with any number of tomato sauces, blues and tomatoes were made for each other.

The recipe for this week uses Bernie’s Romeso Sauce. Roasted tomatoes, pablano chilis, garlic and ground nuts make for an exciting sauce that can be served hot or at room temperature over pan seared, roasted or grilled bluefish. Enjoy!


Monahan's Seafood

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