Author Archives: jesasser

Seafood Sightings: February 16, 2017

seafood sightings

steamed shrimp with soy-ginger sauce

Congrats are in order for the North Carolina chefs up for the 2017 awards known as “The Oscars of Food.”

Feeling the winter blues yet? Try these zesty, Asian-inspired seafood dishes for fresh flavors and a nutritional “feel-good” boost.

  • Star News features a quick video tutorial to Do Your Own Dim Sum. This traditional Chinese dumpling dish combines shrimp, scallops and crabmeat for a simple, savory filling.



Seafood Sightings: February 2, 2017

seafood sightings



When it comes to entertaining, easy and versatile dishes are ideal. These shrimp and clam recipes make great appetizers and finger foods. Game day may be just around the corner, but you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy!

  • The News & Observer features a quick recipe for hot honey shrimp. Pepper jelly fans will approve.
  • In case you missed it, Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis put the Cape Fear region in the spotlight when she visited on Friday, Jan. 27, to support the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. Read the article in the Wilmington Star News. Laurentiis kicks off her entertainment menu with this recipe for spicy Calabrian shrimp.
  • UNCTV’s PBS | Food is serving orange shrimp. Orange juice and marmalade make an easy sweet-and-sour glaze.
  • Mariner’s Menu has a simple, creamy clam dip. This appetizer can be mixed ahead of time and served chilled.
  • Flavor NC also shares a Mexican clam dip with cream cheese, salsa verde, cilantro and spices.

Seafood Sightings: January 19, 2017


Steamed Flounder with Ginger. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a fresh new dish to try, this week’s simple recipes can satisfy a variety of cravings in a pinch. Enjoy!

  • The New York Times features Vivian Howard, owner of Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, for her role in the rural town’s economic and cultural revival. Read the article here, which includes Howard’s recipe for Eastern North Carolina fish stew.
  • Immaculate Bites shares a recipe for Jamaican steamed fish. This hearty dish will become your go-to for its versatility. Whether carb-heavy or fresh with vegetables, you can tailor it depending on your cravings — or what you already have in your fridge!

Seafood Sightings: December 15, 2016

seafood sightings


The week’s roundup includes festive twists on seafood appetizers and a hearty breakfast dish sure to impress holiday guests and family. Enjoy!

  • Chef Teddy Diggs and Barton Seaver, author and chef, join forces to craft a fresh take on the Feast of Seven Fishes at Diggs’ Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill, set for Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Find tickets and additional information in The News & Observer. Can’t make the event? Learn about Seaver, who leads Harvard’s Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative, and his mission in this TED Talk
  • Bit & Grain features a recipe for fish and grits from chef Ricky Moore of Durham’s Saltbox Seafood Joint.
  • Rachel Noble of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences and her team are developing an easy-to-use kit that can verify how safe seafood is for consumers. The early-detection system can identify harmful bacteria in only two hours, making this development a potential boon to the state’s tourism and seafood industry. Learn more about the project, funded by the UNC system, in this video. North Carolina Sea Grant also has funded related research. 

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.

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.