National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

CapeShark FishChipsDownload a printable recipe cardSpinies, mud sharks, horndogs, dirty dogs, bonefish, net cloggers. Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), so named for its venomous spines in front of each dorsal fin, has a lot of nicknames on the East Coast. Once upon a time it was the favorite species for Limey-style fish and chips. The dish was such a mainstay that massive factory trawlers from Jolly Old England parked themselves within sight of the U.S. East Coast targeting spinies and scooping up all manner of fish before the Magnuson Act pushed them out to 200 miles in 1976.

Forty years later, without a strong overseas market into which to funnel this abundant (some would say overabundant) fish, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance is using some Saltonstall-Kennedy grant funds in an attempt to rebrand the fish as Cape Shark.

I don’t need a fancy name to buy any wild fish. I’m happy to try them all. The only thing keeping me from eating more dogfish is accessibility. The fish markets around here just don’t sell them. Yet. So when the association offered me a free box of dog fillets, I jumped at the chance to make some classic fish and chips.

The fish part, anyway. I simplified a little and baked Russet and sweet potato fries in the oven to go with my beer-battered cape shark and homemade tartar sauce. You could go even easier and heat up some frozen fries. I won’t tell anyone. I also served this with a very simple and summery baby spinach and strawberry salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette to lighten it up a bit.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds spiny dogfish fillets
1 cup flour plus 1/2 cup flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 12-ounce beer
1/4 cup cornmeal
Oil for frying

2016 13 0421 CapeSharkPreparation

In a large bowl, blend 3 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of salt until the salt is dissolved. Soak your dogfish fillet in this mixture for 10 minutes. Use a timer so you don’t forget. Soak too long, and the flesh will start to break down.

In a medium shallow bowl, combine 1 cup of flour with the seasonings. Stir in the beer (I used an inexpensive American lager), and set aside.

On a large plate, combine 1/2 cup of flour with the cornmeal.

The frying process takes just 10-20 minutes, so don’t heat your oil until you’re almost ready to serve. In a high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat a couple inches of oil (I use a combination of vegetable and grapeseed oil — anything with a high smoking point) to 360 degrees. Set your oven temp to about 225 and place a cookie sheet with a wire rack on top.

Gently rinse your brined fish and lay it on paper towels until you’re ready to fry them.

When the oil reaches temperature, dredge the fish in the batter, allowing the excess to drip off for a few seconds. Then roll each piece in the cornmeal mixture and place carefully into the oil. Cook the fish in batches, so you don’t crowd your pan and risk pieces sticking together, about 5-8 minutes each, turning them over after about 3 minutes. As each piece is done, place it on the wire rack in the oven until ready to serve.

Serve with tartar sauce, malt vinegar and fries.


Tartar Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped bread and butter pickles or sweet relish
Splash of lemon juice

Preparation

Whisk ingredients together and serve.


Oven-Baked Fries

Ingredients

1 large russet potato
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and slice your potatoes into large wedges, keeping the slices as even as possible for even cooking.

Place slices in a single layer on oiled cookie sheets or baking pans, brush the tops with oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.

Roast for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway.

 

 

 

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Earlier this month, Sweden announced it was attempting to ban imports of live Maine lobster because someone had found a few specimens of Homarus americanus in local waters. The discovery had ignited fears of the New England/Canadian stock outcompeting the local lobster stock and introducing shell disease.

2016 0414 LobsterLiberatorScotland's Iain Stewart releases a potentially invasive lobster in a failed gesture of eco-activism.Naturally, this prompted an immediate response from the industry in Maine, where lobster is the bread and butter for thousands of households and we take great pride in its sustainability, management and wholesome image. (Lesson: If you’re going to malign our state crustacean you better come correct.) How were these lobsters really finding themselves in Swedish waters? Given that they were found with bands on their claws, probably not in a great migration. Yes, the chances are pretty good that these bugs were “liberated” by well-meaning animal rights activists who were also woefully ignorant of marine environmental concerns.

Now I know that an infestation of lobsters hardly seems like a problem worth complaining about to most seafood lovers, but invasive species is a topic we should take seriously.

Which is why it’s utterly laughable and cringeworthy that in the next breath, European news outlets were practically singing the praises of Iain Stewart, a Scottish man who purchased a lobster from a live tank at a local restaurant and set it free just north of Glasgow on Scotland’s West Coast.

He was so proud of himself, he posted a video of himself freeing his snappy little friend on YouTube. Which he then took down when the comments veered from Rah-rah to WTF? Luckily, the Glasgow Evening Times took screen shots before the video was removed.

While it’s hard to tell for sure if the “lucky lobster” is a specimen of H. americanus (it appears to have the tell-tale red hue of a New England lobster), there’s no mention of Stewart’s confirming the species before setting it free.

People, please, if you want to be Lobster Liberators, you should consider more than the retail cost of the bug you’re buying and factor in the expense of a one-way ticket back across the pond. Before digging into your savings to free Pinchy in the most ecologically sound way (though the carbon footprint of the return flight may also give you pause), you might ask yourself if you would be so kind to a cockroach, because they’re no more or less sentient than the lobster. They just don’t happen to taste as good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Sea BassDownload a printable recipe cardBlack sea bass, Centropristis striata, is a type of grouper that runs the entire length of the Eastern Seaboard, from the Gulf of Maine to the Florida Keys, with the northern population migrating seasonally to spawn off the New England coast in the summer. Fishermen use otter trawls, pots and hook and line to bring in this catch.

Their numbers have long been known to be concentrated between New Jersey and North Carolina, but warming water temperatures have sent bigger schools of the black sea bass farther north in recent years.

2016 12 BlackSeaBassWholeHe's a handsome devil, isn't he?I find this reef fish most often on the ice in the round (whole, gutted) in my local fish shop. I couldn’t resist roasting up a beautiful black sea bass with some comforting roasted veggies as our Maine winter dragged on, spitting snow well into April this year.

 

Ingredients

1 whole fish, like sea bass (around 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bunch fresh dill
1/2 lemon, sliced
Salt & pepper
1/2 lemon in wedges, for garnish
Chopped herbs for garnish

Preparation

Have your fishmonger gut and scale your fish. They may ask if you want the head, tail and fins. You can opt out, but keeping them makes for a more dramatic presentation. Look for fish with clear eyes and little or no fish smell.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle oil and rub fish all over and inside cavity with oil. Then season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with lemon slices and herbs of your choice. I used fresh dill, but thyme and oregano would be delicious, as well.

Place on parchment then in a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish, big enough so no parts are hanging over (9 x 13 should do it).

Roast for 15 minutes, plus an additional 5 minutes for each pound over 2 pounds.

Serve family-style, whole on a platter. The top skin should be easy to scrape off with the edge of a fork or spoon.  Lift off top fillet in pieces and serve. Bones should lift off more or less in one intact skeleton.  Either roll over bottom fillet to scrape off skin, or serve as-is and scrape on your plate.

Key an eye out for bones, and enjoy!


Roasted Winter Vegetables

Ingredients

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 pound russet potatoes
1 pound sweet potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and scrub all vegetables as necessary. Trim the bottom of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any browned outer leaves. Cut in half. Chop potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Add the Brussels to a medium bowl, drizzle with a little oil, add salt and pepper and toss. Pour into a baking dish big enough to give each half some breathing room. Repeat with potatoes, keeping each vegetable separate, so you can control the cooking time for each one.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, checking occasionally and tossing once. Serve hot with roasted fish.

 

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11 Haddock Fish CakesDownload a printable recipe card.Fish cakes come in many styles, and I believe I’ve tried most of them. What’s not to love about fresh fish, bread and seasonings pan fried to crispy warm? This recipe is packed with flavor and has all the trappings of a classic comfort food. What’s more, my kids love it.

I made these with haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) because it is locally caught and plentiful, but this recipe will work perfectly with your favorite flaky whitefish. My go-to fish market sells haddock mediums (smaller fillets) for a little more than half the price of the big fillets, which makes this an inexpensive, delicious and healthy family meal.

For the sauce, I prefer a powder made from kung pao peppers out of my garden. But this is not to be confused with a Kung Pao seasoning mix. If you can’t find pure powder of kung pao peppers, cayenne makes a fine replacement. If you don’t like heat, leave it out altogether.

For a lighter meal, add two dressed cakes to a bed of fresh greens tossed simply with oil and vinegar.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound haddock, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lime juice

11 HaddockFishCakesPreparation

In a large high-sided pan, melt your butter on medium-high heat. Add your onion and celery with a pinch of salt and sauté until golden brown. Add the haddock, toss to coat, and then add cream. When it comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 5-7 minutes.

While the fish cooks, make your fresh bread crumbs by tearing stale bread into large pieces and placing into the bowl of a food processor. Fill about halfway, and process into fine crumbs. Repeat until you have 3 1/2 cups. Add the bread crumbs to a large bowl, then combine the remaining ingredients and add the mixture to bowl. Add the fish mixture and combine well, then let sit for a few minutes.

Lay out waxed paper and sprinkle on some cornmeal or flour. Form your mixture into about 20 2-inch balls, making them tight enough to hold together well, and place them on the dusted waxed paper.

Sprinkle the tops with more cornmeal. You can cook these immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

When you’re ready to cook and serve, heat your oven to 250 degrees. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high. Add your cakes, being careful not to crowd the pan, and lightly press each one down with a spatula into a patty shape. Flip once, so each side is golden brown.

Put the finished cakes on a heat-proof plate and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Finish cooking the rest of your cakes and serve with spicy mayonnaise. (Recipe to follow.)


Kung pao sauce

Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon kung pao pepper or cayenne powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh chives

Preparation

Whisk to combine the mayonnaise, pepper and Old Bay. Combine the lemon and lime juice and slowly add to the mayonnaise to taste and preferred thickness. Serve a dollop on top of each fish cake and garnish with fresh herbs.

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10 HakeFishTacosDownload a printable recipe cardHake is an inexpensive, versatile and abundant groundfish often referred to as whiting. I use it in my Moqueca, oven baked fish, these fish tacos and my favorite fish cakes, among other dishes.

The silver or New England hake, Merluccius bilinearis, is a thin fish, typically growing to about 15 inches long or as much as 2 1/2 feet. It is most commonly found between South Carolina and Newfoundland in the western Atlantic. Different varieties of hake can be found all over the world, off the coasts of South America, Africa, Europe and North America. Based on its consumption rates in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, its popularity is highest among countries with Mediterranean-style diets. In Spain alone, the average person eats more than 13 pounds of hake in a year. That’s more than 40 servings, or nearly once a week. So if you’re inclined to eat for heart health, put hake on your menu!

If you want the fish to be warm when you serve the tacos, save the cooking for last and prep everything else first.

Makes 16, serves 4

Ingredients

16-ounce fillet of hake or your favorite whitefish
16 6-inch soft corn tortillas
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup adobo sauce
Splash of milk
Optional garnishes: mango, avocado, fresh serrano pepper slices, cilantro, lime wedges

2016 10 HakeTacosPrepPreparation

Slice fillet into 16 equal pieces (long and thin) and place on a plate or cutting board. Combine salt, chili powder and cumin, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the fish pieces.

In a large sauté pan pour a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the fish and cook, covered, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through. (You don't want to handle the fish too much, or it will fall apart before you can get it into the taco shells.)

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and adobo. Add enough milk to make it spread nicely the consistency of regular yogurt.

Asian Slaw

There are many ways to shred a cabbage, and each one will hold the dressing differently. I would start with this amount of dressing, and add it slowly to your shredded cabbage until it reaches the texture you prefer for your slaw. If you want more, keep making the dressing with the ingredients in this ratio. Keep in mind that the wetter your slaw is, the sloppier your tacos will be.

Ingredients

1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded2016 10 HakeTacos
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 small carrot, finely grated
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

Dressing

1/4 cup vegetable or light olive oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar — the kind you put in sushi rice with sugar and salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Preparation

Toss the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, then slowly pour on the dressing.

Assemble the tacos with fish first, spiced mayo, then slaw and toppings.

 

 

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09 Panko sand dabsDownload a printable recipe card.The dab, also called American plaice, is a Northwest Atlantic flatfish. As one of a 15-species groundfish complex, its biomass, fishing quota and landings fluctuate. But like all American commercial species, it is managed for sustainability and last year was fished at 79 percent of its quota limit in the Northeast groundfish multispecies sector program.

The Hippoglossoides platessoides is a right-eyed flounder with a range from southern Labrador to New York’s Long Island. It has a firm but delicate flesh that makes it perfect for oven baking.

This recipe calls for panko bread crumbs, which you can find in the grocery store, often in the Asian foods section. You can substitute with regular bread crumbs, or make your own with stale bread in a food processor.

I serve this dish simply with buttery steamed green beans. You can substitute almost any flatfish for the dabs.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 6-ounce fillets of dabs or your favorite flounder
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of dried thyme or 1 teaspoon of fresh, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Salt

2016 09 PankoDabsOptional garnishes
Lemon wedges
Lemon zest
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Preparation

Heat oven to 350.


Crack the eggs into a shallow dish and beat until combined. Add flour to one large plate. On another, combine panko, parmesan and thyme.

Cover a baking tray with a sheet of parchment. Dredge each fillet through the flour, then egg, then panko mixture. Lay them on the parchment, leaving a little room in between each. Sprinkle on the lemon zest and salt to taste, then dot evenly with butter.

Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Garnish with lemon wedges, zest and chopped parsley.

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Last week the Northeast fishing community was abuzz after New Bedford’s scallop king and “Codfather” Carlos Rafael was arrested and charged with corruption.

Everyone in New England fisheries knows the name Carlos Rafael and recognizes his fleet of cash-colored boats, emblazoned with CR on the bow. When scallop quotas went to an IFQ system, Rafael invested in the bulk of New Bedford’s lot. He was the right guy at the right time.

2016 0310 RafaelThe 81-foot scalloper Hera II emblazoned with Carlos Rafael's initials and tied up in New Bedford, Mass.But the boon of Northeast scallops was not Rafael’s problem. He also owns a considerable amount of quota (and nearly 80 percent of the New Bedford boats) in the Northeast groundfish sector system. In that fishery, like every other permit holder, he was working within the increasingly problematic confines of sector quotas, or IFQs.

Unfortunately for Rafael, his bookkeeper and the rest of the groundfish industry, he’s been accused of conspiring to mislabel fish as a fraudulent end-run around quota management. Rafael was both boat owner and seafood broker, allegedly buying fish from his own boats, labeling some of the low-quota premium species as haddock and other abundant stocks, and then selling them for cash at the premium price of the correct species.

But this is not simply a story about fishing conspiracy and mislabeling. This is about money, power and a management system that left the back door propped open.

Any industry is susceptible to corruption, and the lack of permit caps is the Achilles heel of the groundfish quota system. Consolidation can put too much power in the hands of a single decision-maker. If permit caps had been a part of the sector management amendment, then Rafael would not have employed the bulk of the Massachusetts groundfish fleet. Each captain who allegedly colluded with him would have been independent business owners and would have had to conspire to commit fraud individually rather than cooperating as his employees. That doesn't make fraud impossible, but it makes it less likely.

Rafael himself railed against the rest of the groundfish fleet's lobbying effort to establish permit caps. That was the prop holding the back door open, and they knew it. He was the wrong guy at the right time.

None of the alleged crimes is justifiable or excusable. This case will cast a pall over all of the honest fishermen who stuck to their quotas, despite their lack of faith in the data. The scope and breadth of the charges against Rafael reflect poorly on the entire industry. Some say he kept the groundfish industry running in Massachusetts, and that may be true. But at what cost?

I hope this isn't the death knell of the Northeast groundfish fleet. I hope we will use this as an opportunity to take a hard look at the management gaps as well as the culture of this fishery. Mistrust in the data and federal assessments based on that data is a pervasive and persistent problem. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is now making genuine efforts to address the failings of many years of flawed data collection. But until the managers have a history of compiling fair and accurate data on which to make their assessments, the fishermen will have little trust in the process.

Some pro-monitoring groups pounced immediately on the notion that Rafael’s arrest proves the need for stricter monitoring on fishing boats, despite the fact that the alleged fraud could have been prevented at the dock. You don’t have to monitor every boat if you set up the system for success and tighten the loopholes.

• Mandating permit banks and quota caps is the very least we can do to make sure more people have the chance to make a fair and honest living under quota management systems.

• Allow fishermen to land discards to be donated to food banks, schools and federal food-service agencies without it counting against their personal quota. You can most accurately (and safely) count fish when they’re all being landed at the dock.

• Reallocate federal funds from on-board monitoring to dockside monitoring and better data collection.

• Make cooperative research mandatory under Magnuson for every federally monitored species that is classified as overfished or undergoing overfishing and ensure that that data is incorporated it into an annual assessment.

Last January, Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture was in talks to buy Rafael’s 12-boat New Bedford scallop fleet. When asked how he would manage to sell to an international company, despite a 25 percent consolidation limit, Rafael replied, “Forget about it. This is America; anything can happen, with money behind it.”

Let's put our money where it counts get behind better management that can help this fishery find a future.

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08 SmokedSalmonBfastSandwichesDownload a printable recipe card.I spent a week in the fishing hamlet of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska a few years ago. Every day that I was in town for breakfast, I stopped by Coastal Cold Storage for a smoked-salmon breakfast sandwich on an English muffin.

This sandwich is made with hot-smoked wild Alaska salmon, a home-pack specialty item for many Alaskans that carries a smoky flavor and makes it a perfect substitute for ham or bacon. You can buy it nationwide at Trader Joe’s or well-stocked fish markets.

There are a few styles of smoked salmon, but they are not to be confused with lox, which is not smoked at all.

Hot-smoked salmon is cooked through and has a distinct smoky flavor, more like bacon or ham, because it is smoked with heat. This is how smoked bluefish, smoked mussels or smoked scallops are prepared.

Cold-smoked salmon (exposed to smoke in an 80-degree environment, so the salmon isn’t cooked during the process) includes Nova-style, which is cold-smoked after it’s brined. It was so named because Nova Scotia once supplied much of the Northeast with prepared salmon; Scotch or Scottish-style salmon is dry-brined with spices, sugars and other seasonings, which are rinsed off before cold-smoking; Nordic-style is typically salt cured, rinsed and cold-smoked.

Lox comes from the Yiddish word for salmon, laks. It is traditionally made from salmon belly and brined (but not smoked or cooked). Gravlax or gravad lax is the Scandinavian preparation of salmon that includes spices, herbs and sugars but no smoking.

Serves 4

2016 08 SmokedSalmonSandwichesIngredients

4 English muffins (recipe below)
4 ounces sharp cheddar, sliced
4 eggs
8 ounces hot-smoked salmon
Butter for frying the eggs
Hot sauce (optional)

Preparation

Fork-split the English muffins, cover half with the cheddar and broil until the cheese is melted.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Crack four eggs into the pan, turn heat down to medium and use a spatula or pancake rings to keep the eggs from spreading too much in the pan. You want them to be the right size for your English muffins. When the whites are cooked through, turn the eggs over in the pan. Add the hot-smoked salmon to the pan, and turn off the heat.

Remove the English muffins from the toaster, dot the plain half with butter and stack with your over-medium egg and skillet-warmed hot-smoked salmon. Add a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot, Cholula or Tabasco and enjoy.


English Muffins

Makes 20

2016 08 SmokedSalmonEnglishMuffinsIngredients

2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted
5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour or white whole wheat flour (for the best results, measure by weight, 23-27.5 ounces)
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine or quick yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal for dusting

Preparation

In a small saucepan, warm the milk and honey over low heat until it reaches 110 degrees F. Set aside for 5 minutes, then whisk in the egg and melted butter.

Add 5 cups (23 ounces) of flour, the yeast and the salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the milk mixture. Continue to beat on low until the flour is incorporated, stop and scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, slowly add up to another half cup (4.5 ounces) of flour until it is smooth but not dry. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for 4 minutes.

Scrape the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Brush a little over the top of the dough. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently, adding just enough flour to make it easy to handle. Divide the dough in half, putting one half back into the oiled bowl. Roll out the first half to about a half-inch thickness and cut with a round biscuit cutter or glass the size you prefer for your English muffins. Roll out the remaining dough and repeat.

Place the disks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat that has been dusted with cornmeal. Baste the tops with oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a draft-free place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Remove the plastic wrap and dust the tops with more cornmeal.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a griddle over medium-low heat. Gently lift each disk with a spatula and place it on the griddle, being careful not to deflate the dough. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Place the muffins back on the cookie sheet and bake them for 8 minutes.

Split the English muffins with a fork and serve warm or toasted. These can be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top bag, and frozen for up to 3 months.

(Based on a recipe from Baked by an Introvert)

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07 Steelhead Trout with Arugula Pesto Recipe NF16Download a printable recipe cardI used to think that any trout you find in a retail store or on a menu is farm-raised. But I trust the folks who run my go-to fish market. So when they said they had wild trout, I bought it — both the trout and the story.

There are small fisheries for wild Great Lakes trout, but this is steelhead, the Pacific salmon’s kissing cousin. It’s actually a type of rainbow trout, the difference being that steelhead go to sea and return to rivers, much like salmon.

One of my favorite ways to cook trout is with a lemon, butter and caper sauce. But I opted to treat this more like a salmon, and I was not disappointed. My family enjoyed this baked and topped with arugula pesto, served with with lemony kale and mushroom risotto (recipes to follow). Feel free to substitute traditional basil pesto, homemade or store-bought. You could also sub a wild salmon for the trout.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds steelhead trout fillet, at least 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, sliced

For the Pesto

3 cups packed arugula leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup pecans or pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2016 07 SteelheadPestoPreparation

Heat oven to 375. Salt filet lightly, coat with oil, lay lemon slices on surface.

Roast until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

While the fish is baking, prepare your arugula. Combine all dry ingredients into a blender or food processor, give it a few pulses. While it’s running, add your olive oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again.

Remove lemon slices from the cooked fish and, slather liberally with pesto.


Sautéed Lemon Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1 small bunch or 1/2 pound washed, prepared kale greens
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Coarse salt

Heat olive oil and garlic until it just begins to get a light golden color, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add kale, and toss enough to coat with oil and to mix the garlic with greens. Sauté until bright green and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and let it boil off for 10 to 15 seconds. Add a few grinds of salt and serve immediately or cover until ready to serve.


Mushroom Risotto

4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pound porcini or white mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chives, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with pan drippings, and set aside.

Sauté the onion and pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for about a minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in wine, stirring constantly until it is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice mixture, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring and adding 1/2 cup at a time, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the mushroom mixture, butter, chives and parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

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06 SmokedSalmonSpreadDownload a printable recipe card.I’ll be the first to admit that this recipe is the result of a failed trip to Dunkin Donuts. They used to sell a smoked salmon cream cheese that was the only reason I would drive by for breakfast – smoked salmon on a sesame bagel. I can still taste it. Unfortunately, Dunkin corporate axed the spread from their lineup.

Lucky for me, I got a glimpse of the ingredients before the flavor was discontinued. They included, in a nutshell, cream cheese, cream and smoked salmon. Well I can do that!

I incorporated the spread into one of my favorite brunch platters. It comes together quickly and features smoked wild sockeye slices, as well as the spread and toppings.

There are a few styles of smoked salmon, but they are not to be confused with lox, which is not smoked at all.

Lox comes from the Yiddish word for salmon, laks. It is traditionally made from salmon belly and brined (but not smoked or cooked). Gravlax or gravad lax is the Scandinavian preparation of salmon that includes spices, herbs and sugars but no smoking.

Cold-smoked salmon (exposed to smoke in an 80-degree environment, so the salmon isn’t cooked during the process) includes Nova-style, which is cold-smoked  after it’s brined. It was so named because Nova Scotia once supplied much of the Northeast with prepared salmon; Scotch or Scottish-style salmon is dry-brined with spices, sugars and other seasonings, which are rinsed off before cold-smoking; Nordic-style is typically salt cured, rinsed and cold-smoked.

Hot-smoked salmon is cooked through and has a distinct smoky flavor, more like bacon or ham, because it is smoked with heat. This is how smoked bluefish, smoked mussels or smoked scallops are prepared.

I prefer hot- or cold-smoked salmon on my breakfast bagel. My favorite, of course, is my own version of smoked salmon cream cheese.

Serves 12, as a platter


Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese (get the good stuff)
1/4 -1/3 cup half and half (depending on how soft you want the spread to be)
2 ounces smoked salmon, chopped

2016 0209 smokedsalmonspread LRPreparation

Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the cream and blend. Add 1.5 ounces of smoked salmon and blend until combined. Fold in the remaining half ounce if you like a few lumps of salmon meat in your spread.

Pack the spread neatly into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Salmon Brunch Platter

Ingredients

1/3 cup capers
1/4 cup each fresh dill and chives, chopped
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 medium shallot
1 medium pickling cucumber, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup smoked mussels
6 ounces smoked salmon slices
Horseradish whipped cream (preparation to follow)
8 ounces plain cream cheese
Fresh fruit
12 fresh bagels

Preparation

I use a mandolin to slice my cucumbers, onions and shallots very thin. I soak the onions and shallots in water, covered, for 2 hours or overnight. Drain before serving.

Just before serving, whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and add 1/4 cup prepared horseradish. Dish into a bowl and serve with a knife or spoon.

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Inside the Industry

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

Read more...

Former Massachusetts state fishery scientist Steven Correia received the New England Fishery Management Council’s Janice Plante Award of Excellence for 2016 at its meeting last week.

Correia was employed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for over 30 years.

Read more...
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