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Local Bounty: January 3

Healthy, Local, and Sustainable New Year's Resolutions

By Caron Golden

Feeling a bit hung over? Having a hard time zipping up those jeans? We know the New Year’s resolutions are just beginning to kick in as the over-indulgent holidays fade in the rearview mirror. If you’re trying to do good for yourself and the environment, you could do worse than turn to seafood.

I got a little seafood tutorial from my friend Tommy Gomes at Catalina Offshore Products. The basics remain. Sure, go in for shrimp and mussels, white sea bass, and local lobster, but how about giving some of these products a try? And, if you’re not so sure about how to prepare them, well, Tommy, buddy Ken Gardon, and Chef Christopher Logan of Creative Flavors Catering hold cooking demos on Friday and Saturday mornings to give you some inspiration—and Tommy will be launching small (five to six person) classes after hours in February or March to teach customers how to cut, trim, and cook fish to take advantage of the whole fish. He expects the classes to cost between $45 and $55. Stay tuned for an announcement. Another option is to find Tommy’s demo videos on YouTube under FishSlang101.

Local Bounty: January 3

black cod

Whole Black Cod

This may just be my favorite fish. Also known as sablefish or butterfish, it’s got the most luxurious texture—smooth, creamy,  and a little fatty. You have to work hard to overcook it. Black cod marries beautifully with miso, and is easy to grill, pan roast, or sauté. Eat it raw, sliced like sashimi with just a splash of Meyer lemon juice. Now, for added sustainability factor, buy a whole black cod. They range from three to five pounds, and Catalina OP will scale and gut it for you. Then you can make the most of the fillets, collar, and even liver. $4.70 a pound

Local Bounty: January 3

swordfish belly

Swordfish Belly

Eschewing the high cholesterol? Try substituting swordfish belly for pork belly or bacon. Cube it or slice thin and pan fry. For a bacon-like flavor, sauté thin slices in bacon fat and top with smoked sea salt. Still naughty but not nearly as much as eating the pork bacon itself. If you cube it, sauté on all sides but let it stay rare in the center. $10 to $14 a pound, depending on availability

Local Bounty: January 3

rock scallops

Rock Scallops

These little creatures are new to Catalina OP. They’re a little denser and not as sweet as sea scallops, but tasty—and a lot less expensive at $11 a pound (compared with $23 for sea scallops). Be sure to trim the little muscle. Pour a little peanut oil on the griddle, sauté for a few minutes on each side, squirt a bit of lemon juice, then sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Voila!

Local Bounty: January 3

swordfish tuna patty

Ground Swordfish and Tuna

Flavor + sustainability. This is a perfect marriage born out of a hate of waste. Tommy now saves the trimmings from swordfish and tuna, and grinds them together. Use the mixture alone or with some seasonings to make little patties or “meatballs” or incorporate some tasty bread crumbs from Panache Pantry—perhaps their Zucchini Rosemary or Vintage Sicilian—for a heartier fishcake. Tommy simply formed some flat patties and browned them on the griddle like a burger before topping them with a luscious pesto from Lisko Imports. $9 a pound

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