Different types of tuna have different concerns as to both with mercury and sustainability. Again, the rough rule of thumb is that a smaller fish, such as albacore tuna, has way less mercury, and is way more sustainable than the huge tunas. Greenpeace has been working with several major Canadian retailers and producers to make them more aware of where they source their tuna. The results of the latest survey is at: http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/tunaranking/.
• To start Flageolet Bean Velouté Soup & Croutons – if ‘velouté’ means velvety, then this soup lived up to its name, with the croutons providing a ‘crunchy’ contrast.
• Avocado and Albacore Tuna Lettuce Roll with Asian Dipping Sauce – this was the one everyone wanted to work on including me. The romaine lettuce leaves were a bit too small to roll properly, but looked quite attractive as containers for the grilled and shredded albacore tuna and avocado/lime mix. The dipping sauce used the same plum butter as in the intensely-flavoured plum tart the previous class, and together with the ginger, garlic sesame oil, soy and rice wine vinegar produced an equally intense dipping sauce that was the perfect accompaniment to the lettuce ‘rolls’.
• Potato ‘Sushi’ with Smoked Mackerel – this fun dish was a play on textures and tastes with potato halves slathered with a creamy cheese mixture, topped with smoked mackerel, and all tied together with a chive.
• Quick Whole Wheat Vegetarian Pizzas – These were whole-wheat pita halves that were crisped in the oven and then layered with all sorts of vegetable goodies plus slices of fresh mozzarella. Personally I would have added anchovies as they are my favourite extra on vegetarian pizzas, and being tiny are a great example of a sustainable fish…
• Buckwheat Galette (Crepes) with Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs
The preparation of the steel crepe pans was interesting – they were ‘seasoned’ with layer of salt heated to a quite high temperature – the salt was later tossed out, along with any rust and other impurities.
• For dessert we had a Ricotta Tart with Fresh Seasonal Compote, in this case peach and very indulgent! (but no fish in this dish alas….)
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/
More notes on sustainable seafood:
Other things to watch out for in seafood are persistent organic compounds (dioxins, PCBs and arsenic) as well as overuse of antibiotics and hormones. For these things it is helpful to know where the fish and seafood were caught/farmed. Some enlightened stores list the origin of their seafood, helping you to become a more informed consumer.
You can also check out the Greenpeace rankings of Supermarket Chains. The Canadian Rating: https://p3-admin.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/ocean/Seafood/Get-involved/2012-supermarket-ranking/
In the US the stores are rated on all their seafood practices via the ‘Carting Away the Oceans’, (CATO): http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/media-center/reports/Carting-Away-the-Oceans-VI/