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Spring 2014 – Week 3: Sea Mullet

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.

JMalat_seamullet1

Sea Mullet Recipes

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.

Still Time to Sign Up!

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:

Get Fresh NC Seafood

Have a great weekend! And check out these tips on preparing fish.

How to Prepare Full Flavored 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.

How to De-Bone Fillets

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.”

 

 

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Spring 2014 – Week 2: Atlantic Croaker, Triggerfish, and Clams

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.

Atlantic Croaker

Croaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

Clams

Clams

 

 

 

 

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.

Flounder

Note: This post first ran in Spring 2014. Scroll down for flounder recipes.Flounder

Tomorrow, we kick off the 2014 Spring Season with Flounder. 

As we all know, it has been a long and cold winter. Warm water is necessary for good fishing conditions. This week has been the first period of spring weather, the inland waters have just started the warming process but it is still cool. We need the weather to spike to get the fish from the ocean into the sound and the boats out more frequently. 

Shares this week will be filled with Flounder. The Flounder is ocean caught with a stern rig. Moving forward, our goal is to provide two species of fish with each share and we are disappointed that Mother Nature couldn’t cooperate. For next week, everything is looking up! The boats are out today and barring another Polar Vortex we will be back to offering the diversity of seafood in your next share. This is also a time we are thankful for you, our shareholders, and your participation in the CSF model that builds a strong relationship with our fishing families on the coast.

Tips on How to Cook Fresh Fish

Flounder provides a great opportunity to focus on how to cook fresh fish. While a recipe can accentuate the meal, properly cooked fresh fish is the star. This week we invite you to try cooking your Flounder in more than one way and see how different cooking methods flavor the fish. 

Go to our page on cooking fish right every time that gives you a fool-proof “10-Minute Rule” for all common cooking methods. Flounder is also a great way to try baking in parchment paper. Creating parchment packets with any mix of flavors is one of the most simple and risk free ways to prepare fish. Here is a basic recipe and technique with a video to guide you through the process: flounder baked in parchment paper

Recipes

Flounder is the perfect fish to poach on the stove top in white wine, steam with vegetables, or bake with Parmesan. This season we are starting to use Pinterest for sharing recipes. Here we will pin favorite recipes from other sites on the web. 

Visit our Pinterest site for even more recipes. And if you can, please join and pin new recipes that you think others might like!