Monday, November 01, 2010

The Ocean Wise Cookbook: Planet friendly seafood recipes


Although I often find myself hopping on the Internet to search for a recipe, I love cookbooks. And a beautiful, new cookbook has recently arrived. The Ocean Wise Cookbook: Seafood Recipes That Are Good for the Planet was edited by my journalist friend Jane Mundy of Vancouver, BC. Here are Jane's thoughts on fish and seafood:
"Most of us have a favourite fish or seafood that is cooked in a certain way. Maybe for you, it's cod and chips, or an exquisite morsel of bluefin tuna sashimi, or beluga caviar on toast points. But these days many of us realize that because we have not responsibly managed the supply of these fish, they are in danger of disappearing. We must learn to take a more responsible approach to what we eat and consider how our individual choices affect the world."
It's a beauty of a book, from the cover photograph and other images by Tracey Kusiewicz to the dozens of recipes from such renowned chefs as Michael Smith, Rob Feenie and Jamie Kennedy. There's also a guide to sustainable seafood and freshwater fish, along with tips on purchasing, storing, preparing and cooking fish and seafood.

Ocean Wise is a nationwide conservation program created by the Vancouver Aquarium to educate restaurants and consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. With 200+ members (everything from fine dining restaurants to college cafeterias), the program encourages people to make ocean-friendly buying choices.

One of the recipes I'm anxious to try is Creamy Dungeness Crab Garganelli, contributed by Chef Ned Bell of Cabana Bar and Grille in Kelowna, BC. I traveled earlier this year with Ned on a culinary road trip in Alberta, and he's one of Canada's best! His latest project is Vancouver's Waldorf Hotel.

Creamy Dungeness Crab Garganelli

Ned Bell, Cabana Bar and Grille, Kelowna BC

This recipe keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator; it can be reheated or baked (it also freezes nicely). At the Cabana, we either serve it as an individual dish or on a larger family-style platter with red onions and roasted yellow peppers, and sprinkled with toasted fresh sourdough breadcrumbs.
Note: Garganelli is a pasta that is diamond shaped, with grooves

1 lb (500 g) package garganelli (or your favourite type of pasta)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) canola oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) red chili pepper flakes
1 L (4 cups) whole milk
2 cups (500 mL) grated aged cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) mascarpone cheese)
1 small wheel Brie, cubed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 lb (250 g) Dungeness crabmeat
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly chopped chives

To cook the pasta: Make the pasta while the sauce is cooking. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is al dente, about 8 minutes Drain the pasta.

To make the sauce: Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute it until it's tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and saute it with the onions until it's lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute the mixture for a few more minutes. Add the milk and summer the sauce over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, being careful not to let it boil. Add the cheeses and the mustard and stir the sauce until the cheeses melt. Remove it from the heat and puree the mixture in the pot with a hand blender until it's smooth.

To serve: Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta, fresh crab and chives.

Pairing suggestion (Tom Firth)
: Dry Creek Chenin Blanc (California) or Louis Jadot Chablis (France).

The Ocean Wise Cookbook
is published by Whitecap Books in North Vancouver, BC. 328 pages, $34.95 CDN.


Top: Fish frenzy in Steveston, BC in August 2010. Bottom: The cookbook includes such tips as how to fillet a salmon, demonstrated here by Chef Ned Bell. Photos by Sue Frause.