Most cooks think about eating fish and seafood during the spring, summer and early fall months. But there’s lots of good fish and seafood available all winter long, often in places you’d least expect to look.
Seaver talked about many regional types of fish that are worth seeking out in winter, including:
Seaver then discussed frozen seafood. Yes, I said frozen seafood. And we’re not talking about fish sticks here!
The technological advances in freezing fish and seafood have been enormous in past years, he says. Many fishermen and women are investing in at-sea processing equipment so they can freeze fish right after it is harvested. The fish is frozen at lower temperatures which, he says, can “lead to lower costs, lower waste and fish that is ultimately cheaper to transport.”
I recently tried cooking with frozen rockfish from Beaver Street Fisheries in Jacksonville, Florida. They sell a variety of frozen fish, and I was shocked to find the frozen fillets to be every bit as good as fresh ones, if not better. I then went to my local fish store and bought two frozen red snapper fillets and was thrilled with the quality. Frozen fish is no longer second rate.
Seaver then went on to say, “Winter lends itself to revisiting preserved seafood, like Finnan haddie, smoked salmon, canned tuna, anchovies and sardines.”
Frozen fish, smoked fish, canned fish and locally sourced winter fish provide a whole lot of choice for winter eating. Give these three recipes a try to get you started. And always look for sustainably raised fish and seafood. For more information about sustainability, check out the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Seafood Watch.
Smoked haddock, also called Finnan haddie, is a lightly smoked fillet of haddock. It is often found in the freezer section of many fish stores. I use it here to make this rich chowder, ideal for a cold winter day.
This recipe is from my book Soup Swap (Chronicle Books). My friends Rebecca Mitchell and Ben Harris served this chowder at a Soup Supper and we all went nuts for the smoky, sweet, delicate flavor. They found the original recipe in a British magazine called Country Living. This is my adaptation. Serve this rich chowder piping hot, with warm crusty bread or biscuits.
As far as I’m concerned anchovies — small, oily fish found in the Mediterranean — are the single greatest canned or jarred food in the world. They’re salty, with a loud, pronounced flavor that adds a wonderful umami flavor to all foods. Anchovies are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and an excellent source of protein. Use them in salads, to top a pizza, melted down into a tomato sauce with capers, pitted olives, basil and hot pepper flakes (to serve on top of pasta or fish) or serve them on lightly toasted buttered bread. White anchovies are slightly milder and can be easily substituted.
The inspiration for this simple salad came from a dish at Fox & the Knife in South Boston. Chef Karen Akunowicz’s Broccoli Alla Grillia “Caesar” features grilled broccoli in a rich anchovy dressing. My adaptation uses thinly sliced broccoli sautéed in a cast iron skillet over high heat with olive oil. You can make the dressing a full day ahead of time, but don’t toss it until just before you’re ready to serve the dish.
Serve as a salad or first course with breadsticks or warm, crusty bread. The anchovy-miso dressing is also delicious on mixed greens, potatoes, or grilled fish.
Serves 2 to 4.
The Anchovy-Miso Dressing:
I found gorgeous frozen filets of red snapper in my local fish store. Snapper is a wild-caught American fish that’s sustainably managed. It’s a beautiful, rosy-skinned white fish with a firm texture that comes from the Gulf of Mexico and south of the Carolinas.
This simple fish sauté can be made with any firm whitefish, like sole, flounder, rockfish, dogfish, etc.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.