Reel in a delicious dinner by making the most of traceable, sustainable seafood that not only helps keep meal costs down, but serves as an environmentally friendly food source.
The prices of over-fished species continue to rise to meet demand, but consumers — whether buying from a local market or at a restaurant — can make a conscious choice to swap those out in favor of more biodiverse species.
Erika Feller, regional director for the Marine Stewardship Council — a global nonprofit organization that works to end overfishing and promote traceability — told “Good Morning America” that in the pandemic’s wake with more people focused on health and food costs, sustainable seafood options are ready to turn the tide.
“Two common myths that prevent consumers from increasing their consumption of sustainable seafood are that certified seafood is not available where they shop, and that it may not fit into their budget,” Feller said. “Choosing sustainably sourced options can be as simple as looking for the blue fish label from the MSC in grocery stores nationwide from the fresh fish counter to the frozen and canned aisles.”
“Canned seafood stepped into the spotlight in 2020 as consumers looked for products to stock their pantries during quarantine,” Feller said. “As food costs continue to increase, species like canned or tinned tuna, sardines, clams and others remain popular choices. What’s more, making the affordable choice can also mean making a sustainable choice. We can easily find options that work best for our families while also making choices that protect our planet.”
Canned Seafood Market sales are estimated at $36.8B in 2022, according to the latest Future Market Insights (FMI). The overall market value is expected to reach $82.1B by 2032. According to GlobeScan 2020 findings, over one-third of U.S. consumers have increased seafood consumption in the last five years, but over-fishing of global seafood stocks has reached close to 35%, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported.
Along with the MSC certification on fish labels and other tools to help home cooks select smart seafood choices, the nonprofit also works with chefs like Adrienne Cheatham of Le Bernardin, Red Rooster and Sunday Best fame to help educate the imporance of knowing where your food comes from.
Chef Cheatham created multiple dishes and shared her recipes below using three highly sustainable species: sardines, albacore tuna and Bar Harbor clams.
3 cans (4 ounces) chopped clams, like Bar Harbor which are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 ounces crème fraiche (can substitute Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sliced chives
Open the canned clams and drain the juice, reserving 2-3 tablespoons. Set aside separately.
Combine the cream cheese and crème fraiche in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine and whip for 1 minute. Add the horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco, lemon zest and juice and continue whisking to combine. Stir in the reserved chopped clams.
Stir in the sliced chives. Taste the dip and add some of the reserved clam juice to taste and season with salt and ground white pepper to taste. Serve with potato chips.
Sardine Panzanella Salad
Sourdough or other crusty bread, about 1 cup
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 green tomato
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, plus extra dill for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus extra leaves for garnish
1 Persian cucumber
2 red pearl onions (or a wedge of a large red onion)
2 cans sardines in tomato sauce (3 to 4 sardines per can)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fine cornmeal
Canola oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Set your oven at 300 F. Slice the bread thinly into bite-sized pieces and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven until dry and crisp. Set aside.
Slice the green tomato thinly into eight slices and lay on a large plate or baking sheet, season lightly with a couple pinches of salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, combine the sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, and remaining tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil,. Pour the mixture evenly over the tomatoes and set aside to marinate.
In a small bowl, stir the mayonnaise and herbs together. Set aside.
Slice the Persian cucumber into rounds about 1/8-inch thick, toss with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then slice the red pearl onions as thinly as you can (if you have a mandolin that works great for this) and scatter the red onion over the marinating tomato slices.
Remove the sardines from the tomato sauce and place on paper towels.
Combine the egg and buttermilk in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, place the cornmeal and season with a couple pinches of salt. Dip the sardines in the egg mixture, then coat in the cornmeal. Fry until the cornmeal coating is golden brown.
Divide the marinated tomato slices with red onion among two plates (save the accumulated juice on the tray). Arrange the fried sardines over the top of each plate then scatter the toasted bread and seasoned cucumbers over the top. Drizzle with the remaining tomato marinade liquid, and place small dollops of the herbed mayonnaise around. Scatter the extra dill and parsley leaves over the top of the plate and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!
White Clam Lasagna
For the pasta dough
3 cups all-purpose flour (or 00 flour if you can find it), plus more for as needed for dusting
2 whole large eggs
3 large egg yolks
For the filling:
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
3 ounces cream cheese
4 cans chopped clams, drained, but not rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First, make the dough. Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the eggs and yolks into the well and use a fork to beat them. As you beat the eggs, begin to bring in flour from the edges of the well, making a shaggy dough. When the flour is mostly combined, start using your hands to mix in the flour, pressing and gathering the dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough into a smooth ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest for about 45 minutes while you make the filling.
Combine the onion, garlic, thyme, and butter in a saucepot and cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Gradually dust the flour into the pan, and use a wooden spoon to mix it into the butter, making sure there are no lumps.
Raise the heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about two minutes.
Using a whisk, gradually add the milk to the pot, pouring slowly and whisking quickly to ensure a smooth sauce.
Whisk in half of the Pecorino, and half of the Parmesan (reserve the rest for the top). Whisk in the cream cheese, and clams. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Roll out the pasta dough using a Kitchen Aid attachment, hand-crank or rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/8 -in thick.
Oil an 8×8-inch baking dish. Trim the pasta dough (or use two sheets) to make a single layer on the bottom. Spread 1/3 of the filling onto the pasta into an even layer and top with another layer of dough. Repeat until you have used up the filling, then place another layer of dough on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover the pan with foil, and pace in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 7 – 10 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is lightly browned.
Let cool for a moment before cutting and serving!