Keeping up with which kinds of seafood are good choices and which ones are best to avoid can be a challenge. There's lists and websites and iPhone apps to help us out, but we prefer the Celebrate Seafood Dinner Series at the New England Aquarium!
Read on to hear what we learned about clams, mahi mahi, and halibut at our most recent aquarium dinner...
The clams for our dinner came locally, from Barnstable Farms on Cape Cod, and were simply prepared in a white wine and tomato broth seasoned with fennel. The clams were wonderfully tender and tasted simultaneously sweet and briny.
We were lucky enough to have Les Hemmila, the owner of the aquafarm, sitting right at our table. He described seeding the clam beds with tiny spats purchased from a fishery in Maine, and then hand-harvesting them once the clams reach littleneck size. As filter-feeders, clams beds help the local ocean environment by cleansing the water.
The next course featured mahi mahi, which makes a good choice for sustainable seafood because it both reproduces and matures very quickly. Thanks to a seasonal warm current off the coast of Massachusetts, we were able to enjoy this tropical fish freshly caught - briefly making it both sustainable and local!
The mahi mahi was served with a salad of fresh local shell beans and a sweet sauce of roasted corn.
Last but not least was halibut. Halibut fishing is strictly managed in order to keep the population healthy and sustainable, making this another smart choice for seafood.
Our halibut was lightly breaded, seared, and served over savory sticky rice with asparagus and a few precious (oh so precious!) slivers of Serrano ham.
We're really enjoying this series of dinners hosted by the New England Aquarium and hope to see this program continue. We appreciate the bite-sized pieces of information that are informative without being overwhelming, as well as their emphasis on simple food preparations that can be easily replicated at home.
Of course being hosted to an excellent dinner and scenic view over Boston harbor is definite a bonus. Once again, thanks for the wonderful and educational evening, New England Aquarium!
• The next dinner featuring mussels, Alaskan salmon, and cobia will be on October 7th. Sign up now at the Celebrate Seafood website.
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)