Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday! I am so excited to be writing a post for Foodbuzz on my Alaska Seafood food and wine pairing. I could not believe it when my proposal was chosen, but sure enough on Thursday I received a shipping slip that said my neighbors had signed for my Alaskan cod. . .
I couldn’t track them down until Friday, and I spent night worrying that they somehow missed the fact that the package was full of fish. Luckily, they didn’t and my cod was frozen solid when I picked it up. Phew! That would have been icky. . .
My big cooler of cod also included instructions on cooking the fish from frozen, a pamphlet on sustainability, a little box of recipes, and an amazing booklet full of ideas from around the world for seafood preparation.
I was instantly interested in the sustainability information. Alaska has perfect conditions for some of the world’s best seafood which obviously means it is in demand, so the steps toward sustainability are very hopeful. Alaska Seafood is responsible for the marketing of Alaska seafood, hence all of the great information on their site and the recipes and other materials they sent to me.
It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted to make for my dinner party, and once I had the flavors in mind, I chose the wine pairings.
For our first course, I paired Travessia Rosé with a chilled avocado soup. The main course and star of the show was roasted Alaskan cod, paired with Greco di Tufo from Italy, a wine recommended by The Urban Grape.
For both dishes, I started with as much local produce as possible. Other than my avocados, everything was MA grown, and the lone habanero pepper was the one and only from my garden this year. Wooohoo! Doesn’t get much more local than that!
The soup was as simple as tossing a few ingredients in a blender:
1 habanero pepper
1 clove garlic
1.5 cups buttermilk
1 cup very cold water
Puree until smooth, and add cold water as needed to turn into a soupy consistency.
I topped the soup with olive oil poached shrimp and sweet corn. Local corn this time of year is so flavorful, it doesn’t even need butter! I dusted the whole thing with some cumin for flavor.
The soup is creamy and spicy, the habanero giving just enough heat to make it delicious but not unbearably spicy. The cumin lent that bit of smokiness, the corn and shrimp some sweetness. And the Travessia wine, as always, really paired well with food.
My main course was a roasted cod with a lemony garlic wine sauce atop summer squash and zucchini. My Foodbuzz proposal was for green beans, but when I got to the farmers’ market, the squash looked better, so I went for it! While the oven was preheating, I cut the squash in very thin slices.
Meanwhile I got out some of the most important ingredients (besides the cod, of course!). Butter is necessary in this dish, trust me. And if you have Kerrygold, all the better.
Garlic is also key in this recipe, and I am not talking finely minced garlic. This recipe requires thinly sliced pieces of garlic that can be browned in the butter. It’s the only way.
And then there was the Alaskan cod. For the Foodbuzz meal, we were instructed to NOT thaw the fish, something I have never done before. In fact, all day long, I would forget and think “Ohmygod, I need to thaw the fish!”. It turns out that you can roast fish from frozen, and it comes out perfectly. I never would have guessed. I was scared.
For this recipe, as in most of my recipes, I really eyeballed everything. For the sauce for every 2 fish fillets, I used the following:
3 large cloves garlic, sliced in long slices
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
a splash Greco di Tufo white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
I started out by sautéing the butter and garlic until the butter was foamy and the garlic a little brown. Then I carefully added the olive oil, lemon juice, and finally the wine. Meanwhile, the fish was roasting at 450 degrees for about 18 minutes. Once the fish was done, I plated it with steamed veggies and ladled the sauce on top of it.
Topped with some fresh lemons for squeezing, it was very light and flavorful.
As you can see, the fish is just perfect. It was flaky, melt in your mouth and delicately flavored. The sauce that I made did not overwhelm that lovely natural flavor; it all worked together very well. The Greco di Tufo had nice citrusy notes that complemented the lemon and cut through the fat of the butter and olive oil.
I loved being able to experience the flavor of Alaskan fish straight from Alaska and right out the freezer. It was incredibly easy to cook the fish from the freezer, and I will definitely be using this method from now on. It is the working person’s dream come true to be able to have quality fish from freezer to plate in less than 20 minutes! Cooking from frozen not only saves time, but it can also help save food. There have been many times where I thawed fish only to get home too late to cook it or decided to go out instead, sometimes wasting valuable food in the meantime
Thank you, Foodbuzz, for accepting my proposal and allowing me to participate in this event. I am certain my meal will not be the fanciest or most technical among the group, but I definitely used the best quality ingredients, and as my husband always mentions, cooked it with lots of love and enthusiasm!