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Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Know Where Your Fish Comes From, A Pearl for Dinner and Dreaming Big Dreams

The Price of Fish

Do you know where your seafood comes from?  A recent AP article  "Are Slaves Catching the Fish You Buy?" presents some disturbing evidence that if you shop at some of the big box grocery stores you could be eating seafood that was caught by people who are forced to live their lives on trawlers and in cages.  Overly dramatic?  If your stomach is feeling extra strong today, take a look at the article which describes living conditions for hundreds of Burmese slaves who are living out their lives out as captives aboard huge trawlers in the Indian Ocean.  When the boats are docked in Indonesia, captives who are seen as flight risks are kept in cages in places like Benjina, Indonesia.  They are forced to work shifts of 20-22 hours, they have little food and unclean water and are beaten into submission for little or no pay at all.  Many people die from the treatment and the ones who survive are desperate for the world to know how the food they are eating was caught.

Tracking seafood from Indonesia to its final destination (your dinner plate) is a difficult process.  Huge factory ships bring their catch to processing plants where they are combined with other catches and then processed.  Deciding whether one particular fish was caught by a ship using slave labor is virtually impossible once the fish leaves the trawler that caught it.  Pointing fingers at US corporations that buy fish from that part of the world isn't exactly fair since there is no way of knowing EXACTLY where it came from.  However, the onus is on these large companies to carry out investigations until they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the food they are putting on US dinner tables is NOT associated with human trafficking and slavery. 

I know it seems that fresh seafood is expensive, or rather seafood done right is expensive and it goes without saying that there are cheaper alternatives out there to the fish I sell.  If you are willing to chance buying inferior quality, fish from unknown sanitary conditions and most importantly, seafood caught by slave labor, then take a look at my competition.  If you want the very freshest fish available,  if you want fish from only sustainable populations or from the very best farming operations in the world, if you value a human life more than the life of a fish in the ocean,  you better stick with me.

Here's a list of what's in my case today and where it came from:
Tuna - Louisiana
Black Drum - Louisiana
King Salmon - Alaska
Red Snapper - Louisiana
Striped Bass- Virginia
Triggerfish - Florida
Dover Sole - Washington
Cod - Alaska
Rainbow Trout - North Carolina
Barramundi - Massachusetts
Halibut - Alaska
Sea Bass -  Argentina
Swordfish - New Zealand
Mahi - Ecuador
Cobia  - Panama
Verlasso Atlantic Salmon - Chile
Steelhead - Norway
Corvina  - Suriname
Scottish Salmon  - Great Britain

Are You Missing Your Mussels?
In case you have been wondering about the limited supply of our black mussels, here's a picture of a mussel farmer driving to work last week in Prince Edward Island:

Enough said.


Our Newest Oyster
I copied this  Montauk Pearl Oysters article from the  New York Times because it has a tasty-sounding recipe in it and features one of our new oysters.  Montauk Pearls are beautifully clean and briny oysters that are not easy to find - unless, of course, you shop at Kathleen's Catch.  Even though they are newcomers, they are well-known in the northeast at restaurants but until recently unavailable in the retail market.  Why don't you give them a try?

Montauk Pearl Oysters for Your Kitchen and More






Photo

The oysters at Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room in the Flatiron district. Credit Tina Fineberg for The New York Times

To Savor: Hamptons Pearls (The Edible Kind)
Until quite recently, you could get Montauk Pearl Oysters from Long Island only in restaurants. But now these saline beauties are available from several retail sources like Mermaid’s Garden in Brooklyn and the Good Eggs delivery service. At Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room in the Flatiron district, the chef Alex Pirani serves them raw on the half-shell and cooked. Here’s his recipe for broiled oysters: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, add a quarter-cup of shallots, sauté until soft, then stir in a quarter-cup of flour. Slowly whisk in three-quarters of a cup scalded milk and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper, refrigerate until cool, then spoon onto 10 oysters on the half-shell. Dust with grated Grana Padano and run them under the broiler to gild the top: Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room, 6 West 24th Street, 212-234-2373, bosrestaurant.com; goodeggs.com, 646-863-5578; and Mermaid’s Garden, 644 Vanderbilt Avenue (Park Place), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, 718-638-1910, mermaidsgardennyc.com.

Other Oysters Available This Week at Kathleen's Catch
Shigoku
St Ann's Bay
Blue Point
Sweet Jesus
Malpeque
Grand Pearls

This Week's Special

Swordfish  $8.99 per 6 ounces.

Catch to Go 
Honey Jalapeno Salmon over Black Bean and Corn Salad
Asian BBQ Cod with Asparagus
Roasted Halibut with Green Beans and Asian Cilantro Sauce
Oven Fried Catfish with Green Beans

Halibut's Back! 
March 15th marked the opening of the US halibut season and we have some fabulous fish to show for it!   And you better hurry in... the season only lasts until November 15th.

And Finally
The cherry trees blooming outside my window make me look forward to backyard parties and long walks with my dog.  Swimming with my grandkids is just around the corner! I' m going to try this week to take time to appreciate the amazing life we live here in Johns Creek, GA.   When people in other parts of the world are trapped in bamboo cages in between long fishing trips on factory trawlers, I need to remind myself that all is not well throughout the world.  It's on us to dream of a better life for everyone worldwide.  And to be grateful.

 Blessings,

Kathleen

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day a Day Late

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm ashamed to say that that an entire month has gone by since I have written a blog entry.  Believe me, it's not because I haven't wanted to write - I could sit and blabber all day long on this blog if I had the time!  Too much going on at Kathleen's Catch these days and I just have trouble finding the time to gather my thoughts.

Well, here's some news:


Destiny Meredith comes to us from the panhandle of Florida so she knows a thing or two about fish! Destiny lives in Duluth with her husband, Tyler,  and her son, Cameron.  Stop by to say hello and take a listen to her awesome southern drawl. :)))

This week's special is wild striped bass for $18.50/lb.  I love love love this fish with the flavors of wild mushrooms, wild rice and balsamic.  Let's see.  Wild striped bass, wild mushrooms and wild rice - you are going to have to work on behaving yourself with a wild dish like this.

St. Patrick's Day means Guinness and corned beef.  I'm not about to give you a recipe for corned beef and cabbage although it was my mother's  favorite dish.  Being an Irishwoman, she also loved boiled potatoes.  Erin go Bragh! So let's try to live a few extra years, shall we, and substitute Irish Fish Pie for the corned beef.   This dish is loaded with cheese and butter lest you think you are getting off too lightly.  But at least Fish Pie won't make you thirsty like corned beef and it doesn't get stuck in your teeth.


Serves 8
Southern translation provided by Destiny...

Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs cod or other white fish(Is there another white fish besides catfish???)
2 ounces butter
2 ounces flour
1/2 liter milk (just a smidge over 2 cups)
3-1/2 ounces grated cheese (Velveeta)

Scone Topping (Biscuit Topping)
1 cup flour
2 ounces grated cheese (or Velveeta)
2 ounces butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 egg yolk
Milk

Directions:
1.Place fish fillets in the bottom of a round oven dish. (A deep dish pie plate)

2.Make a cheese sauce with the butter, flour, milk and grated cheese and pour over fish.

3.Make scone (biscuit) dough by rubbing the butter into the flour with baking powder and pinch of salt.

4.Add grated cheese and drop egg yolk into the mixture and add enough milk to make a workable dough.

5.Roll out to a thickness of 1/2" and cut into small rounds with a scone (biscuit) cutter.

6.Drop these rounds on top of the fish mixture so that they just about cover the surface and then glaze them with a little milk.

7.Sprinkle some more grated cheese over them and bake at 450F for 25-30 minutes or until the scones (biscuits) are golden brown.


Ireland is not as far away from Johns Creek as you thought :)

This week's Catch to Go selections are: 

Teriyaki Baked Steelhead over Linguine
Red Snapper with Lemon Dill Cream and Roasted Potatoes
Oven-Fried Catfish with Green Beans
Asian Barbeque Glazed Cod with Asparagus
Heather and Alan Collins have been traveling again and sent me this picture from Louisiana Lagniappe in Destin, Florida.  Soft shell crabs the size of the plate!!


Our softshells typically come from the Chesapeake and they are behind schedule up there due to the cold weather.  We are looking for them to arrive here in late May.  Give us a call and get on our watch list to be the first to know when softshells arrive!

Again, sorry to be so long in writing.  I promise to be back on track now.  I miss writing to you and you writing to me.  Let's stay in touch!

Blessings,

Kathleen