From the Culinary Underground: Chef-inspired fish recipes

[This is the latest in an ongoing guest series brought to you by Southborough’s Culinary Underground. This week Chef Lori shares a recipe for an unusual – and sustainable – weeknight meal.]

There are so many buzzwords zipping around these days– organic, locavore, free-range, grass-fed, farm-to-table, and the like. How to separate the trend du jour from serious food issues can be confusing, but when we use the words “sustainable seafood”, we’re in dead earnest. The demand for fish and shellfish worldwide, as well as environmental issues, threatens fish populations with extinction.

We have been offering classes that focus on sustainable fish – how to select it and how to prepare it in new and interesting ways. For that, we often turn to restaurant chefs, who are always coming up with innovative ways to treat the stuff. And, somehow, it’s always safer to try a fish that’s new to you in a restaurant before attempting to cook it at home.

One of our recent classes, Chef-inspired Fish Entrees, featured recipes for fish entrees that will take you to new places. I offer one that we adapted from Chef Rick Moonen’s, Fish Without A Doubt – a great cookbook that is an invaluable resources for all things related to sustainable fish cookery. His recipe features catfish and a homemade barbecue sauce; we tinkered with some pantry ingredients to come up with a version that’s faster and easier for weeknight meals. Fish sloppy Joe? Who knew!

Sustainable Sloppy Joe
(4 servings)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ Cup diced onion
½ Cup diced green bell pepper
Dash of paprika
1 pound tilapia, diced
1 Cup your favorite natural BBQ sauce (no high-fructose corn syrup!)
¼ Cup clam juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 12” skillet, heat the olive oil over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion and pepper; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the fish and paprika; stir for 1 minute. Stir in the BBQ sauce and clam juice.

Simmer the mixture for 5-6 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve over toasted hamburger buns.

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Nancy Vargas
10 years ago

Wow, this sounds great. Thank you!

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