Seafood Sightings: December 8, 2016



Throughout North Carolina, residents have the luxury of enjoying fresh-caught seafood all year. In fact, cold-weather months are a prime time for several species of seafood, including flounder and oysters. Relish the seasonal abundance!

  • This month, Island Life NC celebrates flounder. Learn a few interesting facts about this “seafood lover’s favorite,” and find recipes, including an elegant lemon-buttered flounder dish, and crab-stuffed flounder roll-ups, an exquisite hors d’oeuvre for your next holiday party.
  • UNC TV’s NC Now features restaurateur Sammy Boyd of Carteret County, who is working to make “local catch only” a feasible restaurant model in North Carolina. The segment airs Dec. 8 at 8:00 p.m.
  • The News & Observer highlights Raleigh’s Poole’s Diner, which has made the Eater’s list of Best Restaurants in America for two consecutive years. Read more about Poole’s James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen in Coastwatch, when North Carolina Sea Grant talked with her and other award contenders in 2013. The story also includes seafood recipes used by semifinalists in their restaurants.
  • The Outer Banks Voice shares an experience at Fish & Flights: Fighting Invasive Blue Catfish with Forks and Knives, an educational outreach dinner to raise awareness of invasive blue catfish in North Carolina coastal waters. The take away? Blue catfish are plentiful, tasty, and good for you — so eat them, eat lots of them, and hurry to do so!
  • The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services offers several oyster recipes from their Seafood Cookbook, including a holiday oyster dressing and a traditional cold-weather favorite, oyster stew.
  • Partake in winter nostalgia with Keith Rhodes, chef and owner of Catch seafood restaurant in Wilmington, who recently shared a memory of cooking with celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow on his Facebook page. Read about the experience in her words, in her blog post, Cooking at Catch. And in celebration of seasonal seafood, check out clam recipes from Rhodes, featured on the UNC TV series Flavor, NC. Rhodes also was a James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast in 2011.

Fish and Shrimp Casserole

another fresh seafood idea


Today homemade flaked fish using fresh fillets or shellfish provides a versatile alternative to the popular canned fish we buy. Delicious appetizers, salads, sandwiches, fish cakes and casseroles can be easily prepared with fresh fish flakes. And they can be used in any recipe that calls for canned fish.

  • 1 cup flaked fish
  • 1/2 pound cooked small shrimp
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion, including tops
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped pimento
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups freshly grated mild cheddar cheese

Melt margarine in medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in flour. Stirring constantly, add milk gradually and continue until sauce is smooth and thick. Add salt, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, olives, pimento and Worcestershire. Mix well. Gently stir in flaked fish, shrimp and 1/3 cup of cheese. Continue cooking over low heat until cheese is melted.

Place in greased, medium shallow casserole. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serves 4 to 6.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor

Seafood Sightings: December 1, 2016



It’s the holiday season! This year, consider freshening up your menu with seafood.

One example is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a Southern Italian holiday ritual with at least seven different kinds of seafood served before midnight on Christmas Eve. If you’d like to prepare your own Christmas Eve feast — or several special meals throughout the season — here are some traditional, and not-so-traditional, ideas from North Carolina chefs and food writers.

  • Charlotte Five shares a trip by Paul Manley — of Sea Level NC, a restaurant in Charlotte — to the Carteret County coast to brush up on preparing oysters and other seafood for his feast of fishes.

Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp

another fresh seafood idea


Most of our pasta recipes almost make a meal in themselves. Just add a crisp vegetable salad, and enjoy a little taste of Italy.

  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled
  • 4 ounces thin egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Chinese (or green) cabbage, cut in thin strips
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onion, including tops
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in wok or heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add green onion and stir 1 minute. Add shrimp and garlic and stir 2 minutes. Add cabbage and carrots and stir 4 minutes. Add bean sprouts and stir 3 minutes. Add noodles, soy sauce, salt and pepper and stir until noodles are heated. Serves 2 to 3.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor

Seafood Sightings: November 17, 2016

seafood sightings


The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has just published some common sense precautions when buying, storing and preparing oysters in time for a Thanksgiving tradition, oyster dressing.

Another popular seafood item for the Thanksgiving table is shrimp salad. Our Mariner’s Menu recipe can be made one day ahead of time.

  • Mariner’s Menu recommends this delicious shrimp salad recipe.


Seafood Sightings: November 10, 2016

seafood sightings


Latest recipes featured this week include oyster stew, pecan-crusted flounder, oyster pie, littleneck clams and shrimp spaghetti. Enjoy!

Carolina Fish Stew

another fresh seafood idea


Seafood provides one of the highest-quality sources of protein on the market. An average 3.5-ounce serving of yellowfin tuna, for example, contains 23.8 grams of protein — more than half the daily requirement for women (44) and close to half for men (56). Seafood also contains less connective tissue, which makes it easier to digest than other protein meats.

  • 2 pounds firm fish, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 whole dried red pepper pods
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes

In large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat from pan. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add water, tomatoes, salt, thyme, marjoram and pepper. Bring to boil. Add potatoes and cook until about half done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add fish. Lower heat and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Place in soup bowls. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over top just before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor