Eat Like a Fish Citizen Scientists Week 17-26

As the weeks in our Eat Like a Fish Citizen Science Research project went on, I got bogged down with other work and never had the chance to post the experiences of our amazing citizen scientists, so I am doing it now. Here are some of our favorites from weeks 17-26 and stay tuned for a final wrap up post!

 Everything Bagel Crusted Swordfish

Everything Bagel Crusted Swordfish

Julia Mennone from Rhode Island (Week 17)

“I was hoping to find swordfish! There were two types of tuna but the seafood counter staff couldn't confirm where either was landed. The swordfish was confirmed to have landed in Rhode Island (can't get more local than that). We had prepared swordfish like this in the past- with this everything bagel spice from Trader Joe’s (got this idea from a restaurant in West Hartford years ago). We coated the fish in a layer of black sesame seeds and then we added the everything bagel spice which created a crunchy crust when seared… yummy! Added some steamed sugar snap peas and ginger rice to round out the dinner.”

 

 

David Ford from Rhode Island (Week 18)

 Seared sea scallops with creamed corn

Seared sea scallops with creamed corn

“The Local Catch had scallops from George's Bank and I was lucky that it was one of my choices for the week. I seared the scallops in a cast iron pan at very high heat and served on a bed of creamed corn that I had charred on the grill. Yum!”

 

 Crab stuffed haddock with roasted cauliflower and corn

Crab stuffed haddock with roasted cauliflower and corn

Paul Anderson from Maine (Week 18)

“Plenty of options for cooking Haddock. I made baked stuffed haddock. Of course, the fun part is coming up with an interesting stuffing, so I found some fresh crab meat. Mixed in minced Shallots, minced celery, a little bit of panko bread brumbs, egg, Dijon, sour cream, salt and pepper. It came out perfect. You only need a little bit of the mustard and sour cream blended with the egg to get some binding and a mild flavor on top of the crab and haddock. I cooked it hot at 400 for about 20 minutes and it stayed moist and flaky.”

 

Deborah Mager from Connecticut (Week 19)

 Smooth Dogfish a keeper!

Smooth Dogfish a keeper!

“I called my “go to” guy early this week and asked if he could find for me in order of preference: (1) Sea Robin; (2) Smooth dogfish; (3) Pollock; or (4) Summer Flounder (fluke). I was so disappointed but not surprised that he could not find Sea Robin for me, but my disappointment was not long lived because Robert found Smooth dogfish for me What the heck is it? Can’t cook it until I consult the Fish List Species (an invaluable tool throughout this project). Neat! It’s a small shark and highly abundant. I found some information that said it is used as a substitute for cod and is interchangeable in recipes. Smooth versus Spiny? They look different in the pictures on the Fish List Species site, and other information I found was that Smooth dogfish is often sold at a higher price point and that the majority of dogfish seen in markets labeled “dogfish” is spiny dogfish not smooth dogfish. I would have to trust my “go to” guy that I was getting the Smooth dogfish because my husband had gone to purchase it and I wasn’t going to get to see it whole. OMG! This species is a keeper! Firm, very mild tasting, no bones, helps the ecosystem, and extremely inexpensive. I would even serve it for company. Just make sure you take the skin off first before serving it to your guests. Another bonus was finding a cookbook that I purchased while I was looking for recipes. It has 200 simple, authentic Italian home cooking recipes for preparing local, sustainable fish and produce. Dogfish is the next best thing since sliced bread!”

 

Kate Aubin from Rhode Island (Week 19)

 Seared sea scallops with fried sage and a brown butter sauce over angel hair pasta

Seared sea scallops with fried sage and a brown butter sauce over angel hair pasta

“This was an interesting week for me. My list included Tilefish, Spiny Dogfish, Summer Flounder, and Sea Scallop. I was immediately interested in Spiny Dogfish and Tilefish because I had never heard of them before, but assumed they would be difficult to find. I've already had Summer Flounder during this project and liked it a lot, but I wanted to try something new if possible. That left Sea Scallops, though scallops are not entirely new to me. I had them once before, many years ago, and absolutely HATED them. I found them to be very fishy tasting and chewy, which is not an appealing combo to me. I decided that despite my negative experience, I should try them again. I have a three strike rule that I try to live by -- if I can't be convinced after trying something three times, then it probably isn't for me. This rule prevents me from giving up on a dish that may have been poorly executed or was prepared in a way that I just don't like. Anyway, I found the locally caught Sea Scallops at an area supermarket and almost fainted when I saw the price: $24.99/lb. But I was determined to try them again, so I bought three scallops. I brought them home and did a quick internet search on how to prepare them and was happy to discover that all they required was a quick sear on each side. I made a brown butter sage sauce to accompany the Sea Scallops and some angel hair pasta. The end result was quite good! The scallops tasted nothing like I remembered. In fact, I found them to be not fishy at all, buttery in taste, and not chewy. I love that this project allows me to try different seafoods that I would never have done on my own.”

           

 Bell Pepper stuffed with Bluefish and Quinoa

Bell Pepper stuffed with Bluefish and Quinoa

Rachel Hutchinson from Massachusetts (Week 19)

”I like bluefish more than I expected, but I'm not sure how often I'll seek it out. I make a bluefish stuffed pepper, not my favorite but good. I think it was the first week I cooked the fish into something and didn't just eat it as a filet.”

 

 

Devon Mulligan from Maine (Week 20)

 Julek Chawarksi (citizen scientist) in the kitchen with scup!

Julek Chawarksi (citizen scientist) in the kitchen with scup!

Andrea McCarthy from Connecticut (Week 20)

 Thai green curry with a medley of vegetables and monkfish

Thai green curry with a medley of vegetables and monkfish

“This week I was looking for scup, herring, monkfish, and cod. I had been looking forward to trying to find monkfish because I had read that it has a different texture from most other fish and can be cooked in a variety of ways. I was able to find it at one of my regular fish markets. This week my partner made a Thai green curry with carrots, red peppers, bok choy and monkfish. It was an unseasonably hot weekend, and I was really sweating it out with this delicious curry. The monkfish was meaty, juicy, and went really well with the dish”

Jacon Matz from Massachusetts (Week 21)

 Steamed skate wing with scallions and kimchi

Steamed skate wing with scallions and kimchi

“I steamed the skate wing with kimchi. It was very tasty. Seasoned with garlic and ginger. Great experience and first time steaming fish!”

Anne Ewert from New Hampshire (Week 21)

 Bobby Flay’s lobster tacos

Bobby Flay’s lobster tacos

“So excited to FINALLY get lobster on my list this week. I was starting to think it would never happen, but I am so glad it did! I decided that I didn't want to do the basic steamed lobster with butter and corn etc because I have done that a million times. I looked at a few recipes online, and found a recipe for lobster tacos by Bobby Flay that looked amazing. I couldn't grill the lobster like he did for the recipe since I don't have a grill, so I just steamed them with salt, pepper, and a large garlic clove in the water. Afterwards I picked the bodies and followed the recipe. Let me tell you, this recipe is AMAZING! I loved everything about it (I did double the amount of chipotle in the salsa, which made the flavor stronger, but not much spicier). Also, just the lobster alone from Sanders was so sweet. I haven't had lobster that good in a long time. Overall, definitely a success!! Hooray lobster week!”

Paul Anderson from Maine (Week 21)

 Halibut!

Halibut!

“I have a cast iron griddle pan which is a great alternative to grilling. In this case, I put the pan in a 450 degree oven until it gets really hot. Then set the oven to broil. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the halibut steak, salt and pepper and put it on the hot griddle. Immediately put it under the broiler and it cooks from both sides. The steak was about 1 1/4 inch thick and was done perfectly in about 3 minutes. Spritz with lemon. I served it with a tomato-Zuchini-goat cheese tort and a garden salad.”

 

David Ford from Rhode Island (Week 22)

 Quahogs!

Quahogs!

“I found fresh shucked quahogs at Tony's Seafood in Seekonk, MA. I made quahog chowder and used root vegetables (celeriac, turnip, rutabaga) instead of potatoes.”

Lisa Jarosik from Connecticut (Week 23)

 Tuna!

Tuna!

“It was such a wonderful piece of sushi grade tuna that I made some raw and some lightly grilled with a coating of mustard, cracked pepper and parmesan cheese. With a little bit of wasabi on the side. It was tremendous!”

David Ford from Rhode Island (Week 24)

 Lobster stuffed Jalapeños!

Lobster stuffed Jalapeños!

“I bought a live lobster from Stop & Shop in Bristol, RI and had them steam it at the fish counter. Since there was a Patriot's football game Sunday evening (Go Pats!), I choose to make a fun appetizer for the game - Lobster Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon. I sautéed the cooked lobster in butter with chives, then put the mixture in the fridge to harden. This made it easier to spoon into each split jalapeno and then wrap tightly with a half piece of bacon. I then baked them in the oven at 450 for about 1/2 hour. All my fellow Pats fans loved this dish. A keeper!”

Andrea McCarthy from Connecticut (Week 25)

 Striped Bass!

Striped Bass!

“My fish list this week included striped bass, winter flounder (aka blackback flounder), sea urchin, Acadian redfish (aka ocean perch). I was only able to find striped bass. I had this fish earlier in the project and I felt that the way I prepared it last time did not let the fish shine, so this was a great opportunity to highlight this fish. The fish was sautéed and salted. We roasted some brussel sprouts. The meal was delicious. The fish was rich and meaty.”

Rachel Fecteau from Maine (Week 26)

 Herring!

Herring!

“Boy it is hit or miss with my list. I have been watching beautiful Quahogs in the store but both times they came up on my list, they were no where to be found. The only squid I found was frozen and not local. I’ve learned to read the fine print because the packaging and brand name made it seem like it was a New England product. It was from Spain. I bought ready to eat herring in wine sauce. Tasted great, looked like gray pieces of bait swimming in a briny juice. Couldn’t convince family to try. I think it is because we use herring as bait in the boat. It is hard to make the transition in ones mind. I have learned a lot with this project and definitely know more about fish seasons, availability, and the fact that almost anything from the ocean can taste absolutely delicious!”

Jacob Matz from Massachusetts (Week 26)

 Mahogany Clams!

Mahogany Clams!

“I steamed the Mahogany clams in a biryani spice mix with lime, garlic, and white wine. It was served alongside of local honey nut squash and chickpea curry with rice. It was really delicious and a good change of pace from the other ways I’ve cooked clams. I learned a lot about cooking seafood throughout this study and the opportunity to experiment was definitely a privilege.”

Lisa Jarosik from Connecticut (Week 26)

 John Dory!

John Dory!

“I was so excited to finally get Lobster on my list this week! But when the local market called and let me know that they had caught some John Dory, I could not resist trying it. I can have lobster any time! So I looked up ways to cook it and decided on pan searing. Just 30 seconds a side and then add some white wine, garlic and pine nuts. It took all of 5 minutes to cook and prepare and the flavor was so fresh and delicious. May be my new favorite fish to eat! Just wish I could find it more regularly.”