Sustainable Seafood UBC Cooking Class No. 4

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/.

The Menu:

• 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.

Flageolet Bean Soup

Flageolet Bean Soup

• 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’.

Tuna Lettuce Roll with Plum Sauce

Tuna Lettuce Roll with Plum Sauce

the albacore tuna was spiced with paprika, salt and pepper before being grilled

the albacore tuna was spiced with paprika, salt and pepper before being grilled

this flat grill was a marvelous contraction - ridged on one side and flat on the other - a great way to convert your gas stove to an indoor grill!

this flat grill was a marvelous contraction – ridged on one side and flat on the other – a great way to convert your gas stove to an indoor grill!

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.

Potato Sushi

Potato Sushi Tied with a Chive

the potato halves topped with a cream cheese mixture and then smoked mackerel

the potato halves topped with a cream cheese mixture and then smoked mackerel

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…

Vegetarian Pita Pizza

Vegetarian Pita Pizza

the crisped pita breads were layered with tomato sauce, then topped with all sorts of vegetables

the crisped pita breads were layered with tomato sauce, then topped with all sorts of vegetables plus fresh mozzarella

• 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.

Crepe Bundle

Crepe bundle filled with smoked salmon and scrambled egg mixture, tied up with a chive

pouring the buckwheat crepes into a special crepe pan that had been heated with salt beforehand to clean it

pouring the buckwheat crepes into a special crepe pan that had been heated with salt beforehand to clean it

the smoked salmon and egg mixture

the smoked salmon and scrambled egg mixture is placed in the centre of the buckwheat crepe; the chive is there to tie it into a crepe bundle

• 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….)

Peach Tart

Peach Tart: shortbread crust, creamy ricotta filling, peach compote topping

Baked tart straight out of the  oven

baked tart straight out of the oven

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/

3 responses to “Sustainable Seafood UBC Cooking Class No. 4

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

  2. Pingback: Sustainable Seafood – Class 1, a Pescetarian Menu | Albatz Gallery & Blog·

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

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