Week 11

Elizabeth LaDuca from Massachusetts

“I was pleasantly surprised to find frozen, wild caught squid at Donelan's from Rhode Island. Their fish selection was quite limited, and even their cod was from Iceland, so it was nice to find something on the list! I'd never prepared squid before, and only eaten it out at restaurants (my family won't eat it) so I thought it would be a fun item to try. The squid was gutted and the tops and tentacles were cut apart, so I sliced up the top parts into rings, patted them dry and then floured them. I fried them quickly in a shallow pan with a little vegetable oil. We ate them on our standard "sushi bowl" which consists of a bed of brown sushi rice, a quick sauté of sliced green beans and baby bok choy from our CSA and then the squid on top with a little chili sauce. It was delicious! I would definitely try it again!”

Andrea McCarthy from Connecticut

 Pan Searing Sea Scallops

Pan Searing Sea Scallops

“This week I was looking for herring, sea scallops, Jonah crab, and wild-caught mussels. The herring at the store was from Canada, so that was out. Wild caught mussels were hard to find. The stores had farmed mussels. There was picked Jonah crab meat from Maine or sea scallops from New Bedford, MA. I had been to Maryland the previous weekend and had crab cakes there, so I opted to go for the sea scallops. They are mighty expensive, but so very easy to handle (as long as you are ready for the short cooking time), tasty, and filling. Scientists from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center have been surveying the Atlantic sea scallops population off the northeastern U.S. coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts every year since 1979. They tow a dredge to randomly sample and document the marine life in these zones. They recently started using a new undersea camera called the Habitat Mapping Camera System, shortened to HabCam, in scallop surveys to supplant dredge data. Images from the HabCam supply absolute densities of scallops and other species, are less labor intensive in terms of crew, and provide much more information about the bottom habitat, all in near-real time.”

Peter Gauthier from New Hampshire

 Haddock Meuniere with caprese salad on the deck

Haddock Meuniere with caprese salad on the deck

“First, I really wish I could find some of the less popular fish. My best outlet, Beef and Seafood, just doesn't have the space and/ or customer demand to carry sea urchin, cunner or sea robin, except thru special order. I was very surprised haddock was not more readily available in all three stores I shopped. As commented in the survey, the haddock I purchased just didn't look that appealing. I only bought it because I had to. The fishmonger at Beef and Seafood said they didn't have haddock bc their fish seller said the catch was small and not so good....the fishmonger said he listens to his seller! Anyway. ...on to next week!”

Barbara Rotger from Massachusetts

“I have been frustrated by the inability of our local grocery stores to tell me anything beyond country of origin for the fish that they sell. Much of it may be from New England, but they are unable, or unwilling to share this information. I was very happy to buy fish from The Fish Lady (that is her business name) who comes to several local farmers markets, and who gets her fish from Red's Best. The fish is packaged in half pound or pound packages, and is labeled with the name of the fisherman, name of the boat, harbor where it was landed, and fishing method. My halibut was landed in Plymouth, MA and was caught by a trawler.”

Lisa Richards from New Hampshire

 Preparing swordfish in our small cottage kitchen on monhegan island Maine.

Preparing swordfish in our small cottage kitchen on monhegan island Maine.

“We are on vacation on a very small island off Maine and I was excited to find two varieties of my fish list!”

David Ford from Rhode Island

 Sand Crab with Garlic Shallot Dipping sauce

Sand Crab with Garlic Shallot Dipping sauce

“I loved the taste of the sand crab. Maybe the best crab I've ever had. But it is way too much work for the small amount of meat you get. I bet one could starve to death if all you had to eat was sand crab, since you would pass away before you got your essential nutrients!”

Rachel Hutchinson from Massachusetts

 Dogfish display that the Brewster Farmers Market highlighting Pier to Plate

Dogfish display that the Brewster Farmers Market highlighting Pier to Plate

“This is not so much a story about the Sea Scallops that I did find and buy, but of the Monkfish and Dogfish that I didn't find. I fully expected that this week I would have to make a decision as to what fish to purchase for the first time in a long time. Cape Cod Fisherman's Alliance has put a huge push on this summer in a program called "Pier to Plate". Pier to plate is encouraging people to eat local underutilized species of fish, specifically Dogfish and Skate. Chatham Fish and Lobster was one of the original sponsors of Pier to Plate and in early June did a big kick off and dogfish tasting at the fish market. When I asked about Monkfish and Dogfish at the market I was told they didn't have either of them; they usually have Monkfish but were out, and they don't carry dogfish at the fish counter since "it comes off the boat frozen and they use it next door for fried fish". On Sunday at the Brewster farmers market the Fishermen's Alliance had a booth set up highlighting Skate and Dogfish as the underutilized species. Unfortunately they have noticed that a lot of the fish markets that originally signed on to highlight dogfish and skate are starting to not carry it anymore. A lot of the restaurants are not serving them either. The markets found that they were too hard to skin and the fish had a bad smell so people were not buying it. It was interesting to talk to the alliance about their project to highlight underutilized fish, but that they didn't seem to be having that much success with it.”

Julia Mennone from Rhode Island

 Swordfish in Marinade

Swordfish in Marinade

“I love swordfish but hadn't made it in such a long time! The guy at the fish counter (who might be my new best friend) said it was landed in Boston harbor. I guess I never knew where it was from, and sometimes it's probably not from the east coast. But, I like eating local and will continue to ask these types of questions. I marinated it in some lime juice with diced up garlic scapes (local favorite, tis the season) and grilled it up. My husband was surprised at the texture, I don't think he's had a ton of swordfish and he really loved it so we can add it in as another fish dinner staple :)”

Kate Aubin from Rhode Island

 Coating the haddock in flour so the batter will stick to the fish

Coating the haddock in flour so the batter will stick to the fish

“I was pleased to discover that the Local Catch had everything on my list in stock this week. This left me with a decision to make. I've had scallops in the past and really didn't like the flavor or texture. Because it was so long ago though, I think I'd be willing to give them a try if they show up on my list again. It's possible that my tastes have changed or that they weren't prepared well the time I had them. I've also had tuna in the past and have found the flavor to be a bit too strong for my liking, but again, I may be willing to try it if it appears on my list again. Like I said earlier in this survey, I didn't choose the summer flounder because I've had flounder twice before in this project (though I've discovered that I really enjoy it). So haddock it was. I love fish and chips but rarely order it at restaurants anymore because it tends to be too greasy and it upsets my stomach. I've never fried fish before though, and it has been a while since I've had fish and chips, so I thought I would give it a try. Ultimately it was quite easy to prepare, though I think I made my batter a little too thick. The end result was tasty, but a little too greasy, so I found myself pulling the batter off of half of the fish. But for my first time frying fish I'd say overall it was a success.”

Caitlin Peterson from New Hampshire

“I love seafood, but preparing shellfish at home is something new to me! For example, until now I actually had no idea that clams were still alive when you bought them. I did a lot of googling and decided to go with a super simple, classic recipe. I boiled the steamers in beer and served them with butter for dipping and a side of crusty bread and bruschetta, and peach/blueberry cobbler for dessert - almost every ingredient was from either a local farm or a New England fishery, which felt great!”

Jayne Martin from Connecticut

 Secret Life of A Lobster Lover!

Secret Life of A Lobster Lover!

“I was prepared to purchase my lobsters at our local fish truck because I knew they usually had them. To my surprise, they did not have any. They told me they are not stocking lobsters now because the price has gone up too much. Their reasoning was that McDonalds is purchasing so many lobsters for their new lobster roll, that the prices have become too high for them. Hmmmmmm. Not sure about that fact, but that's what they said. So, off to Big Y to purchase my 2 1 1/4 lb lobsters. Steamed for 13 minutes, served with fresh greens from the garden and of course topped off the meal with great tasting/refreshing Mankin's English Ale from the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, MA. Life is Lobster Good!”

Zachary Miller-Hope from Maine

“I chose halibut after a couple weeks of not being able to find fish. I understand this whole process is supposed to inform YOU, but it is really quite remarkable that the only way for me to get locally caught seafood that is something other than a white flaky fish or shellfish (possibly Tuna), is to be able to get to ONE local fish market in the middle of the day. I live within a 5 minute drive of the coast and work on the Saco River, it is disappointing that I have so few options available to me when I live and work within minutes of the Gulf of Maine.”

Sarah Bjorklund from Massachusetts

 Summertime cod chowder

Summertime cod chowder

“We found another fish on our list! We decided to turn the cod into chowder. Using as many local ingredients as we could this is our recipe. INGREDIENTS:
 1/2lb Jowl Bacon (from our Pasture Raised Hogs), 1 Leek thinly sliced (locally grown,  1 Small Onion finely Chopped, 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes , 2 cups Heavy Cream,  1 cup whole milk , 2 1/2 cups reserved liquid from boiling the potatoes, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Dill (from my herb garden),  3/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt,  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,  3/4 pound cod, skin removed, chopped 2 .5 cups cups local sweet corn, 2 tsp bay seasoning. Directions PREPARATION In a large saucepan, cook Jowl bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into small pieces (bacon bits). In the same pan, sauté onion for 2 minutes. Stir in potatoes with water, milk, salt, pepper and bay seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in fish, corn and 2/3 bacon; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in Cream and 3/4 leeks; simmer 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!”

Lisa Jarosik from Connecticut

 Grilled Goosefish (Monkfish)

Grilled Goosefish (Monkfish)

“Stew Leonard's also had Monkfish this week but could not tell me where it came from. I was so disappointed! But Whole Foods did have it and let me know it was sourced from Maine. When I went to cut into the fish to marinate it, I was taken by surprise. This fish is different from every fish I have tried so far. It wasn't flakey like a white fish or "steaky" like tuna or swordfish. It cut like a chicken breast. I have never seen that texture before! Needless to say, it was delicious and I would definitely have it again!”

Jacob Matz from Massachusetts

 Soft shell clam with summer squash, string beans, and kohlrabi

Soft shell clam with summer squash, string beans, and kohlrabi

“This was my first time with steamers. I steamed them with squash, butter, fill, onion, and garlic scapes. They were tasty but a bit chewy. Not my favorite mollusk, but still quite good.”

Christopher Coccaro from Connecticut

 Black Sea Bass Tacos

Black Sea Bass Tacos

“Easy and simple meal of fish tacos from black sea bass. The fillets are not very large and can be pulled apart easily. The one thing to look out for are the bones.”