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Holy Mackerel Uptown!

March 31, 2015

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David Antonelli has been in the restaurant business for over thirty years, so you could say that he knows food pretty well. Coming from a family of restauranteurs, this New York native has a true appreciation for difference of high quality, fresh ingredient can make to a meal, specifically true quality seafood. But living in the Arizona, he also knows all too well how hard it is to come by truly fresh fish here in the desert.

Having just sold his restaurant in Scottsdale, David wanted to stay true to his roots in working with food and kept in close touch with the vendors that he has worked with and grown to know over the years. McClendon’s Select is one that he kept in touch with, visiting our markets regularly and seeing what was being sold by us and other vendors. David also kept in close touch with many of the fish vendors that he has known over the years all along the East Coast who would tell him what was coming off of their fishing boats everyday, namely varieties of freshly caught, wild-harvested fish that you just can not find fresh in Arizona. Seeing a real need here, David started Holy Mackerel, his new venture to bring in the absolute freshest fish you can find, and available right now only at the Uptown Wednesday and Saturday markets.

All of the fish Holy Mackerel brings to the market is brought in by East Coast domestic fishermen who go out on day boats or short trip boats to bring in their catch and ship overnight to David to be sold at the markets the next day. The fish is never frozen and is kept packed in ice and held at temperature from the minute it leaves the boat until it is brought to the Uptown market. He even has arrangements with the church at the market to use their refrigerators to keep the fish properly cooled. All of his seafood is packaged in individual portions, anywhere from 6-10 oz., depending on the type of fish. David only orders enough to be sold at the markets, and he finds out what the fishermen have brought in that day he places his order, so that he is only getting the absolute freshest from their catch. This is the quickest turnaround you will find in getting fish from the sea to your table. Bob is a true lover of seafood and swears that he has never had anything as wonderful as what David is bringing in.

Tomorrow at the Uptown Wednesday Farmers’ Market, Holy Mackerel will be bringing in skate from Long Island, pollock and day boat sea scallops from Massachusetts, and fresh North Carolina shrimp. The offering will change from market to market, depending on what is coming in from the boats, but the quality will not. David is focused on making sure that the fish from Holy Mackerel is the freshest you will find. It is truly historic that the Health Department has granted a permit for fresh fish to be sold at a farmer’s market and a testament to David’s hard work and dedication that he is the only person with permission to do so. Make sure that you stop by early to make your purchase, because the word is spreading about Holy Mackerel and he already has quite a dedicated following of customers.

David was also nice enough to share a recipe of his, using both his seafood and our produce…

Fresh North Carolina Shrimp and New England Scallops with McClendon’s Select garlic, basil, tomatoes and asparagus

1 portion of H.M.F.S shrimp peeled and deveined [8 oz.]
1 portion of H.M.F.S scallops side muscle removed [8 oz.]
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 pound of basil
1/4 pound diced tomatoes
1/2 pound asparugus
oil for cooking
salt to taste

Cook asparagus in boiling salted water, when almost done put in ice water to stop it from cooking.
Over medium heat saute scallops for 2 minutes then turn over and cook for 2 more. Add shrimp and cook untill almost done.
Usually when the shrimp turn pink they are done. Remove from pan add garlic cook until lightly browned then add wine and reduce in half, add tomatoes, chopped basil and asparagus when heated add to seafood and serve. Can be served over pasta or rice.

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