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…
- the seafood/fish should be ‘sustainable’ — there are web sites that inform you about sustainability such as: http://www.seachoice.org;
- 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…
We started with a tomato-based ‘Wild Mushroom Bisque’ served with ‘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.
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 ‘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’!
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.
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.
The strawberries in the salad were a great lead-in to the dessert of Strawberry Sorbet with Sablés (thin lemon cookies).
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: