National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

2016 19 0614 RollsOne thing all Maine lobster rolls have in common is the top-split, buttered and toasted bun.I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of lobster rolls. This is a risky admission as a Maine resident. But before you throw me to the wolves, allow me to explain: It’s because I love the taste of lobster so much that I prefer to enjoy it with as little interference as possible.

I like a tender chicken lobster (under 1.25 pounds) — Homarus americanus, of course — straight from the shell, steamed, not boiled (boiling fills the shell with water, which also washes out some of its delicious fat) — eaten warm, sometimes as is, or with melted butter and maaaaaaybe a squirt of lime.

Of course, if you want to do it right, put a bowl of steamers on the side with a few Maine-grown new potatoes, top it all off with a wild blueberry pie, and eat it at a picnic table nestled into a copse of tall pine trees. The scent of sun-warmed pine needles enhances the flavor of a lobster dinner.

We try to buy chicken lobsters (also called chix), and we usually get a few extras because, well, we’re in Maine, so why not? One of our few luxuries is getting to the end of a lobster supper and deciding to have just one more.

2016 19 0614 LobsterRollCampThe best-tasting lobster roll is served on your grandmother's old plates at a Maine fishing camp. This one has a roe topper.If there’s anything leftover at the end of the meal, we pull the meat from the shell and stash it in the fridge to make a lobster roll. Mainers are very particular about their lobster rolls. Some like the meat cold, with mayo, celery salt, diced celery, onion, and some call any adornment an unecessary affectation of tourism. But you will always find an authentic lobster roll in a buttered, toasted (or grilled) split-top hot dog roll. If it is missing any of these components, it’s just not a Maine lobster roll.

The only way I enjoy a lobster roll is served warm with just butter, and like my steamed lobster, maaaaaaybe a squirt of lime.

If you want to make these at home, I’ve got good news. Like most fisheries, Maine lobster is enjoying a major leap forward in processing. You can now buy cooked or raw Maine lobster vacuum packed in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Just follow the thawing/cooking instructions on the package.

2016 19 0614 LobsterRollHomeThey can be tasty served at home on your back deck, too.As for split-top hot dog rolls, I don’t know. From what I gather, these are regional. BUT my Trader Joe’s does sell them! You can also order a package of them from Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. here in Maine. They freeze perfectly!

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 1.25-1.5-pound lobsters, steamed or boiled
2 split-top hot-dog rolls
5 tablespoons butter (I use Kate’s from Maine)
Optional squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of roe if you get lucky


2016 19 0614 LobsterPartsI split the tail of this soft-shell lobster before reheating in a buttered skillet.Preparation

Melt your butter in a small skillet, lightly brush the inside and outside of your buns with it and set aside.

Add your lobster meat to the remaining butter and reheat quickly, just enough to warm it up but not overcook it. I like to split my tail down the middle, if it’s a new-shell tail. If it’s a large tail from a hard-shell lobster, do a rough chop, as well.

Set your warmed lobster meat aside, and toss your buns in the skillet, toasting each side lightly but leaving the inside soft and buttered.

Add your lobster with a nice claw on top, pour the rest of the melted butter over the meat and sprinkle with roe (the red stuff) if you happened to find any. It’s like a flavor shot from the ocean. You can spread the rest of your roe on toast and dip it in corn chowdah if you really want to Maine up your day.

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I recently stumbled across a recipe I posted years ago for halibut with spring vegetables and risotto. Before kids, my husband and I cooked together most nights. And when I read this recipe, I got a craving not only for fresh halibut but for a chance to prove to myself that we could make something like this on a weekday with two children crowding the kitchen. The reason being that timing on this recipe is best if one person is grilling while the other is stirring the risotto.

2016 0616 HalibutRisotto2I got lucky one beautiful spring night and jumped on making my risotto while the kids played outside. I also had a bunch of Swiss chard that had overwintered in the garden. My husband hopped on the grill and helped me pull this all together in less than 45 minutes.

This simple risotto is easy to make but does require attention. It’s worth it, though, to treat yourself to a grown-up version of macaroni and cheese — comforting, creamy and satisfying — that your kids will love, too.

I used Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), the largest of all the flatfish. A properly cooked fillet of Atlantic halibut is up there with the best steak I’ve ever had. There’s something about the ribbons of fat in these East Coast flatties that could turn a cowboy into a fish lover. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to find fresh halibut, feel free to substitute anything local that can stand up to the grill.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of halibut fillet
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Optional garnishes: parsley, lemon, chive, thyme and parmesan

Preparation

Brush your halibut in olive oil to coat, then sprinkle with salt and set aside. Pour the broth into a pan and warm over medium-high heat, then keep warm on low.

In a large sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add a little more olive oil and the arborio, turning the heat down to medium. Stir and cook until the rice is just starting to get translucent at the edges of the grain.

Add a ladle of broth and cook, stirring, until the rice mixture absorbs the liquid. Add another ladle of broth and repeat until the rice is cooked through. In a pinch, you can cook the risotto until it’s almost done and set it aside, partially covered. Then rewarm to serve with another splash of broth within 20 minutes. I discovered this is just enough time to clean the slugs off of my garden chard, then chop and steam it.

Start grilling your halibut when you’re about 25 minutes away from serving. After your grill is heated on high, oil the grill itself and cook the fish, top side down for 3-4 minutes to get a nice sear (skip this step if you’re not feeling confident in your grill maneuvering). Then turn the heat to low, flip the fillet to skin side down, close the cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes. This was a 3-inch-thick piece and took a good 20 minutes on low. You can check for doneness by peeking between the flakes.

When the risotto is cooked through, add the parmesan and stir to incorporate, then add the butter and serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, some fresh herbs and more parmesan. I like to put my fish right on top.

I love the contrast of vinegar-dressed greens with the grilled fish and cheesy risotto.

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16 Crepe CrevettesDownload a printable recipe cardIt’s possible that this salad would be just as delicious without a crepe underneath. But that’s the way I first tried it at one of my favorite Wharf Street holes in the wall, a French place called the Merry Table. Their speciality was crepes and other simple French foods.

Crevettes is French for shrimp, a much more elegant name for one of the world’s most popular ocean delights. You can cook it almost any way and end up with something tasty. For this dish, full of fresh, summery flavors, I chose to oil poach the shrimp. Before you roll your eyes at the thought, I beg you to try it. If you love fresh shrimp, this cooking method will knock your socks off by preserving the flavor of the shrimp. I use the cooking oil to make my dressing, so there’s no waste.

For this, I used South Atlantic white shrimp. I had to shell and clean them, but the results were well worth it. The ingredients may seem odd together — crepes, shrimp, guacamole, asparagus, vinaigrette. But for me this dish is much more than the sum of its parts. The Merry Table is no more, but this dish will live on.

Serves 4

Ingredients2016 0526 17 Crevettes

1/2 pound fresh wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup olive oil
5 ounces mixed greens
1 pound asparagus
8 cherry or Campari tomatoes
4 crepes — I follow Alton Brown’s recipe
Guacamole (recipe below)
Dijon vinaigrette (recipe below)

Preparation

Most crepe recipes require time for the batter to rest. Be sure to build in this time.

Trim and steam asparagus until just tender (just 2-3 minutes), then refrigerate. Ever get down to the end of a spear of asparagus and find that it’s too tough to chew? Instead of cutting off the ends, try snapping each one at the natural breaking point.

To a small saucepan, add your shrimp and enough olive oil to cover (I use about a cup). Cook over low heat until the shrimp is white but not tough, about 10 minutes. Remove from oil and slice lengthwise.

In the meantime, rinse your greens, slice your tomatoes, plate your crepes and prepare your guacamole and dressing. The crepes are fine served at room temperature for this meal.

Toss your greens lightly in the dressing. Divide them evenly among your plates, then top with guacamole, tomatoes and shrimp. Lay the asparagus over the top and drizzle with a little more dressing.

Guacamole

Ingredients

3 avocados
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh lime and/or lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Allow the garlic to soak in the lime juice for 20-30 minutes. Add chopped avocados and mash to combine.

Dijon vinaigrette

Ingredients

1 cup poaching oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Optional teaspoon of mayonnaise

Preparation

Blend ingredients until frothy. Salt and pepper to taste.

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I love butter. As a child of the ’70s and ’80s, I was raised on margarine. But my grandmother, an Iowa farm girl, always infused her dishes with butter and lard, and I could taste the difference.

When it comes to seafood, I eat it all. I love the briny flavors of the ocean and don’t discriminate between shellfish, finfish, roe, seaweed. But if I had to choose a favorite, it would be scallops, the butter of the sea, churned by the tides and wrapped in a beautiful shell.

I am lucky to live by the ocean, close to the nation’s largest source of scallops. When Togue Brawn, who direct markets the local catch through her company Downeast Dayboat, mentioned that she was shipping scallops in a frenzy before the northern Gulf of Maine closed for the year, I jumped on it. How much? Well, she tells me, the guys are getting $17.50 off the boat. Would you pay $20 for a pound of the world’s freshest scallops to be delivered to your door? My next question was, “How much do you have left?”

2016 16 0519 ScallopsMost of the Atlantic scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) on the market are from trip boats, which go out for several days and keep their catch in ice. They deliver to the dock, which sells to wholesalers, which supply the markets. By the time you get the scallops home, they’re probably more than a week old. And still they’re some of the best food you’ll ever eat.

Now imagine you get those scallops within hours of their being plucked from the sea, the shucked meat has never touched ice or water. You may have had the best scallops of your life. But once you try them fresh off a dayboat, you’ll know you were eating margarine all along.

When it comes to seafood, this is the pinnacle for me. In my opinion, this dish requires no sauce. But for a little something extra, I enjoy this miso-honey glaze as a dip. I like to slide my fork into the sauce and then into the scallop.

Serves 4


Ingredients

1 pound scallops
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound pasta (spaghetti, linguine or similar)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup fresh arugula
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges to garnish

Prepare your pasta, drain and set aside. Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel. Heat a large heavy sauté pan on medium-high, then add the oil and butter. Sear scallops until caramel brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Set them aside on a warm (not hot) plate. Add the pasta to the scallop pan with the heat off. Toss with parmesan and arugula and serve alongside the scallops.


Honey Miso Sauce

Ingredients

4 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 scallion, greens only

Preparation

Stir miso and water together, add honey to taste and garnish with chopped scallion.

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I’m a Southern gal, so I’m happy to eat grits (that’s what we call polenta) and eggs any time of the day. This dish may remind you of shrimp and grits, and like that classic, I would serve this for brunch, lunch or supper.

Flounder is a delicate whitefish. I use it when I want a quick-cooking yet elegant fillet. It is best when poached or pan-seared. This dish uses winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), but you can substitute fillets of any flounder, sole or dab.

In the larval stage, the flounder has one eye one each side of its brain, like a roundfish. As it morphs into a juvenile, one eye migrates to the other side of the body, so the fish can camouflage itself on the ocean floor and spy its prey and predators. The side to which the eyes migrate depends on the species.

When making a blackening rub, don’t be afraid to cater it to your own tastes. The peppery arugula is a perfect amplifier of the spices on the fish rub against the base of creamy grits. The egg could be considered optional, but no one in my house ever says no to eggs. You could also serve the egg fried or poached instead of soft-boiled.

Serves 4

2016 15 0512 BlackenedFlounderIngredients

Creamy Polenta
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 1/2 cups polenta or stone ground grits
1/2 cup heavy cream

Blackened Flounder
4 6-ounce flounder fillets
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve
2 cups arugula (set aside for serving)
4 soft-boiled eggs

Preparation

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. If you’re using water, add a teaspoon of salt. Slowly whisk in the polenta and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick to the pan and to prevent lumps from forming. When it’s cooked and starting to dry out in the pan, whisk in the cream and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

While your polenta is cooking, combine the spices in a small bowl, then add the olive oil and stir to make a paste. Baste one side of your fillets with the seasoning.

Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet with 1/4 cup of oil until it just starts to smoke. Add the fillets, seasoned side down, being careful not to crowd the pan. Flip over after about 1 minute and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, until it’s cooked through but not dry.

For the eggs, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil (enough to cover your eggs). Gently pierce the bottom of the shell with a clean pushpin. Place the eggs into the boiling water with a slotted spoon and cook 6 1/2 minutes for medium eggs or 8 minutes for large eggs. Run under cool water just long enough to peel gently, so you can serve the egg whole on top.

To serve, divide the polenta among four plates, lay one fillet on top of each, then a bunch of arugula and finally the peeled egg. Top with a little salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. This is delicious alongside any warm vegetable side like grilled asparagus, sautéed summer squash or steamed broccoli.

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14 Nicoise SaladDownload a printable recipe cardWhen I was growing up, my family always had oil-packed tuna in the pantry. It was a special treat on backpacking trips, too, right out of the can! But as Americans began to grow wary of high-fat diets in the 1980s, oil-packed made way for water-packed.

As more Americans are again embracing the inclusion of good fats in our diets, the grocery store shelves are reflecting that shift with a resurgence of olive-oil-packed cans of tuna.

I buy pole- and line-caught tuna when I can, because those fisheries support small-boat businesses and small-town fleets. I pay a little more for it, but I’m comfortable paying a premium to support working American families. I make my trade-offs elsewhere.

This salad is made with Trader Joe’s oil-packed yellowfin tuna, but I’ve used a variety of oil-packed tuna species — albacore, skipjack, bigeye. Use your favorite, packed in oil or water, or go wild and sear a tuna steak for a more traditional Niçoise salad. What I like about this version is its simplicity for a quick weeknight meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients2016 14 0505 TunaNicoise

2 6-ounce cans oil-packed tuna
1 box (5 ounces) field greens (I use Olivia’s Organics spring mix)
1/2 pound green beans or haricots vert
1 pound new potatoes
4-6 eggs, boiled
16-24 Niçoise, calamata and/or castelvetrano olives
1/2 pound grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced into bite sizes
Fresh herbs to taste
Anchovy fillets (optional)
Crisp-cooked bacon, chopped fine (optional)

Preparation

Put potatoes whole into a medium pot and cover with water (if they are of varying sizes, cut the larger ones into pieces about the size of the smaller whole potatoes). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until just fork tender. Drain, drizzle with white vinegar, and set aside to cool.

Rinse and trim the green beans and steam until al dente, then set aside to cool. Peel and slice the boiled eggs into quarters. To ensure an easy-to-peel egg, before boiling, gently insert the head of a (clean) push pin into one end of the egg, being careful not to puncture the inner membrane.

Slice tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and dry greens, then toss lightly in red wine vinaigrette (recipe below).

Divide greens evenly onto four large plates or salad bowls. Scoop tuna from cans with a fork onto the center of the greens, then add remaining ingredients. Serve with vinaigrette.


Red Wine Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared grainy or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mayonnaise (optional)
2-4 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Combine vinegar, shallot and garlic in a blender and blend thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients and blend again. Sample and amend to your taste. The mayonnaise is optional but will help prevent the separation of oil and vinegar. You may also sub white, cider or balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar.

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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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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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Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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