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week's catch


Kyuquot Sound Black Cod

Floating sea pens, Canada

We love this sablefish (commonly called black cod)! Normally we can get wild sablefish only once or twice a year. Because it extremely hard to find fresh (most of it is shipped to Japan), sablefish is wildly expensive. 

Kyuquot Sound Sablefish are raised near Vancouver Island in partnership with the First Nations. The fish are fed FAO-certified organic feed (no hormones, no GMOs), and they are harvested using a Japanese method that reduces stress. Further, the company raises shellfish downstream, which filter the waste, and cultivates kelp, which purifies the water. 

Despite its common name, "black cod" is not a member of the codfish family. Its high fat content makes it extremely flavorful and very forgiving when cooked. Also to its credit, sablefish is high in polyunsaturated fat, which is good for low-cholesterol diets. It has milky white flesh and a buttery texture, and it can be cooked in many ways. Our current favorite recipe is Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's Black Cod with Miso. Moderate mercury level. Kosher.
1 lb for $26.00

-- Roasted Black Cod with Bok Choy and Soy Caramel Sauce
(Real Good Fish)
-- Nobu's Black Cod/Sable with Miso (Nobu Matsuhisa / Food and Wine)   

Lake Huron Trout

Line caught, Canada

This week's wild catch comes from Goderich (Ontario) Cove on Lake Huron. (Goderich incidentally bills itself as Canada's prettiest town.) This trout is currently in a recovery period after a dramatic decline in the mid-1900s.

The fillets have a yellowish color and are thick, with a flaky flesh. It is very versatile--it can be baked, sautéed, poached, or grilled. Seafood Watch rates it a “Good Alternative.” Low mercury. Kosher.

1 lb. for $8.50

-- Japanese-Style Trout with Dashi (Food and Wine)
-- Trout en Papillote (HOF)

Frozen Fair Trade Shrimp

Supera net caught, Mexico

Finally a shrimp you can feel good about eating! We just might have been the first in Chicago to feature certified Fair Trade shrimp, and we are pleased to report that they are delicious! We are going against our standard here by offering a frozen product. Here's why: Instead of dealing with giant gas-powered trawlers to catch their shrimp Del Pacifico works with artisanal fishermen in Mexico who use small sail-powered boats called pandas, which are slightly larger than a rowboat and have a spectacular sail. (Score one.)

The wind and tide guide the net. Because they operate on such a small scale the fishermen can remove bycatch and return it to the water alive resulting in the lowest bycatch in the shrimping industry! (Score two.) 

Because the boats are small and have little storage area they can't be out at sea for long periods meaning that the shrimp are blast-frozen within hours of capture. What is more, Fair Trade certification guarantees that there are no human rights abuses and that a percentage of the profit is returned to the community that caught the shrimp. (Score three and four.) 

Keep in mind that these shrimp are peeled and deveined FROZEN shrimp. US Fair Trade certified.
1 lb. (about 26 to 30 per pound) for $14.00)

-- Provençal Wheat Berry Salad with Shrimp and Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette ( Susie Middleton / Fine Cooking)

-- Cuttlefish Spaccatelli with Shrimp, Fresh Tomatoes, Green Onions and Chili (Food 52)

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