Eat like a Fish

Week 13 – Halibut

by Slow Food Cape Cod on August 9, 2017

Mackerel, Pollock, Halibut, and Skate

Image result for halibut

There was a fear that I was going to strike out again this week.  The first 2 stores I went to had nothing close to what I was looking for and gave me blank stares when I asked for my fish, “I’ve never even heard of that fish” I was told at one of the places.

Again these are all fish that I believe are being landed in local waters and I have either already had this season or I have seen being landed.  Finally on my last store I found some Halibut.  I was a little taken a back at the price of $29.99 a pound, but bought a little piece that he said would feed 1 person and took it home.  The piece was much meatier and steak-like than I expected.

I tossed my piece of Halibut on the grill with a little oil and salt and pepper and let it cook up with some other grilled veggies.  I have got to say it was delicious.  It was flaky and meaty, but also tender.  Minus the price tag I would defiantly buy it again.

On to week 14

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Week 12 – Lobster

by Slow Food Cape Cod on August 9, 2017

Halibut, Lobster, Bonito and Black Sea Bass

When I got my list I saw that lobster was on it and I didn’t really look any further. It was actually the only fish I found this week from my list. I wanted to try the whole live lobster and taking care of all of it myself, the last time I bought lobster I had the store kill it and steam it for me. Since it is the summer I wanted to try and grill lobster, I had to search if this was possible and read about killing the lobster prior to grilling it. The lobster still moving on the grill after I believe I killed it was a little disconcerting. The lobster was good, but its hard to eat since you have to pick through the whole animal, I would rather just sit down and eat my dinner then pull each piece of meat out one by one.”

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Week 11 – Sea Scallops

by Slow Food Cape Cod on August 9, 2017

Sea Scallops, Monkfish, Dogfish, or Whiting

Image result for sea scallops

This is not so much a story about the Sea Scallops that I did find and buy, but of the Monkfish and Dogfish that I didn’t find.
I fully expected that this week I would have to make a decision as to what fish to purchase for the first time in a long time. Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance has put a huge push on this summer in a program called “Pier to Plate”. Pier to plate is encouraging people to eat local underutilized species of fish, specifically Dogfish and Skate.
Chatham Fish and Lobster was one of the original sponsors of Pier to Plate and in early June did a big kick off and dogfish tasting at the fish market.
When I asked about Monkfish and Dogfish at the market I was told they didn’t have either of them; they usually have Monkfish but were out, and they don’t carry dogfish at the fish counter since “it comes off the boat frozen and they use it next door for fried fish”.

On Sunday at the Brewster farmers market the Fishermen’s Alliance had a booth set up highlighting Skate and Dogfish as the underutilized species. Unfortunately they have noticed that a lot of the fish markets that originally signed on to highlight dogfish and skate are starting to not carry it anymore. A lot of the restaurants are not serving them either. The markets found that they were too hard to skin and the fish had an bad smell so people were not buying it.
It was interesting to talk to the alliance about their project to highlight underutilized fish.

 

 

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Week 10- Pollock

by Slow Food Cape Cod on July 20, 2017

Atlantic pollock

A snail, a crab, a shellfish and a fish walked into a bar……

This weeks fish: Periwinkles, Peekytoe Crab, Surf Clams, and Pollock.

I almost struck out this week again, I knew I would not have any luck with periwinkles or surf clams, even though these are products that I could just go harvest out of the water easily (periwinkle) or I can watch the commercial harvesters harvest (surf clams).  There is no harvesting of periwinkles happening and although there is a lot of harvesting of surf clams happening I believe the product gets processed and sent to restaurant.

Not knowing very much about the Peekytoe crab I had to do a little research and see where it differed from other kinds of crabs.  I found an interesting article in the NYT about the Maine Peekytoe crab industry.  It is an older article, but was still a very interesting read.

I did find crab legs at the 2nd market I went to, (the first market just shock his head at all 4) and after asking 4 or 5 other employees what kind of crab it was I finally got the answer of Jonas Crab.  I thought I would strike out again this week.

Eventually I went to Whole Foods in Hyannis, they actually had a beautiful seafood display.  Not all of it was local, but it was the first counter I had seen with whole fish.  Most of the fish had tags on it with wild vs farmed and location.  They had pollock on display but no information about it.  After asking the fishmonger, he had to check the package in the back of the store, he told me it was landed in New England, but didn’t know any more than that.

I purchased the fish from Whole Foods, it was good and tasted good, but I believe it was a little drier than other fish I had purchased as maybe it was a little older.

I will continue to check Whole Foods if I find myself in Hyannis looking for fish.

I am headed out to Slow Food Nations this weekend and looking forward to having some Slow Fish conversations with fishermen and activists from across the country.

 

 

 

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Week 9-

by Slow Food Cape Cod on July 10, 2017

Image result for strikeout

This week was a strikeout- my first one!!!

My fish this week- Razor Clams, Tilefish, Mahi Mahi, Pollock

This was an interesting week as it was the first week I struck out. Two of my fish (mahi-mahi and tilefish) I figured I wouldn’t find as they are not landed locally. Pollock I had previously located, and was given a hint by one fishmonger that if I went back to the same store I previously got it at I would find it again. But I didn’t think that was the point.

Razor Clams were interesting, I knew they were not in most markets, but are being harvested locally. This is the purpose of this project, a fish I could go catch, or watch being harvested off my shore, but can’t buy in the market.  I know a number of fishermen who are targeting razor clams and getting a very good price for them.  They just haven’t become a common item yet for people to eat, so they just have not made it to the general fish market shelves.  I had a really nice chat with one of the fishmongers who said “it’s just not worth me buying them, they shelf life isn’t there and people won’t buy them, I’d have to buy a bushel and would only sell 3lb”.  He told me I could go down the street to “China Joe’s” and he might have razor clams because he often carries odd products, but then he followed it up with, “but I wouldn’t buy anything there for eat anything from there”  I decided to skip.  He also told me he would never carry mahi-mahi or tilefish because they are not caught locally and when people come into his store they want what’s caught locally. Sometimes he would carry Pollock, because it’s a cheap fish, but not caught on cape.

The last market I went into again had nothing on display, when I mentioned I was looking for razor clams the reply was “well you could go around back and knock on the back door, there might be some back there”.  Again I took a pass.

I have had razor clams in the past that were harvested by recreational harvesters, and I know of some restaurants that are highlight them.  They were very tasty the last time I had them and I was looking forward to attempting to prepare some myself.

 

….  Better luck next week

 

 

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