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Showing posts from October, 2007

Rainbow Smelt (osmerus mordax)

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The Canadian fishermen have started to haul in huge landings of fresh smelts in droves. These tiny fish are in the family of fish osmeridae. Small anadromus fish, they live in salt water and move into fresh water to spawn, like salmon. Theyare fairly common in rivers and lakes of North America. During the spring they can be observed in large schools up and down the eastern seaboard as they make there way to the spawning grounds. When you are small 6 inches or less you make a very tasty meal for all sorts of salmon, trout, walleye, striped bass and pike to name a few. They also make a very tasty meal for humans, and that is why you can find sportsmen trying to catch smelts using dip nets or even ice fishing. Smelts are often fried and eaten bones and all, all one needs to do to clean them is to remove the head and guts. They are usually sold this way at your local seafood counter, and if not your fishmonger should be able to clean them for you. Smelts are also known by the other market…

What a Waste

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A vessel fishing for whiting in New Zealand waters has been charged with dumping its entire contents during the night. The charges allege that over 300 tonnes were dumped in September and October. To read full story click here.

A Cook Remembers

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Native Seafood was a great experience, it was pure pleasure to have been able to go in everyday and be able to utilize the freshest seafood available. To be have available the most diverse and bountiful on site herb garden I was truly blessed. I miss all my friends, customers and comrades. The years spent there could never be replaced. It has made me the person I am today. Native Seafood was a conduit for a great vibe that was both exhilarating and tiring. Long days spent cooking over that wood burning stove drained the juice right out of you. The front of the house could be maxed out at 150, and things just flowed. The line was small, with barely room for three. I always liked the saute station best. The small pass through window allowing me a glimpse of the dining room, and the wait station. Native Seafood lasted in one form or another over 8 years, and in the restaurant biz that ain't half bad. We only served the best products even when cheaper alternatives existed. Native Se…

PACU AND PINTADO

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New species come to the market so rarely. Now is an exciting time as three new products have come to fruition in a short window. The first two will be covered in this post with the third fish to be announced soon.


Today we received some samples of pintado fillet, a relative of the catfish with a beautiful black and white scaleless skin. The skin on this 6 to 8 ounce fillet is the biggest selling point, as one of my co-workers described it as a Pollack painting. This will make for a great plate presentation and the flesh is very mild so it is able to take on the chef's own seasonings. It is also offered as a 1 to 2 ounce skin-off medallion they market as a mignon, this is cut from the belly of the fish, and is available at a lower price point.
The second fish is really interesting, and comes in a totally unexpected form: fish ribs! Cut from large 5 to 6 pound pacu fish(piaractus mesopotaicus ) this yields a "rack" of ribs about 10 joints each that can be grilled or seared…

Lobster Thermador

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Here is the recipe for Lobster Thermador as served aboard the last voyage of the Titanic. This one will be easy to enjoy knowing it is not your last meal, and not the last time you will enjoy lobster. The North American Lobster is part of a well managed fishery.



Makes 4 servings.2 (1 1/2-lb) live lobsters
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 lb mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1 cup heavy cream, scalded
2 large egg yolksPlunge lobsters headfirst into an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water*. Loosely cover pot and cook lobsters over moderately high heat 9 minutes from time they enter water, then transfer with tongs to sink to cool.When lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off claws and crack them, then remove meat. Halve lobsters lengthwise with kitchen shears, beginning from tail end, then remove tail meat, reserving shells. Cut all lobster meat into 1/4-inch pieces. Discard any remainin…

What Fish Can I Eat?

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These days this is a question that becomes difficult to answer in a simple way. Unlike the protein choices of land based creatures, almost all of them farm raised; there exists a plethora of choices from the sea. Maybe it is that plethora that has led us to abuse and deplete our ocean resource. It is hard to comprehend that we are in trouble when you stop by the seafood department and see so many choices. I hope that we can keep this open to debate as so much is unknown for now. I am recommending that everyone take a look at one or more of the following sites: Blue Ocean Institute, Marine Stewardship Council, Montery Bay Aquarium, NOAA Fish Information. Many of these groups have a list of good and bad choices. If that information wasn't enough, then of course there is the question of Mercury, and other harmful pollutants. Just be smart here, do not eat the same fish or class of fishes every day for the rest of your life and you will probably be able to have the occasional tuna st…

New product Farmed Black Cod

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Here is some information provided to me from the distributor of fresh farmed raised Black Cod , sable fish. I generally try to buy wild product of this species because it is considered sustainable. I will be taking a better look at this particular farm to see if we can give them a good sustainability rating.Fresh Farmed
BLACK COD(Sablefish, anoploploma fimbria)Black cod, or Sablefish as it is more commonly referred, gets its name from its black or dark green skin our. The flesh is a beautiful pearly white that results in large velvety flakes. Due to a high Omega-3 fat content, Black Cod has a smooth, rich, buttery taste combined with a smooth and luxurious texture.
Cooked black cod makes an excellent substitute for the endangered Chilean Sea bass. With its similar taste and texture, it can be prepared and served using a myriad of techniques.
Farmed black cod is prized for its raw use in the sashimi market as, unlike its wild caught counterpart, it is parasite free.
Totem…

Save our Fish

Help pass the Menhaden bill.

Menhaden Rant

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Menhaden is the most important fish we do not eat. Shad, bunker, shiner are just a few names, all describing the menhaden (brevoortia patronus).. Menhaden grow to approximately one foot and are very similar in appearance to the freshwater shad, but are not the same fish. Menhaden are extremely oily, which is why they have been commercially netted for so many years for the oil and meal that can be produced from them. Commonly used as bait for almost all species, using them alive, dead, or cut. Menhaden are plankton filter feeders and near the bottom of the food chain, they can only be caught with a net. Sometimes when you see bait rolling on the surface, it is a school of menhaden, with bigger fish sure to be following. And this brings me to an important point. Menhaden are the largest by weight of all commercial catches. The vast majority are processed into feed for fish and livestock, and used in the growing number of food products containing omega 3 oil. Currently a limited number o…

Will the Real Grouper Please Stand Up

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If you live in Florida, or have vacationed there you would know that the Grouper Sandwich is the default State meal. From Gainesville to Key West you would have a hard time not finding the ubiquitous selection on the menu of most restaurants. Fried, blackened or grilled millions have been served to locals and unsuspecting tourists alike. The big dirty secret is finally out in the open. The chances that the sandwich you or anyone else ate was local grouper -- slim to none. It turns out that most of these establishments were buying frozen "grouper", and that some was an imported species of grouper. At least that is what they thought they were getting. It was more likely that the frozen fish was either a box of mixed species, with some Asian grouper included, or it could have easily been basa, panga, or some other mild white flesh fish, even..gulp tilapia. So who is to blame? The Restaurant for trying to sell cheap Asian grouper? The supplier for not verifying species? The con…

Types of Shrimp

Although 342 species of shrimp worldwide have commercial value, there are only a few species that are important to the U.S. market. Their species fall into three basic groups: warm water shrimp, freshwater shrimp, cold water shrimpShrimp can be either wild-caught or farm-raised. Wild-caught (or "free-range") shrimp naturally exist in bays, estuaries, and oceans. Farm-raised shrimp are grown in a more controlled environment. Shrimp eggs or larvae are either gathered from the natural environment or grown in hatcheries after being taken from female brood stock. The shrimp are then raised to maturity in shallow ponds. Farm-raised shrimp are also known as pond-raised, cultured, aqua cultured, or maricultured.Warm water shrimpThese are the most popular and plentiful shrimp on the U.S. market. Most warm water shrimp are categorized by the color of their shell (not the meat) when raw: White, brown, pink, and black tiger. Another warm water shrimp, rock shrimp, …

Bush moves to protect striped bass, red drum

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Seafood Currents
Oct 22, 2007
SFB Staff — President Bush on Saturday signed an executive order to protect striped bass and red drum from overfishing during a stop at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

The order encourages states to declare striped bass, known locally as rockfish, and red drum “game fish,” making both species off-limits to commercial fishermen.

After signing the order, Bush fished for striped bass off Tilghman Island for an hour before eating Maryland crab cakes for lunch at Vice President Dick Cheney’s St. Michaels vacation home.

But states will be reluctant to give up their right to regulate fishing in their waters, Dennis Abbott, a New Hampshire legislator and member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which monitors the striped bass fishery, told the Baltimore Sun.

“If commercial fishing shuts down,” he said, “how would the general public have a chance to have a striped-bass dinner?”

The Canadian Rule

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How to cook fish: Here is a really simple and easy rule to follow and your fish will be cooked to perfection every time. This will work for any method of cooking. The only requirement is that the heat source is as very hot. Now the secret; for each inch of thickness cook the fish 1o minutes.
That's it, now go cook some fish.

Sustainable Seafood Blogging

While looking around on the net to see who is blogging about seafood and such I came across this...

leather district gourmet

So check it out Sustainable Seafood Month.

Nantucket Bays are on the way

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Start looking for those sweet as candy scallops from the eastern seaboard. The first harvests will start on November 1st. Every year chefs start salivating at the mention of these translucent gems. Hand Harvested with rakes by a limited group of skilled people, these treats garner over $20.00 to wholesalers and distributors. The regulations do not allow harvesting to occur when the mercury falls below 29, and even in the peak of season supply can be tight. All the product is shucked nearby and packed in tins surrounded in ice. I must confess that when they first arrive in the warehouse I am quick to gobble down more than I need to determine quality. Also be on the look out for The Nantucket bays close Long Island relative: The Peconic Bay scallop. Opens a week or two later.

CHEFS NIGHT OUT

Sign up now for a night on us, Stop by 535 3rd ave between 11 and 2am for free drinks and late night snacks. Sample Stone Crab, Nantucket bay scallops, local oysters and Konakampachi. Local craft brewed beer and Long Island's best wines. Date to be decided.

A fish in trouble

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Information about the American Eel

Sample fish info

--Alfonsino:New Zealand, related to red snapper.White flesh, 3-5# fish, oval- shaped like John Dory.--Barramundi: habitat: from northern Australia and Queensland; one of the largest and most important commercial fishes; also popular with sportsmen; found in brackish waters, lagoons, and mangrove creeks; returns to saltwater to spawn; season runs year-round, though most active in warmer months; caught with live lures, either cast or trolled; description: white flesh, soft and delicate, mild, low oil; filets are round and thick, and have only a few large bones; preparation: frying, grilling, bbq-ing, steaming; --Black cod: from North Pacific; 5-7 pounds, head off; “The white meat of the sablefish is fine-textured, oily, and succulent. The flavor is rich and distinctive; the fat content is high. The skin is edible;” --Blackfish: habitat: Nova Scotia to South Carolina, Pacific Ocean, especially Narragansett Bay (RI); season from April to June, then from October; 40% yield; sold as whole…

Some Sustainable Choices

Clams-Hard clams are raised in bottom culture systems, and have very few enviromental concerns. Spawning clams may actually hepl populate wild areas

blog action day

My first day of blogging just happened to be blog action day. I hope that in some small way any knowledge I can impart here will help.

Stone Crab

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Stone crab is a seasonal treat. The season is now. On Monday fisherman in Florida pulled in the first of the season stone crab claws. The great thing about these treats is that they are sustainable. Only the claws are harvested every year by the Florida Fleet. Fisherman place pots and mark them with buoys. It is against the law to tamper with crab pots. When they bring the traps to the surface they select the largest claw and remove it from the crab. The crab is then returned to the water so that by this time next year it will have fully regenerated a new claw. The claws are quickly iced, or cooked right on board. Season is from October 15th to May 15th. Prices are stable from last year. Retail pricing for medium 6-8/lb should be $18-$25, large 4-6/lb $30-$40 depending how close you are to the Gulf.

First Fish

I spent the morning with two leading researchers from The Blue Ocean Institute. They were speaking on Sustainable Seafood. This is a very complex issue, but one that we can give momentum to. Check back as I highlite some fish that can be labeled sustainable.