National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

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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05 Crab and Artichoke dipDownload a printable recipe card.This recipe was inspired by Super Bowl Sunday. But let’s be honest, there’s never a reason not to have a delicious dip on hand. I made the whole recipe and put just a cup of it in a small dish to cook. The rest I saved in the refrigerator for the weekend.

I use lump Maine Jonah or rock crab meat (yes, Maine has more than just lobster!), packed right around the corner from my husband’s childhood home. But you can use any local crab — Dungeness, blue, snow, stone — or white-meat shellfish in its place.

I like to serve this with crostini or pita chips, which you can make yourself (instructions to follow) or buy ahead. It would also be delicious on celery or corn chip scoops.

Serves 8

 

 

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons shallots or garlic, minced
A splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped roughly
8 ounces lump crab meat
1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus a little for topping
Salt and pepper to taste

2016 0204 CrabDipPreparation

Set oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, shallots or garlic, Worcestershire and white pepper.

Stir in the artichoke hearts, crab, half the gouda and parmesan.

Season to taste and spread into several small oven-proof containers or one 8-inch skillet or baking dish. Bake until bubbly and golden on top, about 20 minutes. Serve with crostini or baked pita chips (instructions to follow).


Homemade crostini and pita chips

Ingredients

One small baguette
Two loaves pita bread
1 cup olive oil
Garlic to taste, pressed or minced

Preparation

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the baguette into thin pieces, about a quarter inch in thickness, and set aside.

Slice pita bread around its edge, so you end up with two single circles, and each circle into six or eight pieces.

Combine garlic and oil in a bowl and lightly brush mixture on both sides of the bread with a pastry brush.

Arrange slices on two large rimmed baking sheets and bake until golden, about 15 minutes, checking halfway for even browning.

Serve warm or room temperature.

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04 GrilledSwordfishwSkordaliaDownload a printable recipe card.We keep our grill warm even in the coldest months. Swordfish is meaty and thick and is available year-round, which makes it a perfect choice for grilling in any season. It is also caught on every coast in the country, which makes it relatively easy to find. This is a quick and easy meal packed with flavor, thanks to the skordalia, a Greek spread made with garlic, potato and blanched almonds. I also serve this with a simple homemade pilaf or Trader Joe’s wild rice pilaf.

Wine experts consider all the natural elements of the place where the grapes for a particular type of wine are grown — soil, climate, topography — and call it terroir (ter-war). I like to think there is harmony in a meal that has components from the same place, so I pair my Maine-landed swordfish and locally grown vegetables and herbs with skordalia made from Maine russet potatoes.

North Atlantic swordfish is an internationally managed fishery. The U.S. fleet is so small that we often leave a portion of our quota on the table. On the West Coast, the fishery is sustainably managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council by way of the National Marine Fisheries Service under NOAA.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds swordfish steak, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
2 bell peppers (go for color!), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup oil and vinegar salad dressing (I use Newman’s Own)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped, plus more for optional garnish
4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish
grill skewers

2016 0129 SwordfishSkordalia LRPreparation

Heat gas grill to high or arrange charcoal with hot and warm zones.

In a medium bowl, toss vegetables in salad dressing. Thread vegetables on skewers and grill uncovered on high for about 5 minutes, until corners start to blacken and pepper skin starts to blister. If you thread each type of vegetable on separate skewers, you can cook each type to your preferred doneness.

While the vegetables cook, add swordfish to a medium bowl and sprinkle with salt. Add olive oil and oregano and toss to coat. Thread on skewers leaving a small gap between pieces.

Turn grill to low, rotate veggies, add fish and grill covered, rotating once, until the fish is cooked through (opaque white) but not dry — about 12-15 minutes total. Remove vegetables as preferred.

Plate with a pilaf and skordalia (recipe below), garnished with parsley and oregano to taste.


Skordalia

I had this garlicky condiment for the first time at a Greek restaurant here in Portland, Maine, and immediately made some to have at home. My kitchen has been stocked with it ever since. It is delicious on so many things — vegetables, bread, steak, chicken — but it really shines on grilled fish.

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

1 pound russet potatoes, whole with skin
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup blanched almonds (whole or slivered)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Preparation

Add whole potatoes to a medium saucepan, cover with cold, salted water plus 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about half an hour. Drain and cool. Then rub off the skins, chop roughly and purée with a food mill or ricer into a medium bowl or back into your saucepan.

In a food processor, combine garlic, almonds and olive oil. Add to your potatoes and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This keeps in my refrigerator for weeks at a time in a canning jar. I have tried freezing this paste with mixed results. The taste is perfect, but the result is a little watery. If thawing, try gently warming the paste in a saucepan or double boiler and then whipping it in a food processor before serving.

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I’ve tried and read many versions of this recipe, some with whole clams in the shell and some with canned clams. For presentation, you can’t beat clams on the halfshell. But for my family, this is a quick and dirty weeknight favorite using Bar Harbor canned Maine cherrystone clams (Mercenaria mercenaria). You could also use their canned chopped surf clams. The dish is packed with flavor, and I almost always have everything I need on hand.

03 LinguinewClamsDownload a printable recipe card.You may have access to local surf clams, littlenecks or razor clams, which would make a fine substitute. I’ve heard tell that Trader Joe’s carries canned Maine cherrystone clams.

If you want to lighten this up, try replacing the linguine with noodles made from summer squash or zucchini. Flash pan fry the noodles before serving, so the sauce sticks well.

If you want to send yourself straight to bed, pair with a fresh-baked no-knead bread. Recipe to follow.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound linguine
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup white wine
2 cans Bar Harbor Maine cherrystone clams with juice, chopped roughly
1 lemon, zest and juice separated
6 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
6 tablespoons shaved or grated parmesan

Preparation

Cook the pasta al dente, drain, return to its cooking pot, and set aside.

2016 0114 LinguineClamsIn a high-sided sauce pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook until it just starts to golden. Add capers and stir. Cook for about a minute, then add wine, turn the flame to medium high and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the clams with their juice — I pour in the juice then drop the clams on the counter to chop them. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Add a pat or two of butter if you want a richer sauce.

Pour the lemon juice then the clam sauce over the drained pasta. Toss until thoroughly coated and dish out. Be sure to top each plate with the sauce from the bottom of the pan. Garnish with parsley, lemon zest, parmesan and fresh black pepper.


 

 

No-Knead Dutch oven bread


Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey created the basis for this recipe, and variations abound now. The beauty of this bread is that you can toss it together the night before your meal or the morning of, set it aside and then bake as you’re cooking your supper. Note that you will need almost two hours of heating and cooking time before the bread is ready. When I want this for a weeknight supper, I make the dough the night before and bake it in the morning.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (also called bread machine yeast)
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 4-, 6- or 8-quart Dutch oven with heatproof cover

Preparation

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and oil, stirring with a spatula until the dough becomes shaggy (sticking to the sides of the bowl).

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for as little as 8 and as much as 18 hours until the dough doubles in bulk and is bubbly on top.

Set oven to 450.

Punch down dough. Flour a sheet of parchment paper that will fit across the bottom and halfway up the sides of your Dutch oven. Flour your hands, place the dough on the parchment and quickly shape into a ball. Sprinkle the top with flour and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let rest 30 minutes.

Heat Dutch oven with its lid in the preheated oven for 30 minutes while your dough is resting.

Uncover dough and carefully transfer to the (very hot!) Dutch oven, with the parchment paper (you can place it directly on the bottom if your pot is enamel coated). Place the lid back on the Dutch oven and return to oven.

Bake for 45 minutes covered, then another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered until dough is baked through and golden on top. Allow it to cool slightly before slicing. If you leave it uncovered to cool, the crust will be crisp. Cover the bread while it’s cooling for a softer crust.

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