Seafood is among those foods that we can't ever seem to get enough of (kind of like cheese or chocolate—or wine). This is one food category, however, where it's especially important to be mindful when it comes to our buying and eating habits.
We're not referring to food portions on our plates; rather, the portions of fish in our oceans. Seafood options like cod, salmon, tuna and shrimp often appear on restaurant menus, but the seemingly over-availability of these fish has destroyed fisheries, damaged marine habitats and influenced harmful seafood farming practices in foreign countries. With the world's fisheries stretched to the limit, it's time for us to make choices that are more sustainable—and more sensible.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach promotes their Sensible Seafood Program, inspiring us to only eat seafood that comes from local and sustainable sources that aren't over-fished or harvested in environmentally destructive ways.
Learn more about the program at SensibleSeafood.com, where you can gain access to the Virginia Aquarium's Sensible Seafood Pocket Guide, recommending which seafood is the best option, some good alternatives and seafood that should be avoided.
When you're ready to get cooking in your kitchen at home, here is a sensible—and succulent—seafood recipe from chefs at Coastal Virginia restaurants that support local businesses and provide sensible seafood options for their patrons.
Terrapin Sea Scallops
Recipe courtesy of Rodney Einhorn, chef/owner of Terrapin Restaurant
Yield: 1 serving
4 large scallops
1tsp shallots, minced
1tsp garlic, sliced
1/2cup mushrooms, mixed variety and sliced
3 grams truffles, chopped fine
2 oz chicken demi-glace
½ oz béchamel
2 oven-dried tomatoes
3–4 sea beans
To taste: thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, fennel pollen
In a small sauté pan with olive oil, sweat shallots and garlic until soft but not browned. Add mushrooms, and sauté until cooked and lightly browned. Add chicken demi-glace and béchamel, and mix well. Add truffles, fresh thyme, oven-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce until sauce reaches desired consistency.
Finish with sea beans, fresh parsley and butter.
Pat scallops dry and season with fennel pollen, salt and pepper on both sides. Sear in a sauté pan with olive oil over high heat about two minutes on each side until warm in the center but not cooked through.
Spoon sauce into a dish, and place scallops on top. Serve immediately.
Terrapin is located at 3102 Holly Rd., Virginia Beach. 757-321-6688. Learn more about them here.
By Angela Blue