Seafood is healthy for your heart - it's chock full of the Omega-3 fatty acids that we always hear we should be eating more of. It's also a popular ingredient because it can be prepared in so many creative ways - it's delicious spicy or mild, grilled or sauteed, with a cream sauce or plain. Yet, when we shop for seafood, we tend to buy the same types over and over again. Not anymore! Patrick McMurray, owner of Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill in Toronto came by the show to introduce some new types of fish that are sure to get you hooked!
-Jail Island - Atlantic - NB
-Creative Salmon - BC
-BEST - wild - during the season
-Sashimi, grill, and smoke
I can see the Salmon going the way of the cod... there is no wild fishery on the east coast, and the west has been diminishing ever since the report of increased levels of PCB's in cultured fish scared everyone into buying wild... which is a good thing except that the size of the fish, and the stock have gone drastically down in the past few years. If every supermarket and value adds frozen producer out there had a wild salmon, just how much is there left? I'd like to move towards different fish than the good old salmon, give'er a rest.
Arctic Char is great if you like the buttery pink flesh of salmon, but if you just have to have it, then look into responsible culturalists - Jail Island from the east, and Creative Salmon of the west
-Nova Scotia - cultured
-Cultured in many places east and west
-Pan sear, lightly, finish in the oven
This is what I would call a cross between a Salmon and a trout. Light pink in the flesh, not as buttery-rich as a Salmon, but just as flavourful.
-Black cod - Alaska/BC
-Beautiful white, flaky fish
-Cultured cod Orkney Island - Scotland - beautiful clean, clear waters of this remote Island in Scotland produces great fish (and whiskey, and oysters, but that is another story)
-Scotian halibut is soon to serve their cultured cod.
-Pan sear, oven roasted - make too much at supper to make cod cakes in the morning, and if you are nice, ask for the cheeks and tongues...traditional Maritime dish of codfisherfolk...
The cod stock would be fine, if it were not so darn tasty...The replacement fish for the Atlantis cod, was originally known as Sablefish, but as fish marketers go, anything with the name cod will sell, so the name was changed. The fish is great though, trap caught when the king Crab season is over, in the chilly water of Alaska,
- Weir caught - probably the best way for the environment, and the fish stocks - catching by weir, means the fisher will put a series of nets in the water, close to the shoreline, where the herring are known to arrive in the summer - South shore New Brunswick - St.Andrews area and Grand Manan
-At home, buy lots, and a quick grill, or for the adventurous, pickle them and serve cold on toast!
Like the sardine, the Herring is a richer flavoured fish, packed with omega 3's and is small but versatile. Usually processed - smoked or tinned.
- Scotian Halibut - cultured -
- Grilled, pan seared, oven roasted, BBQ, if small enough, oven roasted on the bone, and share with friends.
Wild stock is good on the east and west; the method of harvest is always a question. Bottom trawl rakes everything off of the bottom, and so not only is there potential by-catch, corals and other marine vegetation can be uprooted.
Closed cell, on land facility filters the water coming into, and leaving the facility - very soft on the environment, and two major things are accomplished.
One of the major problems with fish culture is the impact on the water, and surrounding environment from a high concentration of fish = lots of fish-poo
As the water is filtered before leaving the facility, the fish-poo is collected and used as fertilizer, much like any other land based farm.
There are no escapees, and therefore, cross contamination with wild stock is greatly reduced.
Lake Huron Pickerel
- local, old family, Purdy's 125 years
- Sustainable fishery - gill net caught, placed in areas designed to catch specific fish.
- Cold water - limited by the weather/seasons
The pickerel is a fabulous whitefish that lends itself to the grill as well as the pan, has a sweet, clean slightly grassy note to it, as it is a fresh water fish. Grab it while you can.
- gorgeous big fish, major predator, and very tasty sushi, sashimi, seared rare, light grill
- Big eye tuna - hook & line caught, during the season - PEI
- Seared rare - sear the outside of the tuna only...eat raw if you wish - less processing, the better for you - trust your fishmonger though
By all means do not cook this through, if you cook and tin the tuna, most or all of the nutrients are lost - rare baby rare, and rare is how often you should enjoy it as well. With the increase of tuna consumption over the years, the stock has not been able to recover that much. As being a predatory, big fish, there is a potential of increased mercury. If you know a fisher as well, or know how fish was caught it is best, as troll caught vs. the long line gillnetting that captures everything... There are a few culturalists - one in particular in Australia that is experimenting with farming the tuna from brood stock.
Patrick McMurray is the owner of Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill in Toronto. He is a champion shucker who has held North American and world titles. As a true ambassador - or perhaps missionary is a better term - for oysters and their culture, Patrick travels regularly to oyster and food festivals all over the world.
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