'Fish Fraud' Is Rampant. Here's How to Fix It.

Good morning to all of our beloved friends and clients who, like me, are concerned where are food is sourced from.

That being said, I was delighted to stumble upon an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day titled, 'Fish Fraud' Is Rampant. Here's How to Fix It. As some of you may or may not know, this is a real problem in the United States as we import about 90% of the fish that is sold in this country not knowing where and how it is sourced.

We of course in the Tri-State area are more apt to see a much lower percentage of import fish for the simple fact that one, we have the Fulton Fish Market right in our backyard and two, the massive quantity of fresh seafood offered along the Eastern US coastline allows us to enjoy many Local varieties. As a Fishmonger since the age of 15, this fraudulent practice makes my half-Lebanese blood boil. And while a fair amount of the article places the blame of "fish mislabeling" on the seafood wholesalers (distributors), I beg to differ but I will get to that later.

One of the solutions to the problem was offered up by the company Dock to Dish which allows restaurants to buy a share of the company and receive only locally caught fish in the New York area.

The second, idea from the same company, Dock to Dish 2.0, which uses recent advances in vessel trace-ability to offer live, public tracking of fishing boats and delivery vehicles, along with information about who caught the fish and how and-perhaps most important-when it was caught. Both great ideas but getting back to my earlier thought, what if we held the chefs and fishmongers of this country truly accountable for "knowing" what the Fluke they are buying. I for one, am proud to have personal relationships with not only my distributors but also a fair amount of the fishermen who catch the fish we monger at Metro.

And shouldn't a trained chef or fishmonger know what they are looking at? HELL YES! To all of my lovely clients, you are not asking for something above and beyond a "Fishman's" duties to know the species of a particular fish but you should also trust he or she knows a fresh fish from an old one... heck your own eyes and nose can tell you that.

I can state with complete certainty that I never looked at an Asian Catfish and thought to myself, if I squint my eyes, it kind of looks like Red Snapper. The closest I've come ever to my eyes failing me was the Halloween of 1998 when I dressed as Marilyn Monroe and in an inebriated state, while standing in poor lighting, mistook myself for a "Thick" hottie in a full length mirror (remember we don't judge here). In all seriousness, be vigilant with your inquiries about any Seafood you purchase and if the answers you get are not satisfactory to you, then you need a new Fishmonger. It is our sincere honor to have your trust and our heartfelt privilege to serve you. I truly hope you did not find this too preachy but I feel as though you needed to know.

Should you want to create some genuinely delicious dishes this weekend then may I suggest today's recipes featuring Italian Grouper Sautee with Lemons and Olives & Pan Fried Skate Peperonata. Thank you.

To all of our Beloved Friends and Clients South and West... You Can Experience Metropolitan Seafood At The Stockton Farmers Market Stockton NJ FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS...


Along with our fresh fish selections we are delighted to announce Metropolitan Seafood will be offering (on Fridays Only) at the Stockton Market

Our Classic Fish And Chips As Well As Our Famous Grilled Fish Tacos, Rock Shrimp Tacos... AND $1 OYSTERS FROM 3 TO 5 PM ALSO, METRO'S OWN LOBSTER ROLL WITH FRIES... Looks like it's here to stay

Friday 3:00 to 7:00 Saturday 9:00 to 4:00 Sunday 10:00 to 4:00

Don't Forget to Like Us On Facebook For Special Deals and Updates!


Grilled Miso Organic Scottish Salmon Pita Wrap Miso Glazed Scottish Salmon with Roasted Vegetables and Wasabi Sauce on a Locally Baked Pita With a Choice of Soup* $10

Metro's Grilled Shark Tacos (2) Grilled South West Spiced Shark on Grilled Flour Tortillas (2) with Shredded cabbage, Pico de Gallo and Baja Sauce and a side of our homemade Pickled Jalapeños and Onions With a Soft Drink** $9

Metro's "Holy Guacamole" Tuna Burger Grilled Lime Garlic Ahi Tuna Burger with Shredded Lettuce, Guacamole and Baja Sauce on a Toasted Roll With a Choice of Soup* $10

Metro's Famous FISH-N-CHIPS (Lunch Portion) Hand Battered Fillet with French Fries, Cole Slaw, Tartar Sauce and Malt Vinegar With a Choice of Soft Drink** $8

Thai Spiced Wild King Salmon Roll Sweet Chili Lime Grilled King Salmon with Romaine Lettuce, Roasted Veggies and a Sriracha Aioli on a Toasted Soft Roll With a Choice of Soup* $10

Grilled Basil Balsamic Wild Halibut over a Classic Caesar Salad With a Choice of Soup* $12

The Italian Soft Shell Crab Pita Wrap Italian Crumbed Soft Shell Crab with Mixed Field Greens, Tomato and Red Onion with a Basil Aioli on a Locally Baked Pita With a Choice of Soup* $11

Grilled Lime Garlic Sea Bass Over Sautéed Red Beans Over Our House Saffron Rice With a Choice of Soft Drink** $10

Metro's Mediterean Mahi "Health Wrap" Grilled Tuscan Spiced Mahi Fillet with Mixed Field Greens and Roasted Vegetables with Basil Aioli on Lebanese Flat Bread With a Choice of Soup* $10

Metro's Mexican "Torta" Catfish Sandwich Ay, Caramba, That's a Cod Damn Good Sandwich! Spicy Corn Meal Crusted Catfish Fillet with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Avocado and Pickled Jalapeños with Chipotle Aioli on a Toasted Ciabatta Roll With a choice of Soup* $8

Metro's "Real" Shrimp Salad Roll Our House Made Real Shrimp Salad on a Toasted Soft Roll with Baby Field greens With a Choice of Soup* $10

Blackened Grilled Grouper On a Mixed Field Green Salad Choose from one of our homemade dressings Blue Cheese, Ranch, and Dijon Balsamic With a choice of Soft Drink** $10

Metro's Classic Rock Shrimp "Po-Boy" Panko Crusted Rock Shrimp With Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle and Remoulade Sauce on a Fresh Baked Soft Roll With a choice of Soup* $9

(For those Folks who love fish eaters but not fish) Chicken "Club" Pita Wrap Seasoned Panko Crusted Chicken Breast with Lettuce, Tomato, Smoked Bacon and Mayo on Fresh Baked Pita With a Choice of Soup* $9

*Soup Choices- Gazpacho, Manhattan or New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque AND Chicken Rice


Today's Fresh Fish Selections

From the North: Hake Thresher Shark (Bite into the Grill) Porgies (Scup) Uni Jonah Crab Meat Jonah Crab Claws Live Sea Scallops Tautog (Blackfish) Nantucket Bay Scallops Fluke Nova Scotia Halibut Sea Bass Grey Sole Monkfish Cod Skate Nova Scotia (Hard Shell) Lobsters Swordfish Day Boat Sea Scallops Jumbo Maine Mussels Baccala (Salt Cod) Needs to be soaked for 2 days Fresh Long Island Squid Rhode Island Little Necks Cherry Stone Clams Top Neck Clams

From the Waters of the World: Dover Sole (Spain) Pink Snapper (New Zealand) Sardines (Greece) Cobia (Lemonfish) Japanese Madia (Sea Bream) Carabineros (Spanish Red Shrimp) Hamachi (Yellow Tail) New Zealand Cockles New Zealand Green Lip Mussels Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass) Dorade (Sea Bream) Colossal U-6 Shrimp Wild Caribbean Hopper Pink Shrimp and White Shrimp (3 Sizes) Brazilian Rock Lobster Tails (4 Sizes) South African Cold Water Lobster Tails New Zealand Lobsters Tails Squid Ink (Cuttlefish Ink) Squid Steaks North African and Spanish Octopus (Large & Baby) Crawfish Tail Meat Conch Meat from Belize

From the South: FLORIDA STONE CRAB CLAWS...BOOM! Rock Shrimp Pompano Blowfish Golden Tilefish Red Grouper Blue Claw Crabs Order for this Weekend American Red Snapper Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna Fresh Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Fresh Lump Crab Meat Special Crab Meat Blue Crab Cocktail Claws with Horseradish Sauce

From Sustainable Seafood Sources: Wild Catfish Rain Forest Tilapia Arctic Char (Iceland) Organic Scottish and Norwegian Salmon Prince Edward Island Mussels Local Musky Hatchery Rainbow Trout Large Maine Mussels

From the Pacific Northwest: Black Cod (Sablefish) Wild Alaskan Troll King Salmon Live Dungeness Crabs Fresh Plump Shucked Washington State Oysters Jumbo King Crab Legs Jumbo Snow (Opilio) Crab Legs More Fish coming in Every Day Please Call for updated Inventory... (908) 840 4332

Metropolitan's Half-Shell Oyster and Clam Selections Oysters

West Coast: Totten Inlet (Wa) Kumamotos (Ca) Stretch Island (Wa)

East Coast: Pink Moon (PEI) Old Barney Salt (NJ) Fishers Island (NY) Rose Cove (NJ) Swan Point (NJ) Wildling Bastard (NJ) Island Creek (Mass) Pemaquid (Me) Rocky Nook (Mass) Puffer Petite (Mass) Lucky Lime (PEI) Blue Points (Conn) Wellfleet (Mass) Belons (Me) Ichabod Flat (Mass) Beau Soleil (NB Can) Beach Point (Mass) Peters Point (Mass) Glidden Point (Me)


Clams Maine Steamers Little Neck Clams (RI) Top Neck Clams (Conn) Cherrystones (RI) Fresh Chopped Clams Sunset Beach (Wa) Totten Inlet (Wa) Kumamotos (Ca) Stretch Island (Wa)


Today's Featured Recipes Created With Love for You...

Italian Grouper Sautee with Lemons and Olives Serves 4 Hit your Sinatra or Dean Martin Station on your Pandora; uncork a bottle of something light but sassy and get ready for an Italian Love Fest of a piscivorous nature.

Ingredients 4 Grouper Fillets 6 ounces each skinned and pinned bones removed 1 cup of Flour with Salt, Pepper, And 1 teaspoon dried Oregano 2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Tablespoons unsalted Butter 2 cloves of garlic minced 1 cup of dry white wine 2 Lemons, Very Thinly Sliced...Yeah! Metro just gave you Free Lemons The juice from 1 lemon 1 cup of Fish or Chicken Stock 12 Kalamata olives pitted and cut in half ½ cup of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley Salt and Pepper 2 Tablespoons Butter to finish sauce

How it's done Dredge the Grouper fillets into the seasoned flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium high heat and once hot cook the fillets, flesh side down first, for 4 minutes per side and transfer to a warm platter and tent with foil.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook another minute or two until fragrant.

Add the wine to the pan and on medium high heat, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom.

Cook until the wine has reduced by half.

Add the lemons, lemon juice, and fish stock to the pan and cook over medium heat until the lemons are tender and the liquid has reduced.

Add the olives, parsley, and butter, mix well; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring back the Grouper and warm through for 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve, place a Fillet on each plate and spoon over the pan sauce, garnish with a little more chopped parsley. One word to you little chef, should your dinner guests begin to kiss your ring, you might just be the new Little Chef Don... I would go with it and make them wash the dishes.

Pan Fried Skate Peperonata Serves 4 For the record, just the pan fried skate would make your taste buds dance the tarantella. That said, the skate with this Peperonata would be the equivalent of a an Italian Dirty Dancing starring Pasqual Swayzerino... That's some hot dancing little chef.

Ingredients For the Skate 4 Skate fillets 6 to 8 ounces each Flour for dredging 1½ cups Italian bread crumbs for dredging 2 beaten eggs seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk Light olive oil or canola olive oil for frying

For the Peperonata 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional...if you don't dig the heat, omit) 4 shallots thinly sliced 1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 sweet green bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 sweet yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 fresh rosemary sprig 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

How it's done First let's make the Peperonata by heating the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the crushed red pepper, shallots, bell peppers and rosemary and sauté until shallots and bell pepper are very tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Mix in vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside (can be made a day in advance and heated up when needed).

To make the skate, prepare a dredging station... a bowl with the beaten eggs and a plate with the breadcrumbs.

Season the Skate with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour.

Dip the fillets into the beaten eggs and let the excess drip off. Dip the fillets into the breadcrumbs, turning and patting to make sure they are completely covered. Let the crumbed fillets sit for a few minutes.

Cover the bottom of a non-stick skillet with ¼ inch of oil and turn the heat to medium high.

When the oil is hot and shimmering, place the fillets in the skillet and pan fry until golden on each side being careful not to let the crumbs get too brown about 3 minutes per side or until just opaque when fork tested.

It is important not to crowd the skillet for this step so please fry the fish in batches if necessary. When the fillets are done, transfer to paper towels to remove excess oil.

To serve, transfer the fillets to a serving platter and spoon over the warm Peperonata.

Please don't be alarmed if one of the family members blurts out "Madone! Little Chef... you nailed this one." Just so we're clear, that is a complement.

Mark J. Drabich President Metropolitan Seafood & Gourmet P (908) 840-4332 F (908) 506-0293 Email: mark@metroseafood.com 1320 Rt. 22 Lebanon NJ 08833