Savory sea fare
SAUTÉED SWORDFISH STEAK WITH AVOCADO, FRESH CRAB AND RED CHILE VINAIGRETTE
John M. Carver, executive chef/partner, Eddie V’s Restaurants Inc., www.eddiev.com Yield: 2 servings 2 8-oz. swordfish steaks, 1” thick Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste 6 T. olive oil, divided 1 avocado, peeled and diced into 1/2” cubes 1 T. red bell pepper, very fine dice 1 T. serrano pepper, very fine dice 1 T. red onion, very fine dice 4 T. red wine vinegar 1 T. sambal chile sauce 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped 4 oz. fresh crab meat, shelled Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional) Method (1) Season swordfish on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a hot iron skillet, and sauté swordfish to desired doneness (medium-rare is preferable). Remove from pan, and keep warm. (2) Combine avocado, peppers, onion, vinegar, 4 T. olive oil, sambal and cilantro in a bowl; mix gently. Season with salt to taste. (3) To serve, place swordfish in the center of a hot plate, and top with 1/2 the avocado mixture. (4) Place 2 oz. fresh crab meat on top of avocado mixture, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately. Wine pairing: Sol Rouge Viognier “Catie’s Corner” 2008 (California) is a big, viscous Viognier with peach and apricot flavors and a hint of lime that will cool the heat from the chile vinaigrette and set off the “meaty” swordfish steaks.
The sustainable seafood debate
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by Maggie Shea “Green Chefs, Blue Ocean actually connects chefs to sustainable product. They can search by product, type or location of source.” Blue Ocean has created a methodology for assessing the sustainability of seafood based on two sets of questions that pertain to farmed and wild-caught seafood, since the issues facing each method are different. This methodology serves as the basis for The Sustainable Seafood Course, a free online class that informs chefs on seafood sustainability. Additionally, chefs can log on to www. fishchoice.com to find only those seafood products that meet or exceed the criteria set out by the environmental community. Here chefs can connect with purveyors of sustainable seafood choices based on the recommendations of collaborators that include the Blue Ocean Institute, FishWise, the Marine Stewardship Council, The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, SeaChoice and New England Aquarium. “While it’s frustrating that there isn’t one right answer, there are all these different approaches chefs can take,” McLaughlin says. “The solution has to fit in with what the chef is passionate about, whether it’s seasonal or locally sourced seafood.”
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hen it comes to selecting, purchasing and menuing fish that are sustainable, seasonal and local, chefs face a number of issues. It doesn’t stop at simply wild versus farmed fish, either, according to Kate McLaughlin, seafood program director at the Blue Ocean Institute (www.blueocean.org). “There is no hard, fast rule for choosing seafood, since not all farmed or wild fish is necessarily the right answer,” McLaughlin says. “If the fish are farmed, you have to find out what kind of aquaculture system is being used. You want to know what kinds of additives were permitted and what the feed was like. If the fish are wild, there are differences in the health of each population and how the fish should be caught.” This lack of definitive answers is partly what prompted the Blue Ocean Institute, in collaboration with Chefs Collaborative, to develop Green Chefs, Blue Ocean (www.oceanfriendlychefs.org), an online training program and resource center for chefs seeking information on sustainable seafood. “Chefs have been aware of sustainability for some time, but up until now, that’s where the journey ended,” McLaughlin says.
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