Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fish and Chips Quick and Easy

Since I talked about frying earlier this week thought I would include a quick easy recipe anyone can do. The correct temperature is the key as it keeps the fish from absorbing oil and makes it light and crisp.

Don't have bread crumbs? Use prepackaged panko, that's what I do.

Good fish substitutes would be red fish, black drum, striped bass, or pollock.

You'll find a link at the end for more free recipes, (not just seafood), so check it out.

Ingredients :

1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1 pound red snapper fillets

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs


In a large heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Dip fillets into beaten egg and dredge in bread crumbs.

Gently slide fish into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve hot.

More free recipes

Monday, April 27, 2009

Seafood Fried Right

There is probably nothing better than a plate full of properly fried seafood. The crunchy seasoned crust perfectly compliments the sweet, moist fish inside it. On the other hand, there's nothing much worse than poorly fried fish either.

Fried seafood has garnered an unearned bad reputation simply because it is fried in oil, which to some equates to added fat and being unhealthy. However, when done correctly, fried seafood is not only healthy, but as stated above, a real taste treat.

So, how to fry right? The first step is to use the right oil for the job, and for me that means peanut oil. Not only is it a healthy choice for cooking, it will take the heat, which is the next important step.

Proper frying temperature is essential to having the optimum results from your frying efforts. Recommended temperature for frying is 375 f, this will cook the fish quickly without giving it time to soak up any excess oil. Invest in a frying thermometer, they're cheap, and will make you a great fry cook. Important to remember when cooking in batches, always allow oil to return to the proper temperature before adding new seafood.

Whether using a pan or deep fryer, don't crowd your seafood. Leave enough room so it can float freely and be evenly cooked on all sides. When your fish turns golden brown and floats to the top it is done. Remove from the oil with a slotted tool or tongs and place on a wire rack over paper towels to drain.

If done correctly you will have created one of the most delicious dishes known to man, fried seafood. The crust should be golden brown and crisp, the fish moist and tender. Cooked at the proper temperature and drained properly, the fish will retain a negligible amount of oil, and remember what little is absorbed is a healthy additive, so enjoy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NBC Reports on Threat of Over Fishing

Watch this video from NBC news on the threat of over fishing and some of the progress being made to combat it.

Put Pollock on Your Plate

Having talked about Pollock and the fact that it is a good substitute for Cod, I thought I should include a recipe featuring it. Pollock is an excellent source of protein and minerals, vitamin A and has 500 mg of Omega-3 per 3.5 oz. serving.

The following recipe and picture come from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Pan-Seared Alaska Pollock with Vegetables

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 2

4 Alaska Pollock fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

3 Tablespoons olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil, divided

Favorite seasoning/salt and pepper blend, to taste

1 pound favorite sliced or chopped fresh stir-fry vegetables (bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, etc.)

2 Tablespoons prepared Asian sauce of your choice

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Pollock fillets under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of fillets with 1-1/2 tablespoons oil. Place fillets in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 minutes until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn fillets over and sprinkle with favorite seasoning. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 2 minutes. (Reduce cook time by half for fresh or thawed fillets.) Cook just until fish is opaque throughout. Remove fillets from skillet; keep warm.

Stir-fry vegetables in remaining oil, adding the Asian sauce at the end of cooking time.

To serve, divide vegetables among four plates and top with Alaska Pollock fillet.

Nutrients per serving: 236 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 46% calories from fat, 101mg cholesterol, 26g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 489mg sodium, 87mg calcium and 1.5g omega-3 fatty acids.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Nearly Depleted

According to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), one of the worlds largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, the breeding stock of Mediterranean blue fin tuna is on course to disappear by 2012 if current fishing practices remain unchanged.

This is not environmentalist scare tactics, which I feel we sometimes see too much of and wind up ignoring factual reports, this is based on hard scientific evidence based on tracking population and catch rates in the region over a period of years.

The main concern here is the breed stock of the blue fin, fish that are four years old and over 35kg. In 2007 the population of breeding tuna was one fourth of the levels 50 years ago. The decline has accelerated greatly in the last 10 years.

Before the advent of large scale industrial fishing, blue fin in the area were weighing in as high as 900kg. Now the average catch off the coast of Libya is a mere 65kg.This has had a huge impact on the population of the species, as these giant tunas were prolific breeders, and in their absence the population suffers greatly.

WWF is calling for an immediate closure of the blue fin fishery in the Mediterranean to give the species a chance to recover, but the prospects of that happening are not good. The season has started business as usual.

Most of us have never eaten blue fin, or even seen it in a market for that matter. It is an elitist luxury gourmet item that is easily substituted by the much more abundant Ahi tunas (yellow fin and big eye).

It's a shame that such a wonderful fish will soon be gone just so some unaware socialite can have their exclusive sashimi. Wonder what they'll eat out of existence next?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NOAA Commits $16 Million to Assist the Northeast Fishing Industry

On April 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that they will allocate $16 million of it's current fiscal budget to assist the Northeast fishing industry with the transition to managing the fishery by catches and shares.

Of this $6 million will go to cooperative research whereby fishermen and scientists will work together to improve surveys of fish stocks as well as develop and test fishing gear that targets healthy stock.

The balance will be used to develop data reporting and monitoring systems for better documentation of catches and creating a transparent and almost real time management of the fishery.

These efforts will create a healthier ocean and a healthier fishery. Securing a sustainable fishery means secure jobs for the fishermen, and the communities and industries that support and depend on them. Not to mention a sustainable and healthy food supply for our nation and others.

This is government at its best, working with the private sector not only to improve the lives and income of our people, but our environment as well. Actions like this are long overdue.

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Nations Seafood Cookbook

I came across this cookbook while doing some research on the net. Every once in a while you stumble across something and just go "Wow, how cool is that?". To me, this is one of those things.

Published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and 16 Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, Camus(chum-us): West Coast Cooking Nuu-chah-nulth Style, is a 90 page cookbook with color photographs, black and white historical photos, and illustrations that focuses on traditional recipes and seasonal ingredients from the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Northern Washington state.

Here are some features of the book as listed on their order page:

• 65 original First Nations seafood recipes
• 24 full-colour recipe photos; 10 b/w historic photos
• 8 pieces of original artwork by Kelly Poirier
• traditional seafood preparation/preservation methods
• oral history anecdotes from Nuu-chah-nulth members
• conversion tables, measurements, and much more!

This is more than a cookbook, it is a conversation piece, and a piece of history as well.

I have no vested interest in this book, but at $14.95 plus $4 S&H, I think it is a great bargain and a must have for any seafood lover.

Check out the book here, and see if you don't agree.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Come and I Will Make You a Fisher of Men...

There is a book, written many years ago, by Lloyd C. Douglas entitled "The Big Fisherman". It is a novel surrounding the apostle Peter and the story of Jesus, a fictional account based on the information available in the Bible and a few other sources.

My father was so impressed with the story, and it's author, that he named me after the author, thus I became Douglas, or Doug to my friends.

As a result, since my beginning, my life has, in one way or another revolved around fishing, fish, and seafood.

My fondest memories are of fishing with my Dad, or my children, or their kids, or my friends, and the resulting meals afterward.

I just thought that today, being Easter Sunday, would be a good time to explain why seafood, and fishing is such a passion for me, and why I felt the need to write about it.

I am not a religious fanatic of any kind, many who know me might be surprised at the depth of my faith, but when Jesus said, "Come and I will make you a fisher of men.", I feel like I could have been one of those men, with ordinary lives, who were about to change the history of the world, while fishing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This recipe comes from Gloria, one of my online foodie friends who has a great blog with all kinds of original recipes, not just seafood. When I saw this one I just had to ask permission to reprint.

As with most good seafood recipes, this is simple yet elegant, for more great recipes like this visit Gloria at her blog. Enjoy.


A blog about cooking, food, recipes, ideas and tips around the house.


4 halibut or red snapper fillets

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

2 jalapeno peppers finely minced seeds and ribs removed

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

Cajun seasoning (optional)


Mix all ingredients, except fish, salt and pepper, and Cajun seasoning together in a ziploc bag. Add the fillets and shake mixing well. Marinate in the fridge, turning once or twice for 20 minutes.

Remove fillets, discard marinade. Season fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle the fillets with a little cajun seasoning and broil on high for 6 or 7 minutes. Check for doneness. The fillets should be opaque in the center.

Squeeze a little lime juice on the fillets when serving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When Good Fish Go Bad...

Here are some things you should look for when purchasing fish at the market to ensure you have a pleasant meal when you get home.

First of all the fish should be displayed in a refrigerated glass front case on a bed of fresh ice. The refrigeration is to ensure the ice doesn't melt, if the ice appears to be melting, the fish is not being kept at the proper temperature.

Now, here are the five things to look for when purchasing fresh fish:

1.Probably the one we all know, fish should smell fresh and mild, the leaner fish will have almost no smell at all while the fattier fish will have a slightly sea-breeze aroma. If you detect an ammonia-like odor it is definitely bad.

2. If you are looking at whole fish the eyes should be clear and bulge slightly. Cloudy sunken eyes are a clear sign the fish is past it's prime. Sometimes the eyes may have been damaged in capture or handling, and some fish like walleye pike have naturally cloudy eyes. Therefore you will want to look at the gills, they should be almost ruby red in color, to me bright red gills are the best indicator of a fresh whole fish.

3. Fish whether whole or filleted should have firm shiny flesh. Dull or dry looking flesh, especially if it appears to be separating is a clear sign of aged fish. Please note however if you are looking at previously frozen fish it will have lost some of its luster but will still be fine.

4. As well as being firm the flesh should have a spring too it. When pressed slightly with your finger it should spring back and not leave an impression where touched.

5. Fish fillets should have no darkening or drying around the edges. There should be no discoloration usually green or yellowish and again should not be dry or mushy.

If you look for these five indicators you should be able to ensure yourself that the fish you take home will make an excellent meal.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Is It Kosher?

With Passover fast approaching I thought I should post what is required for a fish to be considered Kosher. The basic rule is a fish must have fins and scales, with the scales easily removable without damaging the skin of the fish.

However I thought I should seek out a more reliable source and found one at this site of, and reprint their description here:


"The Torah establishes two criteria to determine what are kosher fish. The fish must have fins and scales. The scales must be easily removable without damaging the skin. [Generally, scales on kosher fish are either thin, rounded and smooth-edged (cycloid) or narrow segments that are similar to teeth of a comb (ctenoid)]. All shellfish are prohibited. Unlike meat and poultry, fish requires no special preparation. Nonetheless, the fish scales must be visible to the consumer in order to establish the kosher status of the fish. Therefore, filleted or ground fish should not be purchased unless properly supervised, or the fillet has a skin tab with scales attached to the flesh. Furthermore, purchasing fish in a non-kosher fish store is problematic, even if the scales are intact, because the knives and tables are not kosher, and Rabbinic guidance should be sought.

Rabbinic law prohibits consumption of fish and meat together.

Processed and smoked fish products require reliable rabbinic supervision, as do all processed foods."

End Quote

A Fish by Any Other Name...

Picked up on this article online from the Press and Journal out of Scotland.

A local market has decided to change the name of the fish called pollack to the name of Colin. They have done this to help customers who were too embarrassed to ask for the fish by name at the counter. Obviously pollack (known as pollock in the U.S.) has a similar spelling to a derogatory term used towards people from Poland. A pound of Colin anyone?

Pollock is a firm white fish that is an inexpensive alternative to cod. Most U.S. pollock comes from the sustainable fishery of Alaska, it is very abundant and used in many commercial seafood products from surimi (imitation crab), to fish sticks, and most fast food fish sandwiches.

The next time you have a recipe calling for cod, try the more cost and eco friendly alternative of pollock, just don't ask for Colin, he might not be working that day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Halibut with Wasabi Cream

Here's another halibut recipe I think you will enjoy. I recommend trying to get your fillets from younger halibut (under 30 lb fish), I like the flavor of the fish better and for the health conscious, the contaminant level is considerably less in younger fish.

Halibut with Wasabi Cream

1-1/2 Tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp Sambal Oelek (Asian chile sauce)
1/4 c Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 tsp Wasabi paste
1/2Tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 c sour cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 Tbsp water

4-8oz skinless halibut fillets 1-1/2 in. approx

Preheat oven to 400 degree (F)

To make vinaigrette, blend rice vinegar, Sambal Oelek, Dijon Mustard and 1/3 c oil in a blender until smooth.

To make the cream, whisk wasabi, water and sour cream, season with salt.

Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each fillet with parsley. Heat skillet until hot and add oil, then fish, parsley side up. Sear until underside is brown. Turn fish over and put the skillet in oven and roast until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Serve parsley side up with a spoonful of each sauce.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mercury in Seafood

One of the biggest concerns I am confronted with by seafood consumers is the mercury content of seafood. There seems to be mass confusion and distortion of facts surrounding this issue.

This all goes back to a report issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which was issued in March of 2004 and can be found here:

This was an article of Advice issued for women who might become pregnant, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children. In other words, if you don't fit any of these categories, you really have nothing to worry about.

Here is the gist of the report taken directly from the above link.


"By following these 3 recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.


Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.


Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.

Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.


Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.

Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions. "

End of direct quote.

Strangely, I am often asked about which salmon is high in mercury, when the report clearly states it is a low mercury (read recommended) fish. I guess just the fact it was mentioned in the report salmon, shrimp, and catfish are guilty by association.

If you fall under one of the categories listed in this report, basically a woman of child bearing years or nursing mother, a young child, or if you have a medical condition in which you doctor has advised avoidance of methylmercury (the type of mercury found in seafood), then by all means be selective in the type of seafood you consume.

If you are one of us in the teaming masses who don't fit into these categories, eat two or three servings of your favorite seafood a week without fearing for your life. In fact it will add years and quality to your life.

Just make sure you have a variety, not to just break up the monotony, but different items of seafood have different nutrients and will give you a better balanced diet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More on Alaska Halibut

As I mentioned earlier Alaska Halibut is now available fresh in most markets. Here are some nutritional information and a nice recipe to try out.

Halibut is a naturally lean and light fish, it is high in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium and is low in overall calories, fat and sodium.

Information based on 3.5 oz./100 grams

Calories: 140, Protein (g): 26, Fat (g): 3, Saturated Fat (g): 0, Sodium (mg): 70, Cholesterol (mg): 40, Omega-3 (mg): 500

Now to the good stuff, being a native Texan I picked out this Mexican style recipe which I think really compliments the fish. You can use this to bake (roast), or grill. The oven should be 400 degrees, grill about 375 (med-high), cooking time approx. 10 minutes per inch of thickness, (weight, width, length don't matter, always judge cooking time by the thickness of the fillet), or until just opaque throughout. Serves 2.

Cilantro-Lime Alaska Halibut

1/2 Tsp. Lime zest, grated

3 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced

1/4 Tsp. Cumin, ground

1 Tbsp. Olive oil, EV

2 - 6 to 8 oz. Alaska Halibut fillets
Salt and Pepper to taste, recommend sea salt.

1. Combine lime zest, cilantro, garlic, cumin and olive oil.

2. Season halibut to taste with salt and pepper; coat pieces with cilantro-lime mixture.

3. Roast or grill until cooked through.