HOW TO PURCHASE FRESH FISH 101

February 7, 2020

Good morning to all of our beloved friends and clients and I was reminded yesterday by a friend that some of you are new to the "Fish Game."

 

That said, this friend was writing a "food" column and asked if I could give some "beginners" tips on how to purchase fish. She then proceeded to inform me that I am an expert on the subject to which I was humbled and extremely flattered. By the way, flattery is wildly underrated and dare I say we all might want to exercise this skill a little more in our everyday life. For example when my wife might want me to do something that she knows is going to put me through a personal hell, she often opens with "Hey, have you lost weight tiger?" Hello and Roar and all I heard was I look skinny and am likened to a awesome jungle cat. At this point she could ask me to take her mother to an off-season Christmas store and shop for Tchotchkes...yes, that would be hell but I also would be prowling that store like a svelte Bengal. Sorry, I got off on a bit of a tangent there but let's get back to the business at hand, the 101 on purchasing fresh seafood. It will probably be easier if I make a concise list so here goes.

 

1 Trust your Cod given senses...Does the shop smell of a two day old open can of cat food that has been left in the summer sun? Well, maybe going vegan is not such a bad idea. Do you know what a fresh flower looks like? Sure you do and you also know what fresh fish looks like...if it's brown and not dirt, it's no good.


2 Ask questions and lots of them. Please refrain from asking personal questions like "How old were you when you started losing your hair?" No, I mean questions like, is this fish farm raised or wild and if it is farmed do you have any information on how it was raised i.e. did they use antibiotic or hormones. Or how about, what is the country of origin of this particular fish (by the way, it's the law) which brings me to a similar point.


3 Inquire about taste texture referencing the fish you already like. Case in point, if you tell your Fishmonger you really like flounder and he recommends monkfish liver, that would be a red flag. Other important questions would be, can you please offer up recipe suggestions for these fish or how many days can I keep this fish in my refrigerator. Again, lots of questions should always be welcomed.


4 Now this one is slightly open to interpretation...Develop a Relationship with your Fishmonger. Trust him or her until there is a good reason to break that bond. Allow me to illustrate, Sushi or Sashimi Grade is not a Government Approval of the freshness of the fish but merely a marketing term. But, to someone in the Fish biz, "sushi grade" is a covenant that is entered into where your Fishmonger has selected fish that is safe and delicious to eat raw or barely cooked. Oh and I almost forgot, this relationship should stay purely platonic, there is no room for salaciousness in a fish market.


Now of course these are just some simple rules to follow and please know, should you ever have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to email. It would not only be my pleasure but an honor to field your inquires.


What's that "Hey Fish Man, did you create two new recipes today?" Sorry, yes of course I did and they are as follows Roasted Harissa Black Sea Bass Over Baby Arugula with a Scallion Yogurt Dressing   & Sauteed Red Snapper with a Lemon Artichoke Sauce. Thank you sincerely for allowing us to be your Fishmongers.

 
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. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL OUR MAIN NUMBER TO ORDER SEAFOOD 908-840-4332 to pick-up at the Market 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 3-5 PM...THAT'S A BUCK A SHUCK! ALSO, METRO'S OWN LOBSTER ROLL WITH FRIES...Looks like it's here to stay


STOCKTON MARKET HOURS 
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!
TODAY'S GREAT TAKE-OUT SPECIALS (908) 840-4332 


The Salmon Corn Cake Roll
A Golden Organic Salmon Corn Cake with Mixed Field Greens, Tomato and Remoulade Sauce on Toasted Soft Roll
With a Choice of Soup*  
$10


A Mediterranean Ahi Tuna Burger "Health Wrap"
Grilled Lemon Garlic Ahi Tuna Burger with Mixed Field Greens, Roasted Veggies and a Basil Aioli
Wrapped in Lebanese Flat Bread
With a Choice of Soup*
$12


Metro's Spiced Up Mexican "Torta" Catfish Sandwich
Spicy Corn Meal Crusted Catfish with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Avocado and Pickled Jalapeños with Chipotle Aioli on a Fresh Baked Toasted Roll
With a Choice of Soup*
$9


"Whole Belly" Clam Roll (CLAMTASTIC!)
Lightly Breaded Maine Steamer Clams (Whole Belly) With Lettuce, Tomato and Tartar Sauce on a Fresh Baked Soft Roll--With a Bag of North Fork Potato Chips
With a Choice of Soft Drink*
$11


Thai Spiced Snapper Pita Wrap
Panko Crusted Snapper Fillet with Romaine Lettuce, Roasted Veggies and a Sriracha Aioli on Locally Baked Pita
With a Choice of Soup*
$11


Metro's Mahi "Steak Sandwich"
Blackened Grilled Mahi Fillet with Sautéed Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms and Spicy Mayo on a Toasted Ciabatta Roll
With a Choice of Soup*
$11


Grilled Pesto Organic Salmon over Our Classic Caesar Salad
With a Choice of Soft Drink**
$12 


Metro's Grouper "Rich-Boy"
(Like a "PO-BOY" but from a better Neighborhood)
Grilled Wild Grouper with Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle and Remoulade Sauce on a Fresh Baked Soft Roll
With a Choice of Soup*
$12


Grilled Tuscan Spiced Halibut Over a Mixed Field Green Salad (Choice of Dressing)
With a Choice of Soft Drink**
$12


"California" Wild King Salmon Roll
Grilled Lime Garlic Wild King Salmon with Mixed Field Greens, Avocado, Tomato, Pickled Onions and Baja Sauce on a Toasted Roll Soft Roll
With a Choice of Soup* 
$12


Rock Shrimp Tacos (2)  (Hell Yeah, They Rock!)
Lightly Breaded Rock Shrimp on Flour Tortillas (2) with Shredded Cabbage, Pico De Gallo & Baja Sauce
With our House-Made Pickled Jalapeno Peppers and Onions (on the side)
With a Choice of Soup*
$10


Grilled Lime Garlic Dorade (Sea Bream) over Saffron Rice and Black Beans
With the Choice of Soft Drink**
$10


The Scallop Roll with Lobster Mayo
(Rated TV-MA for Stone Cold Sexiness)
Panko Crusted Day Boat Sea Scallops with Tomato, Mixed Field Greens and Lobster Mayo on a Toasted Ciabatta Roll
With a Choice of Soup*
$12


(For those Folks who love fish eaters but not fish)
The Chicken "Caesar Wrap"
Panko Crusted Chicken Breast with our House Caesar Salad Wrapped in Lebanese Flat Bread
With a Choice of Soup*
$10


CHECK OUT OUR NEW MEAT OPTIONS HERE
**Soft Drink Choices for specials Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Water
*Soup Choices- Manhattan or New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, AND Chicken Rice
All Soups Lovingly Made In-House

 

Today's Fresh Fish Selections
 

From the North:  
Jonah Crab Cocktail Claws
Uni (Maine)
Pollack
Real Grey Sole
Jonah Crab Meat
Nantucket Bay Scallops
Sea Bass
Swordfish 
Hake
Fluke (Sushi Grade)
Day Boat Sea Scallops "Dry" 
Maine Steamers  
Nova Scotia Halibut
Monkfish
Cod 
Skate
Nova Scotia (Hard Shell) Lobsters 
Jumbo Maine Mussels
Baccala (Salt Cod) Needs to be soaked for 2 days
Fresh Squid (AKA Calamari)
Rhode Island Little Necks
Cherry Stone Clams
Top Neck Clams


From the Waters of the World:                  
Wild Patagonian King Salmon
Red Mullet (Portuguese)
Red Grouper 
Sardines (Greece)
Mahi 
Hiramasa (Yellow Tail) Say Sashimi!
Ahi Sushi Grade Tuna 
U-4 Head-On She Tiger Prawns (Nigeria)
Turbot (Spain)
Carabineros (Spanish Red Shrimp)
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)
Crayfish Tail Meat
Conch Meat from Belize    

 

From the South:
Pompano 
Fresh Florida Rock Shrimp
American Red Snapper
Fresh Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
Fresh Lump Crab Meat
Special Crab Meat
Blue Crab Cocktail Claws with Horseradish Sauce

 

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


From the Pacific Northwest:  
Black Cod (Sablefish)
Fresh Plump Shucked Washington State Oysters
Jumbo King Crab Legs
Jumbo Snow (Opilio) Crab Legs
Manila Clams 


More Fish coming  in Every Day Please Call for updated Inventory...  (908) 840 4332 
Metropolitan's Half-Shell Oyster and Clam Selections


GO SHUCKING CRAZY!


Oysters:
East Coast:

Blue Points (NY)
Bambalam (NJ)
Damsels in Distress (ME)
Glidden Point (ME)
Highbar Harbor (NJ)
Ichabod Flat (Mass)
Island Creek (Mass)
Lucky Limes (NB Can)
Moonshoal (Mass)
Raspberry Pt. (PEI)
Pemaquid (ME)
Rocky Nock (Mass)
Rose Cove (NJ)
Spring Creek (Mass)
Swan Point (NJ)
Three Bay (Mass)
Village Bay (NB Can)
Wellfleet (Mass)
Blackberry (Va)


West Coast:
Kumamotos (Ca)
Kumo Gway (Wa)
Sunset Beach(Wa)
Totten Inlet (Wa)


METRO LETS YOU GET YOUR OYSTER ON! IN A VERY SUSTAINABLE WAY...

I DARE YOU TO FIND A NICER OYSTER SELECTION!
 

Clams:
Maine Steamers
Little Neck Clams (RI)
Top Neck Clams (Conn)
Cherrystones (RI)
Fresh Chopped Clams

 
TODAY'S FEATURED RECIPES 


Roasted Harissa Black Sea Bass Over Baby Arugula with a Scallion Yogurt Dressing Serves 4
Hey Fish Man I hope this recipe isn't as long as it's title, I could have baked off a batch of Hot Pockets in the time it took me to read this recipe. Pump the brakes Little Chef, with a loaf of crusty bread and a playful Pinot this dish is the entire meal.


For the Sea Bass
4 Black Sea Bass fillets 6 to 8-ounce skin on and scaled
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons harissa (or use another thick hot sauce, such as sriracha)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
The finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons of olive oil divided
4 Scallions sliced thin (separate the white and green parts)
1 5-ounce package of Baby Arugula
The juice of 1 lemon
Lemon Wedges for serving
Scallion Yogurt Sauce (See recipe below)


How it's done
Season the Sea Bass fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.


In a shallow bowl or pie plate whisk together the Harissa, cumin, lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the fillets to the Harissa oil and turn to coat well; cover with plastic wrap and let marinate on the counter for 20 minutes at room temperature.


Preheat the oven to 425° degrees


Arrange the fillets, flesh side up on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and scatter over the sliced scallion, white parts only. Place the fish in the oven and roast for 18 to 20 minutes or until the fish is just opaque when fork tested. 


While the fish is cooking toss the arugula with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving platter.


To serve, top the arugula with the Sea Bass Fillets and dollop some of the Scallion Yogurt Sauce on the fish and greens. Sprinkle the scallion greens over the dish and garnish with lemon wedges. I know, Holy Ship Bottoms is right...this recipe is super easy and the crusty bread really brings this creation together. I couldn't have said it better myself.


For the Scallion Yogurt Sauce
1 cup of Lebneh or Greek Style Yogurt
1 clove of garlic crushed and minced very fine
3 small Scallions minced fine
1 teaspoon of finely grated Lemon Zest
The juice of 1 Lemon...Yeah! Metro gives lemons for Free!!!
Salt and Pepper


How it's done
Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let come to room temperature before serving.


Sautéed Red Snapper with a Lemon Artichoke Sauce Serves 4
Now look at yourself in the mirror little chef and repeat after me..."Hey gang, I hope everyone is hungry for my famous Sautéed Red Snapper with a Lemon Artichoke Sauce"...and just like that, you made this dish your own.


Ingredients
4 Red Snapper fillets skin on and scaled 6 to 8 ounces each; Black Sea Bass works great also.
Salt and Pepper
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a shallow bowl
The juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup fish or chicken stock; Yes, Metro makes both so drop those fish heads, unless of course you dig that sort of thing
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cups of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
½ cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
Lemon wedges for garnish


How it's done
Season the fish with salt and pepper and dip into the beaten egg mixture and then into the flour.


Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the snapper fillets, flesh side down first, for 3 minutes per side then transfer the fish to a platter and set aside.


Pour the fish stock, lemon juice, lemon zest into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
Next add the wine, capers and artichoke hearts and simmer for 5 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper and add half the parsley to the sauce.


Finally, bring the snapper fillets back to the skillet and warm through until the fish is just opaque when fork tested.


To serve, divide the fillets among four plates and spoon the sauce over each fillet.
Garnish with the remaining parsley and lemons wedges and tell the story how your Nona used to make this for you when you were a little girl growing up on the Mediterranean Coast...Hey, I'm never going to tell but you have to sell this story little chef.


EAT FISH LOVE LONGER!
 

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

 

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