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week's catch


Alaskan Halibut

Longline caught, Alaska

Halibut is a perennial favorite—its flesh is thick, meaty, and firm, and its flavor is sweet and rich. In addition to those excellent qualities, it is a versatile fish that can be cooked in many ways—grilled, roasted, broiled, you name it.

Halibut is among the largest fish in the sea—it is certainly the largest flat fish. Its usual size ranges from 20 to 40 pounds, but standing on its tail, it can be higher than an elephant's eye—up to 8 feet tall—as a look at Pinterest will show you. These days halibut is strictly managed by the Pacific Halibut Commission. Seafood Watch rates it a “Good Alternative,” and it is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) Certified. Moderate mercury level. Kosher.
1 lb. for $26.00

-- Grilled Halibut Niçoise with Market Vegetables (Andrew Knowlton / Bon Appétit)
-- Halibut and Summer Vegetables en Papillote (Nikole Herriott / Food and Wine)


Gillnet or trawl caught, Rhode Island

Monkfish is one of the ugliest fish in the ocean but we love its flavor and texture! Think poor man's lobster. Monkfish "Lobster" Rolls (see the recipe below) are awesome, and we believe you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between them and the real thing.

Monkfish looks like a prehistoric monster. It has a huge gaping mouth, hideous teeth, and an odd-looking apparatus on its head that some say looks like a fishing pole and bait. Its tail though is "seafood gold." It is mild with a texture and density similar to that of lobster. We've seen it used in a number of ways—in risotto, soup, braised, bacon-wrapped. Seafood Watch rates it a "Good Alternative." Low mercury level.
1 lb for $14.75

-- Monkfish "Lobster" Rolls (adapted from The New York Times)
-- Crispy Monkfish with Capers (Daniel Boulud / Food and Wine)

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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