...this crab gets its name from a port in Washington? The long, hard shell of a full-grown Dungeness crab is usually less than eight inches across, and only males with shells six and a quarter inches or larger are harvested commercially. The shell is molted periodically so the crab may find a
new home and grow. These crabs have five sets of legs, the foremost of which end in claws. Sweet, delicious meat makes up approximately a quarter of the crab’s total weight. Fishermen beware – this tasty creature frightens easily and will bury itself completely in the sand when startled.
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) governs the harvesting of the swordfish? This nonschooling fish is pursued by more than 30 nations, and some – like the United States – observe the ICCAT quota more closely than others. There is only one species of the swordfish, Xiphias gladius, and it weighs between 50 and 200 pounds on average…but can grow to more than 1,000 pounds! The majority of swordfish are caught by longline when the moon is brightest. The rest are mainly caught by gillnet, where darker nights are more conducive to big catches.
Any recipe that works for tuna will work for swordfish. While traditionally swordfish is served baked with a slice of lemon, more chefs are preparing it in ways that stretch it, like swordfish kebabs with dipping sauces. Swordfish is excellent for marinating and grilling. It can also be easily cooked from a frozen state. For moist grilled swordfish, select steaks that are at least 1 1/4 inches thick. Baste with olive oil and lemon juice before and during cooking.
Eastern oysters offer an environmental value? One oyster can filter up to 48 gallons of water in 24 hours! Unlike Pacific oysters, which are mostly cultivated, Eastern oysters are harvested mainly from wild beds in the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound and parts of Atlantic Canada. All oysters vary in taste depending on where they are from, due to differences in water nutrients, salinity levels, temperature, and more. Average market size of this shellfish is three to four inches, and they are harvested in shallow saltwater.
Oysters are tender creatures. They should never be heated too quickly or for too long. As soon as the mantle starts to curl, they’re done. For a classic presentation, try Oysters Rockefeller, broiled in their shells on pans of salt, topped with bacon, breadcrumbs, butter and scallions. Though oysters are often served on the halfshell, people in high-risk categories should avoid raw shellfish.
Mahimahi is actually Hawaiian for “dolphinfish,” a moniker derived from the fish’s habit of swimming ahead of sailing ships? The iridescent greenish-blue back and gold or silver body make the mahimahi one of the most beautiful fish to swim in the sea. The mahimahi used to be simply a “bonus catch” from purposeful fishing of tuna and swordfish. Nowadays, it is solely pursued by longline fisheries in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. Its average market weight is five pounds, though it can reach up to 50 pounds.
Mahi performs well on the grill. Though it is not an oily fish, the meat remains nicely moist and can hold up even to blackening. Mahi has a thick skin that should be removed before cooking.
Groupers can lock themselves into self-created caves between sand and rock using their powerful gill muscles? These stout-bodied, large mouthed fish aren’t built for fast, long-distance swimming, but they do belong to one of the largest and most widely distributed families of fish, the sea basses. They are most often caught by hook and line, and can be found in temperate waters from Florida and the mid-Atlantic states to the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and South America.
In the South, blackened grouper is a favorite preparation, but this versatile fish can be fried, grilled, skewered or used in chowders and soups. Larger whole grouper can be roasted, and large fillets should be butterflied before grilling because of their thickness. Grouper is very forgiving; it can be overcooked and still remain moist.
Cherrystones, topnecks and chowders are all names for hardshell clams that reflect their size? Topnecks are the third smallest of all hardshell varieties, and are young and tender. Cherrystone clams are five to six years old, while large chowder clams can be as much as 30 years old! Clams are harvested by hydraulic dredges, hand rakes and scissorlike tongs, then sold live in bags. While they can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Maritimes, the majority of the U.S. clam harvest is taken between Florida and Massachusetts.
Enjoy littlenecks raw on the halfshell, fried or steamed. In soup, add minced clams at the simmer stage, steep for five minutes and serve. Cherrystones are sometimes eaten raw but more often are broiled, chopped for chowder or baked in dishes like clams casino. Large hardshells are stuffed or used in chowders, clam cakes and similar dishes. Whole, frozen clams must be served immediately upon thawing. If they are allowed to warm up, bacteria growth is rapid.
Albacore is the only tuna allowed to be labeled “white meat”? While you may know it best for its excellent reputation in a can, albacore has also made quite a name for itself in fresh and frozen markets. Average market weight of the streamlined, torpedo-shaped fish is between 10 and 30 pounds. Like other tuna varietals, the albacore is blue and silver, but can be differentiated by its longer pectoral fins. This schooling fish is caught in subtropical and tropical waters, by trollers and longliners, worldwide.
Albacore, like the other tunas, should appeal to meat lovers, especially those who like to grill. Albacore cooks quickly, and for maximum flavor, is best served rare. Try searing albacore steaks to serve with a highly seasoned sauce. Marinating before cooking and basting during cooking will keep albacore moist and prevent it from turning tough.