How do you feel about buying seafood?
I talk to a lot of readers and I know some readers find the process of buying fish intimidating. They don’t know what to look for, don’t know whether to buy farm raised or wild caught. If they do buy wild caught, there are concerns about whether or not the fish was caught sustainably.
How do you know you’re getting a quality product? Sure, some of us who live near the coast have the option of buying it at markets fresh off the boat, but not everyone has that luxury. Even then, it’s hard to know, without grilling the fishermen, if the fish are caught by sustainable methods. For as much as I run my mouth here, I’m actually quite shy and prefer to just buy food without asking a lot of questions. If something feels like a hassle, I really would rather skip the process entirely and I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment.
If you live in Tennessee, Georgia, North or South Carolina, chances are you live near a BI-LO. If you don’t live in this region, hang tight a second, I’m linking to some easy seafood recipes anyone can use.
For disclosure, I’ve been shopping at BI-LO for years, long before I was contacted by the store. In fact, my general rule of thumb when posting recipes on this site has always been, if I can’t find an ingredient at my neighborhood BI-LO, then I don’t post the recipe without at least a mention that an ingredient may be hard to find. I was recently invited to sample Chef’s Catch, a new line of seafood products at BI-LO Supermarkets. Maybe it’s a sign of how much of a shut-in I became while writing the book, but I was excited to get out of the house and see what they had to say. In a funny turn of events, it turned out I knew the man cooking for the tasting. In fact, I’ve known him since kindergarten, but hadn’t seen him except once in passing in the *gulp* 15 years since I graduated. Small towns and cities are funny like that sometimes.
BI-LO has teamed up with North Coast Seafood, who use line-caught sustainably harvested seafood. To make the purchasing process even easier, Chef’s Catch uses color-coded trays to differentiate the product lines. They have fresh -never frozen- in blue, frozen at sea in purple, and reay to cook -often with marinades already added- in orange. Knowing what you’re getting, for me at least, makes the selection process a whole lot easier. For almost thirty years, North Coast Seafood has participated in the U.S. department of Commerce’s voluntary seafood inspection program so consumers can be assured that the fish has been inspected.
The Chef’s Catch line includes: salmon, tilapia, rainbow trout, steelhead trout, wild ocean perch, cod, haddock, flounder, sea scallops, and bay scallops –mmm, scallops.
For a good portion of my restaurant days I worked in a fancy steakhouse in Minnesota which limited my exposure to working with seafood. I’m sure there are many Midwesterners who love seafood, but when I listed the night’s fish specials I often heard comments like, “I don’t like (insert type of fish here) fish, it tastes like fish.” –If nothing else, waiting tables helped me learn to control my facial expressions.– Beer battered walleye, pan fried walleye, and grilled salmon were the most popular choices. To counter my own inexperience, over the next few weeks (when I get back from MN) I’m going to work on experimenting with other fish, including tilapia, trout, perch, and flounder.
The new Chef’s Catch line is geared to help novice cooks feel confident about purchasing seafood. It helps when experimenting with new foods to know that you’ve purchased quality ingredients.
How do you feel about experimenting with seafood?
Are you always looking for new recipes or hesitant to try because of past results? I love seafood, but it’s definitely a neglected category in our home (except for shrimp, I could probably eat shrimp every day, even if they are as some of my friends call them “sea bugs”).
My.bi-lo.com has some recipes for seafood including oven-fried cod and marinated grilled salmon and will be adding more to the collection.
Here at Home-Ec101.com I have:
- Dilled Salmon
- Salmon with Lemon and Rosemary
- Oven-Fried Fish and Chips
- Fisherman’s Pie – think of it as the shepherd’s pie of the sea
Do you have a favorite seafood recipe? Is it one you recommend to a beginner? Feel free to share the recipe or a link to the recipe in the comments.