Thursday, March 20, 2014

SENA14: How To Cook Seafood

"In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight."
---Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

As I mentioned in a previous post about the Seafood Expo North America, annual seafood consumption has decreased down to 14.4 pounds although it is recommended that Americans consume at least 26 pounds. Other reports indicate that seafood consumption at restaurants is actually increasing in many places meaning that less and less people are cooking seafood at home. Cost is a significant factor in this situation, but another important factor is that people are afraid of cooking seafood at home. Or they simply don't understand the best ways to prepare seafood at home. In a formal survey on Facebook, even some of my more food-oriented friends admitted to not being confident in cooking seafood.

Do you have difficulty preparing seafood at home? Do you know how to cook fish and shellfish? Are there reasons why you don't cook more seafood at home?

Fish can be prepared in a myriad of methods, from raw to baked, fried to grilled. It can be added to soups, stews, risottos, casseroles, stir fry or sauces. Seafood can be prepared very simply and still possess plenty of taste. Buy a seafood cookbook and experiment if you want to make more intricate dishes. Seek out help from other cooks about the best ways to prepare seafood. It isn't as hard to prepare as you think.

While I was at SENA, I wanted to gather some seafood cooking recipes and tips to help my readers, to try to make it easier for them to cook seafood at home. At SENA, one of the primary themes was that consumers need more education, and that is certainly true in regards to seafood preparation. Though SENA is mainly a trade show, a fair number of the exhibitors offered recipes or small cookbooks that you could take home. Plus, they offered plenty of verbal advice on how to best prepare the seafood they had to offer. As I can't really share all those written recipes I picked up, I garnered some links to recipes on some of their websites. In addition, I got a couple of chefs to provide some basic advice for home cooks.

Chef Justin Timineri is the executive chef and culinary ambassador of the Florida Dept. of Agriculture, as well as the resident chef on How To Do Florida, a television series where he primarily discusses and cooks seafood. Chef Timineri stated that consumers definitely should ask where there seafood comes from, choosing domestic over imported, and seeking what is seasonal. And of course he recommends Gulf seafood, stating it needs little preparation. As Chef Timineri says, "With seafood, less is better." He also suggests that home cooks begin by preparing easier seafood, such as shrimp and clams, before moving up to the more difficult fin fish. Rather than select a new recipe, you can use any old recipe, substituting seafood for whatever other protein is in the recipe, such as beef or chicken.

Check out the Gulf Coast Seafood Recipes where you will find recipes for seafood like crab, shrimp oysters, and fin fish. The site has lots of search capability so you can modify your search to exactly what you need.

Chef Nathan Fong, a food stylist, journalist, and TV personality who cooked at the British Colombia booth, also presented some basic information for home cooks. However, his advice was not cooking per se, but involved how best to select seafood for purchase. Check out his advice and learn a very important foundation to seafood preparation.

Jacqueline Church, who helped out Chef Fong at the Expo, operates Kitchen Confidence, providing private cooking classes on a wide variety of topics. If you want to learn how to prepare seafood, you could take her class: "Forget Fishsticks! Enjoying sustainable seafood at home. What to shop for, how to prepare it. Sustainable seafood 101 and great recipes and tips. Cooking fish en papillote, Shrimp-fried rice, Whole fish en croute (baked in salt crust); even an easy microwave poached fish with ginger-scallion sauce." Could be a fun way to gain more confidence in cooking fish at home.

Verlasso Salmon Recipes provides 24 salmon recipes, including the intriguing Verlasso Smoked Salmon and Chive Biscuits. There is also a page, Verlasso Salmon Cooking Techniques, which details six techniques to prepare you salmon, from grilling to poaching.

As I previously mentioned, it is ok to eat most Chilean Sea Bass but maybe you need a recipe to enjoy it once again. Check out Colto Toothfish/Chilean Sea Bass Recipes, sixteen recipes including Wok-fried Patagonian Toothfish. I still like my own Sake Miso Glaze on Chilean SeaBass.

Mississippi Gulf Seafood Recipes is a treasure trove with multiple cookbooks for shrimp, oysters, crab and fin fish. Lots of recipes, of varying levels of difficulty.

Alaska Seafood Recipes also offers lots of recipes, from appetizers to fish tacos, soups to sandwiches.

Florida Seafood Recipes provides recipes for everything from tuna to oysters, and snapper to shrimp.

Louisiana Seafood Recipes gets a little more daring, offering recipes for breakfast to dessert, and includes seafood such as crabs, crawfish, shrimp and even alligator.

Maryland Seafood Recipes has over a dozen recipes, many of them for crab, as would be expected. If you want recipes for items such as black cod, sole and pink shrimp, then check out Oregon Trawl Seafood Recipes. Or even check North Carolina Seafood Book, finding recipes involving crabs, scallops, clams, shrimp and oysters.

If you love salmon, and who doesn't, you can peruse Scottish Salmon Recipes for recipes including sushi to omelettes. For something other than salmon, the Scotland Seafood Recipes has 30 recipes, for everything from pizza to clam cakes, using a variety of seafood.

The Shrimp Recipes from Wood's Fisheries has some interesting dishes such as Shrimp Tandori.

I love mussels and they are relatively easy to cook, and the broth/sauce is the most important element. On the Prince Edward Aqua Farms Shellfish Recipes there are recipes for more than just mussels, but also oysters, clams, and quahogs. However, Chef Alain Bosse, who prepared some delicious mussels at SENA, has a new cookbook due out next month and it sounds fascinating, Mussels: Preparing, Cooking and Enjoying a Sensational Seafood.

 What is your best advice for cooking seafood at home?

"I've been making sushi for 38 years, and I'm still learning. You have to consider the size and color of the ingredients, how much salt and vinegar to use and how the seasons affect the fattiness of the fish."
--Masaharu Morimoto


Unknown said...

Looking For More? Easy and Quick Fish and Seafood Recipes include Salmon, Tuna, Sea bass , lobster and much more at

Unknown said...

Looking For More? Easy and Quick Fish and Seafood Recipes include Salmon, Tuna, Sea bass , lobster and much more at