This week proved my second as a citizen scientist researcher and first as a strikeout. I was reminded that no data is still data! It’s not a failure that I couldn’t find my assigned species (Grey Sole, Red Hake, Butterfish and Sea Urchin) but rather an odd reminder that so much of our local seafood is unavailable in our local market.
I tried my usual market in Wickford, they had Flounder and advised that’s similar to Grey Sole. The Coastal Grower’s Market, nearby on Saturday mornings at Casey Farm had both Matunuck Oyster Bar and The Local Catch with stands set up. I had just missed the Boston Harbor caught Hake from Local Catch, she said a woman had scooped up the 2 lbs she brought for a Saturday stew, yummy. I signed up for their emails and was told I can always preorder, looks like they also have a CSF which I’ve been considering. I’m learning so much!
Monday was Eating with the Ecosystem’s final “School of Fish” workshop of the 2016/2017 school year (will start up again in the fall). I loved going to this in April when we discovered Sea Robin. This month’s demo dinner was led by recent James Beard nominated chef Benjamin Sukle of Providence restaurants Birch and Oberlin. He has a great relationship with fisherman Mike, who brought us fresh scallops from Block Island Sound. Mike mentioned he shucked 8-10,000 scallops “just YESTERDAY.” Incredible.
We started with raw scallops, quartered and tossed with a bit of mayo, sesame oil and finished with radishes both raw and smoked. This was the star. It’s on the menu at Oberlin. Chef Ben said Oberlin is his sister restaurant, serving up seafood and pasta i.e. what he likes to eat (ME TOO BEN! will be planning a trip there soon)
Finally we were treated to scallops seared in butter and a bit of asparagus juice. Asparagus is in it’s prime right now, probably for the next week or so. The section sliced asparagus were served over the perfectly cooked Scallops. ACTUAL HEAVEN
Stay tuned for Week 3, I’m out shopping for: