Seafood of the Week – Canned Fish

January 7, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Seafood of the Week – Canned Fish

Microbial loads can be physically controlled by canning and then sterilizing with heat

Microbial loads can be physically controlled by canning and then sterilizing with heat

Canned fish are fish which have been processed, sealed in an airtight container such as a sealed tin can, and subjected to heat. Canning is a method of preserving food, and provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years.
Fish have a low acidity at levels where microbes can flourish. From a public safety point of view, foods with low acidity (a pH more than 4.6) need sterilization under high temperature (116-130 °C). To achieve temperatures above the boiling point requires a method of pressurized cooking which is provided by the containment within the can. After sterilization, the containing can prevents microorganisms from entering and proliferating inside. Other than sterilization, no method is perfectly dependable as a preservative. For example, the microorganism Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism), can only be eliminated at temperatures above the boiling point.
Such preservation techniques are needed to prevent fish spoilage and lengthen shelf life. They are designed to inhibit the activity of spoilage bacteria and the metabolic changes that result in the loss of fish quality. Spoilage bacteria are the specific bacteria that produce the unpleasant odours and flavours associated with spoiled fish.

 

 

 

The first industrial scale fish cannery was a salmon cannery established in North America in 1864 on a barge in the Sacramento

The first industrial scale fish cannery was a salmon cannery established in North America in 1864 on a barge in the Sacramento River

The “father of canning” is the Frenchman Nicolas Appert. In 1795, he began experimenting with ways to preserve foodstuffs, placing food in sealed glass jars and then placing the jars in boiling water. During the first years of the Napoleonic Wars, the French government offered a 12,000 Franc prize to anyone who could devise a cheap and effective method of preserving large amounts of food. The larger armies of the period required increased and regular supplies of quality food. Appert submitted his invention and won the prize in January 1810. The reason for lack of spoilage was unknown at the time, since it would be another 50 years before Louis Pasteur demonstrated the role of microbes in food spoilage. However, glass containers presented challenges for transportation. Shortly after, the British inventor and merchant Peter Durand patented his own method, this time in a tin can, creating the modern-day process of canning foods.
Canning was used in the 1830s in Scotland to keep fish fresh until it could be marketed. By the 1840s, salmon was being canned in Maine and New Brunswick. The commercial salmon canneries had their main origins in California, and in the northwest of the US, particularly on the Columbia River. They were never important on the US Atlantic Coast, but by the 1940s, the principal canneries had shifted to Alaska.
Just as using cans was a progression from using jars, a further recent progression is to use retortable pouches instead of cans.

 

 
Salmon

A salmon cannery is a factory that commercially cans salmon. It is a fish processing industry that pioneered the practice of canning fish in general. It became established on the Pacific coast of North America during the nineteenth century, and subsequently expanded to other parts of the world that had easy access to salmon.
Prior to canning, fish were salted to preserve them. Cobb claims that at the start of the 19th century, the Russians marketed salted salmon caught in Alaska in St. Petersburg. Shortly after, the Northwest Fur Com­pany started marketing salted salmon from the Columbia River. It then merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the salm­on was marketed in Australia, China, Hawaii, Japan and the eastern United States. Later, some salmon salteries were converted to salmon canneries.
The first industrial scale salmon cannery in North America was established in 1864 on a barge in the Sacramento River by the four Hume brothers together with their partner Andrew S. Hapgood. In 1866 the Hume brothers relocated the business to a site 50 miles inland on the Columbia River. The history of North American salmon canneries is exemplified by their history on the Columbia River. Within a few years each of the Hume brothers had their own cannery. By 1872, Robert Hume was operating a number of canneries, bringing in Chinese people willing to work for low wages to do the cannery work, and having local Native American people do the fishing. By 1883, the salmon canneries had become the major industry on the Columbia River, with 1,700 gillnet boats supplying 39 canneries with 15,000 tonnes of salmon annually, mainly Chinook.

 

 

 

Canned sardines

Canned sardines

Sardines

Sardines are canned in many different ways. At the cannery, the fish are washed, their heads are removed, and the fish are cooked, either by deep-frying or by steam-cooking, after which they are dried. They are then packed in either olive, sunflower or soybean oil, water, or in a tomato, chilli or mustard sauce.
Canned sardines in supermarkets may actually be sprat (such as the “brisling sardine”) or round herrings. Fish sizes vary by species. Good quality sardines should have the head and gills removed before packing. They may also be eviscerated before packing (typically the larger varieties). If not, they should be purged of undigested or partially digested food or feces by holding the live fish in a tank long enough for them to empty their digestive systems.
Sardines are typically tightly packed in a small can which is scored for easy opening, either with a pull tab (similar to how a beverage can is opened), or a key, attached to the side of the can. Thus, it has the virtues of being an easily portable, nonperishable, self-contained food. The close packing of sardines in the can has led to their metaphorical use of the name in describing any situation where people or objects are crowded together, for instance, in a bus or subway car. It has also been used as the name of a children’s game, where one person hides and each successive person who finds the hidden one packs into the same space until there is only one left out, who becomes the next one to hide.

 

 

 
Tuna

Canned tuna on sale at a supermarket

Canned tuna on sale at a supermarket

Tuna was first canned in 1903, quickly becoming popular. It is canned in edible oils, in brine, in water, and in various sauces. In the United States, 52% of canned tuna is used for sandwiches; 22% for salads; and 15% for casseroles and dried, packaged meal mixes.
In the United States, only Albacore can legally be sold in canned form as “white meat tuna”; in other countries, yellowfin is also acceptable. While in the early 1980s canned tuna in Australia was most likely Southern bluefin, as of 2003 it was usually yellowfin, skipjack, or tongol (labelled “northern bluefin”).
As tunas are often caught far from where they are processed, poor interim conservation can lead to spoilage. Tuna is typically gutted by hand, and later pre-cooked for prescribed times of perhaps 45 minutes to three hours. The fish are then cleaned and filleted, canned, and sealed, with the dark lateral blood meat often separately canned for pet food. The sealed can itself is then heated (called retort cooking) for 2 to 4 hours. This process kills any bacteria, but retains the histamine that can produce rancid flavors. The international standard sets the maximum histamine level at 200 milligrams per kilogram. An Australian study of 53 varieties of unflavored canned tuna found none to exceed the safe histamine level, although some had “off” flavors. The level of omega-3 oils found in canned tuna can be highly variable, since some common manufacturing methods destroy omega-3 oils.
Australian standards once required cans of tuna to contain at least 51% tuna, but these regulations were dropped in 2003. The remaining weight is usually oil or water. In the US, the FDA regulates canned tuna. In 2008, some tuna cans changed from 6 ounces (170 g) to 5 ounces (140 g) due to “higher tuna costs”.

 

Seafood of the Week – Scallops

December 3, 2013 at 10:10 AM | Posted in scallops, seafood, Seafood of the Week | Leave a comment
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An edge-on view of a live scallop with the valves open

An edge-on view of a live scallop with the valves open

A scallop (/ˈskɒləp/ or /ˈskæləp/; from Old French escalope, meaning “shell”) is a common name applied to many species of marine bivalve mollusks in the family Pectinidae, the scallops. Scallops are a cosmopolitan family, found in all of the world’s oceans.
Many scallops are highly prized as a food source; the name “scallop” is also applied to the meat of these animals when it is used as seafood. The brightly colored, fan-shaped shells of some scallops, with their radiating, fluted patterns, are valued by shell collectors, and have been used since ancient times as motifs in art and design.

 

 

 

Most scallops are free-living, but some species can attach to a substrate by a structure called a byssus, or even be cemented to their substrate as adults (e.g. Hinnites spp.). Other scallops can extend a “foot” from between their valves. By then contracting the foot, they can burrow themselves deeper into sand. A free-living scallop can swim by rapidly opening and closing its shell. This method of locomotion is also a defensive technique, protecting it from threatening predators. So-called singing scallops can make an audible, soft popping sound as they flap their shells underwater.

 

 

A live opened scallop showing the internal anatomy

A live opened scallop showing the internal anatomy

 

By far the largest wild scallop fishery is for the Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) found off northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Most of the rest of the world’s production of scallops is from Japan (wild, enhanced, and aquaculture), and China (mostly cultured Atlantic bay scallops).
Scallops are most commonly harvested using scallop dredges or bottom trawls. Recently, scallops harvested by divers, hand-caught on the ocean floor, have entered the marketplace. In contrast to scallops captured by a dredge across the sea floor, diver scallops tend to be less gritty. They are also more ecologically friendly, as the harvesting method does not cause damage to undersea flora or fauna. In addition, dredge-harvesting methods often result in delays of up to two weeks before the scallops arrive at market, which can cause the flesh to break down, and results in a much shorter shelf life.

 

 

 

On the east coast of the United States, over the last 100 years, the populations of bay scallops have greatly diminished due to several factors, but probably is mostly due to reduction in sea grasses (to which bay scallop spat attach) caused by increased coastal development and concomitant nutrient runoff. Another possible factor is reduction of sharks from overfishing. A variety of sharks used to feed on rays, which are a main predator of bay scallops. With the shark population reduced — in some places almost eliminated — the rays have been free to feed on scallops to the point of greatly decreasing their numbers. By contrast, the Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) is at historically high levels of abundance after recovery from overfishing.

 

 

Dried scallops, also known as conpoy

Dried scallops, also known as conpoy

 

Scallops are characterized by having two types of meat in one shell: the adductor muscle, called “scallop”, which is white and meaty, and the roe, called “coral”, which is red or white and soft.
Sometimes, markets sell scallops already prepared in the shell, with only the adductor muscle intact. Outside the U.S., the scallop is often sold whole. In Galician cuisine, scallops are baked with bread crumbs, ham, and onions. In the UK and Australia, they are available both with and without the roe. The roe is also usually eaten.
Scallops without any additives are called “dry packed”, while scallops that are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) are called “wet packed”. STPP causes the scallops to absorb moisture prior to the freezing process, thereby increasing the weight. The freezing process takes about two days.
In Japanese cuisine, scallops may be served in soup or prepared as sashimi or sushi. Dried scallop is known in Cantonese Chinese cuisine as conpoy.

In a sushi bar, hotategai is the traditional scallop on rice, and while kaibashira may be called scallops, it is actually the adductor muscle of any kind of shellfish, e.g. mussels, oysters, or clams.
Scallops have lent their name to the culinary term ‘scalloped’, which originally referred to seafood creamed and served hot in the shell. Today, it means a creamed casserole dish such as scalloped potatoes, which contains no seafood at all.

 

 

 

20+ Diabetic Salmon Recipes

November 14, 2013 at 8:33 AM | Posted in Eating Well, fish, salmon | 4 Comments
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Thank you to the Diabetic Living On Line web site for these Diabetic Salmon Recipes! I’ve left the link at the bottom of the page to see them all.

 

 

20+ Diabetic Salmon RecipesDiabetic living logo
Served on its own or in a salad, wrap, or soup, salmon is a healthy and delicious protein choice that is low carb and heart-healthy. There are many ways to prepare the omega-3-rich fish — baked, grilled, poached — so the recipe options are endless. To help get you started, we’ve compiled our favorite healthy salmon recipes.

 

 
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon
Grilled on a soaked cedar plank, this so-simple salmon recipe is the brainwork of Chef Chris Smith, The Diabetic Chef. Season with thyme, chives, and lemon slices, and enjoy a diabetic dinner for only 2 carb grams per serving……

 

 
Citrus Poached Salmon with Asparagus
Poaching is a fast cooking method that enables food to absorb flavor without fat, making this a go-to recipe for any diabetes meal plan. Simmer asparagus on top of the salmon to serve on the side, then drizzle the fish and veggies with a buttery citrus dressing……

 

 
* Click the link below to see all the recipes. *
http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diabetic-recipes/fish/20-diabetic-salmon-recipes?sssdmh=dm17.701069&esrc=nwdlo110513

Fantastic 15-Minute Fish Dinners

October 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Posted in Delish, fish | 2 Comments
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Some delicious sounding recipes on one of my favorites, Fish! All from the Delish web site.

Delish
Fantastic 15-Minute Fish Dinners
It’s easy to forget how simple it really is to prepare fish. Try any of these 14 delicious fish recipes to wow your family and friends with your impressive seafood-cooking skills. For suggestions on what to pair with your fish, check out these perfect side dishes.

 

Grilled Salmon with Heirloom Tomatoes

This simple dish only takes 15 minutes to prepare and it’s an easy way to get your omega-3’s!…

 
Easy Asian Salmon

Caramelized sugar, lime juice, and soy sauce meld for the complexity behind the irresistible flavor of this quick and easy dinner…..

 
* Click the link below to get all the recipes!

 

http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/fifteen-minute-quick-fish-recipes?src=nl&mag=del&list=nl_dhe_fot_non_101513_quick-fish#slide-1

Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce

August 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Posted in Eating Well, salmon | Leave a comment
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I had to pass this one along from the Eating Well web site, Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce! I haven’t tried this one, YET, but it sounds too good not to pass it along to everyone. If you give it a try email me and let me know how it turned out. I left the web link at the bottom of the post.

 

Eating Well

 

 

Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce
Jazz up simply grilled salmon and summer vegetables with a zesty sauce based on the classic Spanish romesco. Made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and almonds, this sauce is a great match for any seafood, poultry or vegetables. Using smoked paprika brings out the flavors from the grill. Serve with: Grilled baguette.

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
1/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes , or cherry tomatoes
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar , or red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 1/4 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet , (see Note), skinned and cut crosswise into 4 portions
2 medium zucchini , or summer squash (or 1 of each), halved lengthwise…..

 

 

 

*Get the full recipe by clicking the link below

 

 

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/grilled_salmon_zucchini_with_red_pepper_sauce.html

Seafood Decision Guide

July 13, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Posted in fish, seafood | Leave a comment
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Came across a great site all about Seafood, from National Geographic. If you love Fish and Seafood as much as I do, they have some good info on making the best seafood choices for you and your family along with information you need to make healthy and environmentally friendly choices. If you get a chance check the site out it’s loaded with info! I left the link at the bottom of the post.

 

 

Seafood Decision Guide
Making the best seafood choices for you and your family can be daunting. That’s why we have compiled all the information you need National Geoto make healthy and environmentally friendly choices. Use this interactive tool to find out where your favorite seafood ranks in sustainability, mercury level, and omega-3 content, as well as its place in the food chain—and why it matters.

 
More About Seafood

*Seafood Print
Fishermen remove more than 170 billion pounds of wildlife a year from the seas. A new study suggests that our current appetite could soon lead to a worldwide fisheries collapse.

*Cook-Wise
Join chef and conservationist Barton Seaver in a new series exploring sustainability, community, and environmental concerns as they relate to one of the world’s most common rituals—dinner.

*Ocean-Friendly Seafood Substitutes
Learn how to make sustainable choices when selecting your favorite seafood.

 
http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/take-action/seafood-decision-guide/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

June 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM | Posted in grilling, Kitchen Hints, shrimp | Leave a comment
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When grilling shrimp, always thread them onto the skewers lengthwise, so they won’t curl on the grill. They’ll also be less likely to fall into the fire.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Posted in cooking | 2 Comments
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Chefs always add clams to their chowder during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. If added too early, clams can become either tough or too soft.

 

 

New England clam chowder.

New England clam chowder.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Posted in seafood | Leave a comment
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Once clams are dug up, they must be cleaned of sand and debris. To accomplish this, the clams should be allowed to soak in the clamsrefrigerator in a solution of one part salt to 10 parts water for several hours overnight. If your pressed for time, rinse them in a bowl of fresh water, changing it frequently, until no sand remains.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Posted in cooking, seafood | Leave a comment
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The shells of healthy clams should be closed when you buy them. They will gradually open as the clams cook. (If you keep the clams on clamsice, they will also probably relax and open their shells.) Like mussels, if a clam shell doesn’t open by itself when the clam is cooked, it should be discarded.

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