Check out this infographic on Mercury Pollution and fish. As the poster says, the solution is not to avoid fish, but choose the right fish and the right amount of fish to eat.
He has been on a few NPR shows and his book is getting significant press. American Catch looks into the state of imported seafood in the U.S. and makes a case for connecting with local seafood again. Community Supported Fisheries, like Core Sound Seafood, are discussed as one way this local connection is possible.
Thanks to Paul and his new book, the CSF movement has gained some great press! Check out these articles and interviews.
Black sea bass can be confused with striped bass or Tautog, which is also called blackfish. A member of the Grouper family, this true Black Sea Bass coming your way has a mild, fresh, somewhat delicate flavor and a tender but firm texture. Uncooked flesh should be sparkling white and translucent. The meat is snow white when cooked. Black sea bass is high in Magnesium, great for those with high blood pressure or blood sugar issues.
Black Sea Bass are hermaphrodites. They are born female and then change to male at age 2-5 years. In 2014, they are a highly sustainable fish particularly when caught with a pot trap like the fish in shares this week. Black Sea Bass prefers structured habitats like wrecks and reefs. This preference means that it will enter pots and traps without bait. There are two stocks on the Atlantic Coast, the northern stock is north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and the stock south of Cape Hatteras is the southern stock. So we are in a unique location that is near this dividing line.
Here is a link to over 15 Black Sea Bass Recipes. You will see that most of the pictures show the fish presented with the skin on as it is not only okay to eat but is rather tasty. Here is a great tutorial on how to pan sear that is a great technique for this fish. You may see recipes for Chilean Sea Bass. Black Sea Bass is different and shouldn’t be cooked the same way. Cooking Black Sea Bass is more related to how you would prepare Striped Bass, or Rockfish.
To store sea bass, remove packaging, rinse fish under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place it on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Sea bass will store well this way for up to two days.
A lean fish like this will freeze okay for about 4 months. Rinse the fillets in salted ice water. Fill a zip lock bag with tap water and totally submerge the fillets in the water. Seal the bags and put them in your freezer. The water helps protect the fish from freezer burn and keeps air away from the fillets. Remember, air is the enemy!
This week we have a great catch of King Mackerel and Bluefish. Both these fish have high fat content that makes them great for smoking. If you want Mackerel Recipes or Bluefish Recipes that feature other cooking methods like grilling, baking, or searing, head over to our Pinterest page. There you will find some other great ideas to spark your kitchen engine. In this post, however, we are going to talk about ways to smoke fish.
We are going to talk about three smoking methods for a person who doesn’t have true blue smoker. If you have a smoker, we highly encourage you to fire it up for your Mackerel or Bluefish. Anyway you smoke them, remember that brining for at least a half hour is essential for texture and helping the smoke infuse with the meat. Also, many say to let them completely dry out, ideally for 2 hours at room temperature.
Grill smoked with wood chips
Using wood smoke is a common way we smoke here in the United States. The idea is to cook the fish low and slow over indirect heat. Soak your chips overnight in water and always make sure your heat is not directly under the fish. Watch a video tutorial and learn more about grill smoking fish. This method is very detailed yet presents all steps of the process.
Tea smoked on the grill
Tea smoking is a Chinese smoking method that can be done inside or out. With tea smoking, a packet of tea and spices creates the smoke instead of wood. You can include tea, orange peel, rosemary, brown sugar, star anise. The options are endless. Tea smoking can be a fun way to flavor your fish. Watch a video about tea smoking fish on the grill. Here is a tea smoke mix that I used last year. Citrus peel, black tea, and brown sugar were a must. I added herbs on hand with garlic, salt, and pepper.
Tea smoked indoors with a wok
Tea smoking can be done in a wok, or in an oven. This is best for imparting a smoked flavor without necessarily getting a fully smoked fish like you would see on a plate with crackers and spread. The only downside is that it can generate a lot of smoke if you are not careful. So if you can’t go outside go on and give this a try. Watch a video on tea smoking indoors.
Core Sound Seafood is a community supported fishery (CSF) that delivers fresh, local seafood to customers through CSF shares and custom orders. Similar to a CSA program in which you can buy produce directly from a farmer, a CSF creates a way for you to buy seafood directly from a fisherman. Local residents who sign-up will receive incredibly fresh seafood delivered directly to town.
Pick up time is 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Washington Perk and Provisions. Core Sound Volunteers will be waiting there with a cooler.
Friday, May 16
Friday, May 30
In this spring, shareholders have received: Flounder, Tuna, Sea Bass, Sea Mullet, Wahoo, and Fresh Clams to name a few species. Softshell crabs will soon be available along with other seasonal shellfish. With the CSF model, you don’t know what you will get until the day before. You can, however, be guaranteed it is fresh, local, and low cost.
Sign-Up to get NC Seafood in Winston Salem Today!
Check out our site for more details on how the program works and what you can expect as a shareholder in a CSF.
There are some fishing restrictions that will prevent Red Drum and Speckled Trout from showing up in shares this spring.
Red Drum: The commercial industry has an annual TAC (“Total Allowable Catch”) of 250,000 pounds. In 2013, the commercial landings exceeded the TAC. Thus, the NC DMF (North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries) will not “open” the red drum commercial harvest until the fall. Therefore, we will not be able to offer red drum during our spring season.
Please see this link to the Red Drum proclamation from DMF.
Speckled trout: There can be no commercial landings of speckled trout until June 15, 2014. NC DMF Director Louis Daniel closed the speckled trout fishery in February due to cold stun events. It is the intent of the Fisheries Director to open the spotted sea trout season for commercial and recreational fishing by proclamation on June 15, 2014 after surviving fish have had the opportunity to spawn. Thus, we will not see speckled trout during our spring season.
Please see this link to the Speckled Trout proclamation.
Old man winter wasn’t quite done with us yet…another cold snap? Even so, the signs of spring are here – Daffodils, Irises, Azaleas and Mullet. Mullet? Yes Ma’am. On the coast one of the sure signs of spring are larger schools of mullet. All locations will receive Sea Mullet in their share. In addition to Sea Mullet, we will have Black Sea Bass, Vermilion Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna, and Wahoo in shares across different locations. More on these species later as they deserve their own post.
Sea mullet are another Atlantic catch that can go unnoticed by many but eagerly welcomed on dinner plates in Eastern North Carolina. When looking for recipes, it is important to consider the many different names people give the same fish. Here in North Carolina we call them sea mullet. In other places they will go by “Whiting” and in other places “Kingfish”. If you are doing your own search, mix it up and search for all three terms.
We recommend frying your mullet. Check out this quick tutorial on frying fish perfectly. You can also bread the fish in light cornmeal to have a true classic southern fried fish sandwich!
If you want to bake your Mullet, check out our baked Mullet recipes.
In either event, check out some preparation tips below before starting to cook.
If you are not a shareholder with Core Sound in the Triangle or in Boone, this is what you could be eating this weekend! You can still sign up for the remainder of the season, or check out our weekly online custom order options at this link:
Have a great weekend! And check out these tips on preparing fish.
Here are some tips to use when you might think a fish is strong like the Croaker last week. When it comes to trying out a wide variety of fish, you may find some that are “fishy” for your tastes. The trick is that this level of flavor is different for everybody. It will depend on your personal taste. Our fillets are as fresh as you can get them so any fish aroma is due to the nature of the species. If you smell your share and think it is strong for you, here are some things you can do:
1. Soak the fish in a solution of water, vinegar, and salt to cover the fish. For 1 quart of water, use 2 tbps of vinegar and 1 tbps of salt. Let the fish soak in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Or, soak the fish in milk. Milk can also help pull out some of the stronger flavor. You can soak them for an hour, or even overnight. Cover the fish with milk and add any herbs as well: dill, rosemary, garlic.
3. Use a method of cooking like frying, or baking with a heavy sauce that can help the flavor along. A stronger fish can be great in a homemade fried fish sandwich.
When you get a fillet with bones, you should always start by taking the bones out.
If it is a smaller fillet with rib cage bones: like the Croaker, simply take a sharp knife and cut out the bones saving as much fish as possible. Discard the bones. Sometimes you will also have a small fin. Cut that off as well. You know have a boneless fillet that you can cook.
If it is a thicker steak: like the common Salmon, you use tweezers. Strong tweezers, especially those with a scissor grip, are essential in the kitchen. They even make fish tweezers specific to the job. You can take a few minutes to pull out the bones and have your fish ready to go. There are a number of videos about de-boning fillets on YouTube.
“Are there bones in it?” is a common question non-fish eaters ask. The answer is always “there could be”. You do your best to get them out, but finding a bone or two in a fillet should be expected and not a surprise. It is a good idea to remind folks of this every time you serve fish. You can also make a game of it, the same way many do with finding the buckshot in wild shot game hen: “Whoever finds the first bone, or biggest bone, first doesn’t have to do the dishes.”
As the weather warms up, this week gave us a variety of local species in Core Sound shares. In Durham and Carrboro, shares are filled with Atlantic Croaker and 2 dozen clams. Shares in Raleigh and Chapel Hill will have Atlantic Croaker and Triggerfish. The photos below are of the fish caught yesterday that will be in your shares today. We do our best to rotate locations when a catch is too small for all sites so everyone has a chance to try everything.
The Croaker were caught by a sink net in the ocean off Hatteras. Talk about eating local! Croaker is a common fried fish you will find in Eastern North Carolina, but there is not much other information on Atlantic Croaker online. They do go by other names such as Hardhead, or Corvina. Corvina is showing up on a lot of Southern menus and can encompass a wide range of croakers and drums. While we like fried fish, it is our goal to expand the way our local speices are cooked. Since they are in the Drum family, you can substitute your Croaker for Drum or Spot in recipes. Again, these are fresh caught today so any light treatment will do them well. Here is a link to grilling Croaker with an Asian flavor from Cooks.com to try: Grilled Croaker.
Triggerfish is another Southern favorite. Trigger used to be considered a fish that no one wanted so it was usually thrown out. Only fishermen and Southern chefs have enjoyed its wonderful mild flavor and firm flake over the years. It is coming back full force and making itself known up and down the Atlantic. We are happy to make it available to you this week! Your Triggerfish was hook and line caught.
With Spring in the air there is nothing we could recommend more than Triggerfish on the grill. Check out this simple recipe for Triggerfish from our Pinterest page. With this simple approach taken care of, you can focus on the sides and local beer you will drink out on the patio or deck.
These clams bring you the full flavor of the coast. Succulent and briney, you can taste the sound. They are fantastic simply steamed and then dipped in garlic butter as an appetizer. They also add a coastal flavor to many pasta dishes. Here are a few clam recipes from Core SoundSeafood.
Be sure to check out the Core Sound Seafood Pinterest Page for more recipes. Enjoy the weekend and please share how you cooked your share this week in Facebook or the comments below.