Gotta love Seafood! Served hot or chilled seafood with its vast array of types and preparations never fails to impress. Farm raised or wild and sustainable… flat fish, round fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, the seemingly endless variety takes special care and treatment to serve it at its best. Here are some tips for purchasing, storing, cooking and presenting the fruits of the sea!
- Before buying seafood do some research on where it comes from to see how it was harvested and/or raised. One popular site is Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Food Watch
- Buy the freshest seafood you can find and remember that fresh fish does not smell at all
- If not cooked immediately fish should be stored on ice or marinated as soon as you bring it home
- Shell fish (mollusks) should be closed and are alive when purchased so make sure not to cover tightly so they won’t suffocate
- The best way to clean mollusks is to scrub them with kosher salt and a little cold water. Do this in bowl by rubbing them together briskly with the salt to clean them well and rinsing until the water is clear
- Don’t overcook seafood. Its protein make-up is different from meat and can dry out and become tough if overcooked
- Always trim off the dark blood line of fish; this is where toxins can build up in the fish
- Some fish skin can be eaten and some should be trimmed off, depends on the species
If you like seafood chowder check out my recipe for Fish Market Chowder on my recipe page. It calls for using fish stock, also known as fumet. Fish stock should be made with white fish bones, if possible. The best ones are flounder, turbot, or sole. It should be cooked for a short time (30 minutes with 15 minutes off the stove to let it settle ) and be skimmed well. I make mine with onions, parsley, bay leaves, pepper corns and dry white wine. The poaching liquid from seafood can be used to replace fish stock if needed in a pinch. That is if it is made properly.
The processes, techniques and recipes are endless since there are so many types of fish and seafood that come from our oceans. Classic recipes and preparations are found in every major cuisine worldwide. If you love to cook and haven’t had much experience with seafood I encourage you to learn to cook seafood and you will soon find out how great fish can be!