My assigned list for week 1:
I’ve had Striped Bass before (friend’s dad caught us some) and Herring I associate with pickled herring, which I’m not a super fan of. Was hoping to find Surf Clam but happy with any!
The way this works is each week, I’m assigned 4 species to “fish for” at my local markets (supermarket, fish market, farmer’s market, etc). These are each species local to New England and we’re looking for symmetry in the market to ecosystem.
We first went to Dave’s Market in Wickford (which we prefer, though the one in Quonset is equally close to our house). I’ve always had a good experience at the fish counter at Dave’s, once there were 8 types of salmon and I was educated about each one before landing on Norwegian Salmon. This trip we saw that Black Sea Bass was on sale, yay! We were excited but the woman behind the fish counter told us that they were sold out. She advised that there might be more on the truck tomorrow but it’s been selling out since it’s in season.
Dave’s didn’t have any other species from my list so we went down to Gardner’s Wharf Seafood, a fish market right on the harbor in Wickford. We were surprised that they didn’t have ANY of the fish from the list! On a whim, we tried the other Dave’s location (Quonset) and got their last whole fish of Black Seabass. This was our first experience preparing a whole fish (which is where my husband, Dr. Garlix comes in…..)
(from the chef, after watching a youtube video)
It was interesting to try butchering a whole fish with no experience. It gives you a better idea of what happens in between sea and table. If I were to use a whole fish again, I would try to find a purpose for the remnants.
We enjoyed the Black Sea Bass but did feel there was a lot of waste being a whole fish. It was priced at $6.99/lb and the piece we got was just under 1.5lbs. After scraping the scales and carefully removing the bones, he grilled the fish. We each got a decent piece but would maybe use the head in some broth or other ways in the future. The fish was firm with a mild taste and we paired with some roasted sweet potatoes and grilled zucchini we had leftover.
Week 2: We’re out searching for the following (though I predict Butterfish will be the winner), stay tuned!