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week's catch


Dry-Pack Sea Scallops

Wild, Delaware coast

The sea scallops we are offering this week are shucked on the boat, dry-packed, and shipped on ice. Dry-pack scallops have no chemicals added. (Wet-pack scallops are soaked in a water-retentive sodium triphosphate solution meaning that about 30% of what you pay for is water. When cooked they exude so much water that they can't be properly seared.) These scallops will caramelize nicely. They are firm and slightly tacky to the touch. Try them with cuttlefish ink pasta for a color and texture extravaganza. Seafood Watch rates dry-pack scallops a "Good Alternative." Low mercury level. 
1 lb. (about 15) for $23.00

-- Squid Ink Pasta With Shrimp and Scallops (Serious Eats)
-- Seared Sea Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves (Saveur)

Hybrid Striped Bass

Aquaculture, North Carolina

Many years ago, the wild striped bass population was nearly decimated. In response, the hybrid striped bass (a naturally occurring cross between wild striped bass and white bass) was introduced. Many chefs love it for its delicate white flaky flesh that is very sweet and mild in taste (milder than the wild version). Seafood Watch rates it a “Best Choice.” Low mercury level. Kosher.
1 lb. for $24.00

-- Striped Bass Poached in Spicy Soy Sauce (Mark Bittman)
-- Wild Striped Bass with Tomato Fondue (Michel Nischan / 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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