• Thursday, November 01, 2007

    It's a Wrap! Teach a Man to Fish - the Sustainable Seafood Event Concludes

    The Blog Event is done. As we end this adventure, the new one begins: making all these great dishes.

    Huge Thanks to all who participated in this event. To call it a success would be an understatement.

    1. In just two weeks, I received a boat-load of great recipes. From elaborate to quick; gourmet to home-style; from near and far. They all look terrific.
    2. Our catch includes over two dozen recipes, including two videos.
    3. Entries came from big fish to small fry - highly acclaimed chefs, an author, home cooks, and food bloggers, like me.
    4. We're all learning. (Can I push it further and say we're in school?) As Chef Barton Seaver explains, it's a dynamic area. Some fish stocks have come back from being nearly depleted, like abalone. Others are still in danger, such as Chilean Seabass. I particularly appreciated the readers who shared their own “sustainable seafood 101” stories with us on their blogs. I know you will enjoy them, too.
    5. And speaking of 101, two fellow writers on Suite101 shared their recipes and knowledge, too. Links are included to other resources, and recipes down below.

    How to get the most out of this round up:

    • I've organized this alphabetically, by main ingredient, beginning with Abalone from Chef Pahk of the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley.
    • For each recipe submitted, I have included a brief intro to the main ingredient from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pages. I have included a live link to the item's profile there. Scroll over, click - there you are.
    • I have also included live links to each participant's blog or website. In a couple of cases where the recipe was not hosted elsewhere, I have posted it on my blog here and included a live link to that post.
    • Most of all: share these recipes and what you've learned with your fishmonger, your family, your friends.
    Coming soon:
    Pairings from our beverage board. (What, you thought I'd let you go thirsty?) Subscribe to a feed or sign up for my newsletter (see sidebar) for updates. Beer, wine, sake, tequila...what will they recommend?

    And now, for our beautiful recipes, cheers to sustainable seafood and to all our participants...

    Abalone farming has helped to reduce damage to the wild population off the West coast
    of the US.

    Executive Chef of the Silverado Resort sent us this beautiful recipe made with Cayuga Farms' Abalone.

    Chef Pahk and the resort share a commitment to sustainability and it shows. Chef Pahk is CIA trained and a Hawaii native, was named one of "America's 2000" and was invited to cook the New Year's Eve dinner at the James Beard house...

    This recipe is an elegant example of his skill and it's also a success story, of sorts. Abalone was nearly fished to extinction. We may have learned, just in time, how to responsibly manage the abalone populations. Mahalo, Chef!

    Calamari or Squid is a good choice and jumbo squid may be the best choice. Jumbo squid are line-caught so little damage occurs through by-catch. Little is known about their overall populations so the more common squid may be the better choice.

    Chef Silvia Bianco of Food411 shares her recipe for this calamari with pine nuts and tomatoes. She also offers three other recipes from her book Simply Sauté. (Seafood Risotto, Salmon with Wild Mushrooms, and Tilapia Pomodoro) Please find the recipes here.

    U.S.-farmed catfish is a best choice because it’s farmed in an ecologically responsible manner. We have two catfish recipes for you, one by a guy who literally teaches men to fish, among other things. Ryan Newman is a NASCAR driver and seemingly all around good guy. Take a look at his foundation and charitable projects.

    Normally, I tell overachievers to slow down, because they're making me look bad. But, Ryan's a NASCAR driver, so I guess I'll just have to say "thank you!"

    Here's Ryan's award-winning catfish recipe (he donated the $10,000 award to one of his charities of choice, his spay/neuter pet shelter project.) I give this one, and Ryan the checkered flag. (Have to ask my sister-in-law Chrissy if I got that right...)

    Janet Gresham of the blog Catfish Bytes sends us this sweet and spicy glazed catfish recipe. This has an appealing Asian-style glaze, citrus and red pepper combine in this recipe that will get a green light from your doctor. It looks quick to prepare, too. Might be the answer to "what's for dinner, tonight?"

    Since Tigerfish is in California, they used the West Coast Seafood Guide. "The manila clams used in this recipe are almost from an entirely farmed-source, categorized under "Best Choices" in the West Coast Guide and the prawns I have bought are USA farmed-prawns also classified as "Good Alternatives" in the guide." This recipe of Clams and Prawns steamed with egg whites looks gorgeous.

    Pacific Halibut is the best choice where long-lining is the method of harvest. As Halibut are bottom-dwelling fish, other methods result in wasteful by-catch and
    environmental damage. Wild-caught California or Greenland are also acceptable.

    Sesame-Crusted Halibut - Dolores sends her post from California, where she writes Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity. I love Dolores' post because she shows how easy it was to make a dish using a smart seafood choice. She reviewed her Seafood Watch Guide, had a brief conversation with her fishmonger, then sat down to a beautiful line-caught Sesame-Crusted Halibut dinner. I'll bet her fishmonger was happy to have an enthusiastic and informed customer, too.

    Hake, also known as whitefish, is listed as a “good alternative” in our guide. Be sure to purchase Silver, Red and Offshore hake that is wild-caught.

    This Dalmatian Fish Soup recipe comes to us from Croatia where it's called “mol.” Maninas shares a family soup using “mol.” Looks like a comforting broth and a second course of poached fish. Just grab some good bread.

    Mussels are cultured throughout most of the world. Cultured mussles account for approximately 90 percent of the world mussel consumption. Major producers:
    China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, France and New Zealand. The U.S. imports most of its mussels from developed nations with stringent environmental regulations.

    Mussel-farming methods, similar to oysters', are environmentally sound, do not rely on fishmeal or fish oil. Diseases are rare so antibiotics and chemicals are not necessary. Well-run bivalve aquaculture operations actually benefit the surrounding marine environment. My favorite mussel trick? Use the first empty shells as tweezers to snag the rest of your mussels from their shells...nature's tools.

    Pepy a.k.a Andaliman, who writes The Art and Science of Food gives us Indonesian Mussels, an exotic Indonesian recipe by way of Canada. This entry includes information about Vancouver's sustainable seafood program and restaurants that participate.

    Rockfish, Striped Bass or Greenheads as they are variously known are a "best bet" when US, wild-caught. (also see Sea Bream, below)

    We're delighted to have a true leader in the area of sustainable seafood participate. Chef Seaver has won numerous awards and accolades, he offers his recipe for Rockfish and also tips about how we can each make responsible and delicious choices.

    Here's Chef Barton Seaver's recipe for Seared Chesapeake Rockfish over minted pumpkin and crispy kale.
    I asked him to share his thoughts. First, he reminds us that sustainability is about flexibility.

    "We have to be willing to admit that what we know today may be wrong tomorrow as there is more research, various developments in techniques and myriad possibilities of changes that cause us to continually
    reevaluate our choices. Sometimes it is necessary to try unfamiliar things, but I have found that this is part of the fun of the dining experience. I choose to source all my produce and fish from small farmers and fishermen because I know how they operate. It takes more work at the beginning, but knowing that I'm serving the best food possible in my restaurant is worth the small investment of time."

    In addition to the Monterey Bay Aquarium guides, he says, "Anyone can easily choose more sustainable products.... there are a number of consumer guides to help choose the best fish, including Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood."

    For his restaurant, HookDC, he also tries to source fish that have been Marine Stewardship Council certified.

    Wild caught Alaska Salmon is the best bet. Look for Coho, Sockeye, King, Pink and
    Red salmon. Avoid farmed salmon. Did you know Alaska is the first state to have legislated safe and sustainable fishing policy? It can be a challenge to ensure that your salmon is actually wild and not farmed. Be sure you trust your fishmonger.

    Wild smoked salmon strata comes to us from afar. It looks divine and this blogger probably hides her identity to prevent us all from dropping in for brunch!

    Check out the Isolated Foodie whose "cooking trials at the far edge of nowhere" are worth a visit, even if only a virtual one.

    Kathy Maister of StartCooking was first out of the gate with her Cold Salmon with Creamy Mustard Sauce.

    She's also got two video demos of simple seafood recipes, which, if sourced properly, would make fine sustainable seafood choices. Take a look at Kathy in action making Shrimp Scampi and Scallops.


    Sardines are a "best choice" as populations are healthy.

    Sanja from Croatia offers us a recipe for Fishermen's Lunch. This is something that would certainly keep a fisherman happy. Crushed, pan-fried potatoes, golden onions and fried sardines. (Nothing like those silly little canned things Americans grew up with.)

    Sanja claims not to be a cook. Check out her Fresh Adriatic Fish blog. Don't you think the steps, the how-to advice (like how to recognize good, fresh fish) and other little tips on prep reveal a natural at work?

    Bay scallops are preferable to Sea scallops. Farmed scallops are a good choice as the practice is generally safe for the environment. Scallops have low impact on the environment as they are filter feeders and no fishmeal is used in the farming. (photo is Kathy Maister's recipe, see above.)

    Sea Bream
    Black Rockfish is the best choice. Several fish sold by this name are caught by unsound methods. Look for wild-caught or hook-and-line caught fish by the name of: Black bass, Black rock cod, Sea bass, Black snapper from CA, OR, WA or Wreckfish or black sea bass Atlantic wild-caught.

    Sabra writes Cookbook Catchall from NY and shares this recipe culled from a book called Culinaria Eurpoean Specialties. There's also a recipe for Romesco sauce to go with the elegant Salt-baked Sea Bream.

    I saw Chef Seaver prepare a salt-baked fish at the Southern Exposure event in Greenville. It looked easier than I thought...give it a whirl!

    Shellfish Soup
    Shellfish are usually good choices, be sure to consult your favorite guide for advice on shrimp, langoustines or crab.

    This Brodetto recipe was submitted by Delicious Italy. This is a terrific site I discovered when writing about culinary travel and the home cook or "Cesarini" travel trend.

    There are four types of brodetto corresponding to the different fishing localities in the region - 'Ancona', 'Porto Recanati', 'Fano' and 'San Benedetto del Tronto'. Like our U.S. fisherman's stew "Cioppino," Brodetto is made with local fish, caught that day but unsold. The fishermen of Le Marche might use squid, crustaceans, langoustines and over 550 species of fish from the Adriatic coast. Even if you can't get to Italy right now, visit the site and you'll fall in amoré.

    Shrimp or Prawns
    Pink Shrimp from Oregon or Spot Prawns from British Columbia are the best bets when buying shrimp.

    Trawling is a method used to harvest shrimp from other regions (including Black Tiger Shrimp, Tiger Prawns and White Shrimp) and can cause damage through by-catch or other fish caught in the trawling nets dragged through the water or along the sea floor.

    Michelle A.K.A. The Greedy Gourmet asks..."Have you ever reached satiety but carried on eating anyway because the food tasted so good? What about hiding dinner leftovers in a “secret corner” in the fridge, hoping no one else in the house will notice, and having a little midnight feast before anyone discovers your booty?"

    Yes, Michelle. Yes, I have....If I make these Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns, however, I'm sure there will be no leftovers at all. Michelle's a South African in the U.K.

    U.S. farmed Tilapia is a best choice. Farming methods in other countries have caused environmental problems both through escapes and pollution, both of which threaten local environments.

    A Kerala Fish Bake comes to us via Florida. Coconut milk, chili, turmeric, it sounds complex but is promised to be easy. The story that begins with the long journey from India to Florida and from novice to skilled cook is one that many of us can, no doubt, relate to.

    Links to other resources:

    Suite101 writers share recipes, more info on sustainable seafood choices and cooking techniques here:

    [ed. note: unscrupulous types have "scraped" my content, using this post without attribution and in direct violation of my copyright. These bottom-dwellers (no offense intended to our fishy friends) use others' work to attract readers to their blog for ad revenue. Please do not click on ads that use this content unless they appear on this blog - The Leather District Gourmet. Thank you!]

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is a very impressive round up! :)

    3:28 AM  
    Blogger JacquelineC said...

    Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it.

    4:33 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks for being included in such a fabulous round up! I am looking forward to trying all these great looking recipes! Cheers! Kathy

    7:54 AM  
    Blogger JacquelineC said...

    I hope you will let us know how you enjoy them!

    5:24 PM  
    Blogger Indonesia Eats said...

    Jacqueline, thank you for hosting this event. This gave us more knowledge on how to treat and protect our ocean.

    12:57 AM  
    Blogger JacquelineC said...

    Andaliman - thank you for providing another resource, one I didn't know of. I think I have some Canadian readers who will be happy to know about it. Please pass the word and enjoy!

    4:49 AM  
    Blogger Alison Barratt said...

    A big THANKS to Jacqueline for hosting this amazing event, from all of us at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. We can all make a difference when we make choices for healthy oceans.

    5:43 PM  
    Blogger Susan in Italy said...

    Such a wealth of info! I wish I could find some data about best choices in an Italian context.

    7:12 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Me again! I have now had the chance to really have a look at all the recipes and they are amazing! I particularly like the look of that Salmon Strata! The educational factor in this round-up is HUGE! You have provided an a fantastic resource for all of us. Many,many thanks!
    (PS I could not get the link to HOOKDC to work???)

    7:21 AM  
    Blogger JacquelineC said...

    Susan - try this link.

    Kathy - I tried all the links Chef Seaver sent me, I think they are just having a server problem. I'll try again later.


    5:50 PM  
    Blogger M said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    10:08 AM  
    Blogger M said...

    Wow! These recipes look incredible. I can't wait to head down to our fishy places with these in hand. Congrats on a super successful blog event!

    10:10 AM  
    Blogger Oceana | Protecting the World's Oceans said...

    These recipes look great!

    12:01 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Jacqueline! I've been told that 'mol' is 'hake', which is what I used in my entry. Just wanted to let you know.

    4:47 AM  
    Blogger JacquelineC said...

    Yes, Maninas - you'll see hake in the round up. Thanks for following up! Don't forget to let your readers know about the roundup and link to show them where your recipe was featured!


    5:22 AM  
    Anonymous Tele said...

    Wonderful collection, Jacqueline! As a fisherman, I'm deeply appreciative of everyone who advocates wild fish that are caught through sustainable, ecologically-sound practices. Breaks my heart to hear folks who think that they can't enjoy any seafood with a clean conscience! Many thanks to you for your work.

    3:18 PM  

    Post a Comment

    << Home