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week's catch


Redfish (Red Drum)

Aquaculture, Texas

Perhaps because of the popularity of Blackened Redfish (Paul Prudhomme's classic dish), red drum populations declined dramatically during the 1970s. Strict federal regulations on the catch have helped it rebound enough to allow sport fishing. The redfish we are offering this week comes from a family-owned inland fishery in Texas where they use a high-protein feed (sourced from US fisheries) and do not use hormones or antibiotics. Additionally their environment is free of mercury or other pollutants.

Some people compare redfish to snapper. It is a mild fish with a sweet flavor and medium flake. It can be baked, sautéed, grilled, and (of course) blackened. Seafood Watch rates it a "Best Choice." Low mercury level. Kosher.
1 lb. for $22.00

-- Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish (Paul Prudhomme / The New York Times)
-- Redfish on the Half Shell (Food and Wine)


Gill-net or trawl, 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 positively prehistoric. Its huge, gaping mouth and hideous teeth are complemented by an odd-looking, dangling 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 $15.50

-- Sautéed Monkfish with Leeks and Shiitakes (from Food and Wine)
-- Monkfish "Lobster" Rolls (adapted from The New York Times)

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 $16.00)

-- 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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