Sustainable Seafood – Class 1, a Pescetarian Menu

Our first class in sustainable seafood, taught by Chef Eric at UBC, featured a ‘pescetarian’ menu, based on a vegetarian diet that includes seafood or fish. All the dishes were vegetarian except for the main course, a salmon quiche.

This is an option for healthy living around the world with a couple of caveats…

  1.  the seafood/fish should be ‘sustainable’ — there are web sites that inform you about sustainability such as: http://www.seachoice.org;
  2. a quick rule of thumb: avoid larger fish that take longer to grow and have had more time to accumulate toxins and heavy metals in their bodies, and go for smaller fish instead, such as sardines…
THE MENU

We started with a tomato-based ‘Wild Mushroom Bisque’ served with ‘Homemade Rosemary Crackers‘.

Wild Mushroom Bisque

Wild Mushroom Bisque

mushrooms brushed with olive oil and salt and pepper, just before they are tossed in the oven and baked and used as a garnish on our mushroom bisque soup. The recipe just says assorted mushrooms, and I didn't write down the name of these so have no idea what they are, other than delicious. Anyone have an idea?

the mushrooms brushed with olive oil and salt and pepper, just before they are tossed in the oven and baked and used as a garnish on our mushroom bisque soup. The recipe just says assorted mushrooms, and I didn’t write down the name of these so have no idea what they are, other than delicious. Anyone have any idea?

removing the dark gills from the Portobello mushrooms to stop them from staining the soup broth black

removing the dark gills from the Portobello mushrooms will stop them from staining the soup broth black

ingredients for rosemary crackers

the ingredients for homemade rosemary crackers

homemade rosemary crackers

homemade rosemary crackers

The next dish was ‘Leafy Green Vegetable Filo Pie’ with ‘Curried Ginger Apple Chutney’. The filo pie was a pastry similar to Spanikopita, and probably my fave dish of the evening. It contained the usual spinach, onions and feta, but also Swiss chard, parsley, dill, mint and almonds.

Leafy Green Vegetable Filo Pie’

‘Leafy Green Vegetable Filo Pie’ served with ‘Curried Apple Chutney’

the Swiss chard instructions of ‘peeled and washed’ had us all scratching our heads… It turns out that it has stringy ribs like celery and you peel back the strings, kind of a fun thing to do...

the Swiss chard instructions of ‘peeled and washed’ had us all scratching our heads… It turns out that it has stringy ribs like celery and you peel back the strings, kind of a fun thing to do…

I have never made filo before. One thing you have to do is squeeze all the liquid out of the greens, or the pastries will end up soggy.

the leafy green filling for the filo pastries

squeezing all the liquid out of the leafy green filling to ensure that the filo pastries are not soggy

brushing olive oil on the sheets of filo

brushing olive oil on the sheets of filo

The ‘Filo Pie’ was accompanied by a Curried Ginger Apple Chutney that was everyone loved, at least judging by the number of questions on how it was made. It was very tasty and I thought it would also go particularly well with roast pork or, as another woman suggested, roast turkey or cheese and crusty bread, like in a ‘ploughman’s lunch’!

peeling the blanched tomato for the chutney...

peeling the blanched tomato for the chutney…

curried apple chutney in progress

curried apple chutney in progress

Because this menu was pescetarian, the seafood portion of the meal was Sockeye Salmon in a Rich Quiche. Chef Eric demonstrated how to filet a whole salmon – it’s not nearly as easy as he made it look! Later I went out and bought a whole salmon and I’m afraid my ‘filetting’ experience was more of a ‘butcher’ job.

Chef Eric filets a salmon

Chef Eric prepares to filet a salmon

the quiche filling just before baking

the quiche filling just before baking

cutting the quiche for serving

cutting the quiche for serving

the 'Salmon Quiche' served

the ‘Salmon Quiche’ served

The meal was rounded out with a Cucumber and Strawberry Salad sprinkled with feta to complement the filo pastries. Here I must say that I hate cucumber. I know it is an inoffensive vegetable, and I can’t  defend my distaste – nonetheless I think I would have been totally delighted with this salad if the cucumber had been replaced with grapes, cantelope and honeydew melons.

Strawberry and Cucumber Salad

Strawberry and Cucumber Salad with Dill

ingredients for the strawberry cucumber salad

ingredients for the strawberry cucumber salad

prepping the cucumber and strawberry salad started with using a melon baller on the cucumbers

prepping the cucumber and strawberry salad started with using a melon baller on the cucumbers

The strawberries in the salad were a great lead-in to the dessert of Strawberry Sorbet with Sablés (thin lemon cookies).

Strawberry & Lemon Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet with Sablés

lemon 'sables' or biscuits to go with the strawberry sorbet. I took a few home and these cookies are quite delightful all on their own - not too sweet and just a hint of lemon...

lemon ‘sablés‘ or biscuits to go with the strawberry sorbet. I took a few home and these cookies are quite delightful all on their own – not too sweet and just a hint of lemon…

Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/

Menus, hints and comments for the other three ‘Sustainable Seafood’ cooking classes:

‘Sustainable Seafood’ Cooking Class 2
‘Sustainable Seafood’ Cooking Class 3
‘Sustainable Seafood’ Cooking Class 4

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2 responses to “Sustainable Seafood – Class 1, a Pescetarian Menu

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class No. 2 | Albatz Gallery & Blog·

  2. Pingback: Sustainable Seafood UBC Cooking Class No. 3 | Albatz Gallery & Blog·

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