Today is World Oceans Day!

World Ocean Day is an international day of ocean conservation. What does this have to do with recipes and the restaurant/food industry? For years overconsumption of seafood and the pollution created in doing so has resulted in detrimental effects to ocean’s across the world. According to the United Nations,

Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources.”

As chefs, restauranteurs, and food critics have a great responsibility to enusre that the seafood that we are serving, dining on, and promoting is among what is considered “sustainable.” The leading group in seafood sustainability, Monterey Bay Aquarium  has created a guideline of how restaurants can help in this effort (Restaurant Program). For example, instead of preparing Brazilian Spiny Lobster, selects a lobster from Baja Mexico, Florida and California. Halibut and Tilapia are excellent substitutes for Orange Roughy. For a complete list, click here. You can also download the Monterey Bay Aquarium app for your mobile device which offers great tips, advice, and sustainable alternatives when you’re shopping for seafood.

Chefs like Mario Batali have also embraced the sustainable fish mantra.

Squid Stuffed with Herbed Bread Crumbs (by Mario Batali serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a first course)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds large cleaned squid
  • 4 slices country-style white bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
Directions
  1. Separate the squid bodies and tentacles and refrigerate the tentacles. Place the bodies in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover partially, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bread in a Robot Coupe Vertical Chute Food Processor and process until medium-fine crumbs form. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup breadcrumbs and cook until crisp and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and garlic and sauté until the garlic starts to color, about 3 minutes. Add the toasted breadcrumbs and stir until well mixed. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Mix in the parsley, green onions and thyme. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the plum tomatoes, chives and 3 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Drain the calamari bodies and cool slightly. Stuff with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Preheat the Lava Rock Gas Charbroiler. Place the squid bodies and tentacles on a baking sheet or boiler pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until beginning to brown and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Divide the squid among 4 warmed plates. Spoon the tomato mixture over and serve immediately.

*A tip from Chef Batali: squid are fresh tasting and tender-crisp when grilled, sautéed or deep fried for no more than 3 minutes, or simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. Anything in between and it will be tough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.