Gone Fishing

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It’s no secret that we all need to start thinking more about our food—from its source to how much we eat of whatever is on our plate. It’s scary how many foods these days are pumped full of hormones and preservatives and sugar—in fact, Mark Bittman just published a great op-ed in The New York Times about sugar and how toxic it is to our bodies (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/its-the-sugar-folks/). Yikes.

As for me, I try to buy local, sustainably raised, organic produce, meat and other ingredients whenever possible—Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, Maggie’s Seafood and Whole Foods are great for that—and in general, I’m paying more attention to how and what I eat.

The good news is, so are chefs and restaurant owners. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, for example, now offers line-caught broiled Pacific swordfish on its menu (topped with warm fennel cream and served alongside Israeli couscous). You can find the recipe below.

But first, why are line-caught fish better than those caught from trawling with huge nets? Well, line-caught fish are generally from small-scale fisheries, and they’re free from bycatch and stock-depletion issues that larger fisheries face. That said, you’ll want to be careful about the kind of line-caught fish you eat, too—for example, go for skipjack or yellowfin tuna caught by rod-and-line, not long lines, which may capture threatened species like seabirds, sharks or turtles.

Again, you’ll want to make sure you buy your fish from small fisheries or from grocery stores that have good sustainable aquaculture programs in place. Here in Sarasota, I love Maggie’s Seafood (find them at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings), Big Water Fish market on Siesta Key, Whole Foods and Starfish Company Market. A little research is all it takes to find sustainable, line-caught fish near you, whether you want to cook it at home or have it prepared for you at a restaurant. And trust me, you’ll breathe a little easier when you eat something that you know is (a) good for you and (b) responsibly caught.

Happy fishing!

Chef Judi’s Grilled Wahoo

Some people will tell you that Wahoo called Ono in Hawaii is similar to Swordfish and some will say Mackerel, but it is neither. Yes it is firm like swordfish but less oily than Mackerel. Wahoo should not be cooked well done or it will be very dry. This is an adapted recipe from Bobby Flay.

4 wahoo fillets, 6 ounces each (or whatever a good size is)- Maggie’s Seafood- Farmer’s Market

2 tablespoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing dish

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 anchovies in oil, patted dry and chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat the grill to high. Brush both sides of the fillets with canola oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until slightly charred and almost cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, (it will continue cooking in the sauce).

While the fish is grilling, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovies and tomatoes and cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add the capers, olives, lemon juice, oregano and parsley and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the fish to the sauce and let cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Hog Snapper with Puttanesca sauce over lemon parsley pasta

· 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

· 1 onion, chopped

· 2 cloves garlic, crushed

· 1/2 tablespoon dried crushed chilies or crushed red pepper

· 1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped

· 1/4 cup white wine

· 1 tomato chopped

· Fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)

· salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

· 4 fillets snapper

· 1 Tablespoon capers

· 1 cup Puttanesca sauce

· Fresh pasta

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, chilies and capers and cook gently over medium heat until onion is soft.

2. Add the tomatoes and wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon as the sauce cooks.

3. Once sauce begins to thicken add the fish fillets and push them down into the pan. Cover and cook over low heat until the fish flakes with a fork, about 15 minutes.

4. Serve over fresh linguini and garnish with chopped parsley