Recipes & facts about our fish
Week 8 : Monkfish
For our eighth week, we are offering monkfish (Lophius americanus). The monkfish was caught as bycatch by scallop dredgers who sold it to the Point Pleasant Fishermen’s Cooperative, in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
- Where do these fish live, and do they migrate? Monkfish live on the eastern coast of North America. The behavior of the monkfish is poorly understood and very little information is known about the their migration pattern.
- What do they eat, and what eats them? Monkfish are considered opportunistic feeders. Young monkfish mostly eat smaller fish, shrimp, and squid. Adult monkfish mostly eat other species of fish, but also feed on crustaceans, mollusks, seabirds, and diving ducks. Some predators of monkfish are swordfish, sharks, and skate.
- Other fun facts!
- Monkfish is a member of the Lophiidae family; marine bottom-dwelling fishes.
- Monkfish have a very large mouth and they have been known to eat prey nearly one-half their size. It is reported that their mouth can be more than twice the width of their tail
- An 11/lb monkfish will yield about 1/lb of tail fin fillets.
- For more information check out these website: http://eol.org/pages/206727/overview, http://dnr.maryland.gov/Fisheries/Pages/Fish-Facts.aspx?fishname=Monkfish , http://www.vvproductupdate.com/Monkfish.html , http://seattlefishnm.com/products/factsheets/monkfish,and https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/monkfish
Storage and cooking tips
Monkfish should be refrigerated immediately
DO NOT directly ice a Monkfish fillet! Filleted monkfish should be stored in a sealed plastic container and surrounded with ice.
Monkfish can be baked, broiled, fried, grilled, poached, or sautéed.
Week 7 : Eastern OYSTERS
For our seventh week, we are offering eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica). These eastern oysters were harvested in Great Bay, NJ by the Maxwell family.
Where do these fish live, and do they migrate? Oysters live in salty waters and can be found on rocks or along the side of an ocean. Oysters live in a group known as reefs. Reefs provide important shelter for fish.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Oysters feed on plankton, they consume food by opening their shells and by pumping water through their gills.
Other fun facts!
The eastern oyster is the state shellfish of Connecticut.
Oysters are able to change their sex during their lives. They could start as males and end as females and vice versa.
During breeding season, a female oyster can produce 100 million eggs.
The flavor from an oyster derived from the surrounding environment
Some oysters produce a gooey substance which coats irritating sand or grit trapped within its shell. This substance hardens into a smooth ball... a pearl.
For more info, check out https://www.originaloysterhouse.com/links-of-interest.php, http://www.pangeashellfish.com/oyster-faq#about-oysters-2 and the web site https://www.loxahatcheeriver.org/pdf/oyster-2-11x17-sm.pdf
Storage and cooking tips
Store live oysters in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F. if they are not to be used immediately. Place them deep side down (to retain their juices) in an open container. Cover the oysters with a damp towel or layers of damp newspaper. Oyster store this way will keep up to 5 to 7 days.
Week 6 : Atlantic Sea Scallops
For our sixth week, we are offering Atlantic sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus). These Atlantic sea scallops came from Viking village in Barnegat Light, NJ.
Where do these fish live, and do they migrate? Atlantic sea scallops live on the seafloor from the coast of Maine to North Carolina
What kind of places do they live in? Sandy or gravelly spots on the ocean floor about 20-110 meters deep.
Do they migrate? Scallops are able to swim short distances to a more suitable environment.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Scallops typically eat (filter) microscopic food, like algae and plankton that float through the water. Many predators enjoy eating scallops, including star fish, crabs, and people.
Other fun facts! They can live for 20 years or more; their age can be determined by the number of rings they have on their shell. Scallops are also mollusks that can “swim” by opening and closing their shells against the water. They can see: Scallops have anywhere from 50 to 100 eyes that line their mantle. These eyes may be a brilliant blue color, and allow the scallop to detect light, dark and motion.
For more info, check out Wiki Dot- Do scallops migrate seasonally? , The Ocean Action Agenda on The recovery of Atlantic sea scallops, https://oceanconservancy.org/wildlife-factsheet/sea-scallop/ and the website https://www.thoughtco.com/facts-about-scallops-2291857
Storage and cooking tips
Fresh scallops should be stored in the fridge if not cook right way within 2 days of receiving them. Store the scallops in the freezer to extend their shelf life.
WEEK 5 : Summer flounder (fluke)
For our fifth week, we are offering summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), also known as fluke. These summer flounder came from the Point Pleasant Fishermen’s Co-op, in Point Pleasant, NJ.
Where do these fish live, and do they migrate? Summer flounder is common off the coast of the northeast U.S.
What kind of places do they live in? Summer flounder live in the sand.
Do they migrate? Summer flounder adults migrate away from shore during the fall and winter, and back again in the spring.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Summer flounder are bottom-feeders that eat all kinds of critters, including other fishes, crabs, shrimps, squids, and worms.
Other fun facts! It is nearly impossible to spot a flounder because it blends in so well with its surroundings.They have a flat body that is brown (on top) and white (on bottom). They also are born with one eye on each side of the head, and as they get older, one eye migrates to the other side! Adults have both eyes on the left, or top, side of the head. This feature makes them a “left-handed” flat fish!
Storage and cooking tips
Place your fluke in the refrigerator as soon as possible!
WEEK 4: Clams & porgy
(See down below for more information)
Week 3: CLams
For week 3, we are offering littleneck clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), the smallest size (~2 inches in diameter) of hard clams, also known as quahogs (KO-hog) or Atlantic hard-shell clams.
You know that storm that last week? Not only did that storm knock over a bunch of trees on land, it also prevented boats from going out fishing. And that storm coming up this week means that boats didn’t go out this week either. Clammers, on the other hand, were able to harvest clams in between the storms.
Where do these clams live? The hard clam is native to the eastern shores of North America and Central America (from Prince Edward Island to the Yucatán Peninsula).
What kind of places do they live in? The hard clam buries itself in shallow mud or sand. It is among the most commercially important species of invertebrate.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Like other clams, hard clams are filter feeders, which means they suck water in and eat tiny particles floating in the water. Littleneck clams have many predators, but they are most commonly preyed on by octopus, sea stars, crabs, and other fish.
Any other fun facts? Hard clams may live to be 40 years old! When clam larvae (or baby clams) are 1 to 2 weeks old, they grow a ¨foot¨, which is used to crawl over and explore surfaces before settling down. When a larva finds a good place to settle down, it will anchor itself with thin threads that come from a gland on that foot.
- For more information, check out the Wikipedia page on hard clams, and the Chesapeake Bay Program’s page on hard clams.
These clams are alive, and should stay alive until you cook them! To keep them happy:
Keep them damp in your refrigerator.
But don’t keep them in a plastic bag - they can’t breathe through the plastic. They like being loose in a crisper drawer, or in a fabric or mesh bag, or in a loosely covered bowl.
If you find an open clam, you can tap it to see if it is still alive. If it is still alive, it will close up by itself when you tap it. If it doesn’t close up, it is dead and should be discarded.
They should keep up to a week if stored carefully in the refrigerator.
WEEK 2: Porgy/Scup
For our second week, we are offering porgy (Stenotomus chrysops), also known as scup.
Where do they live? Scup are common in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to South Carolina.
What kind of places do they live in? Scup tend to hang out in groups (or schools), and can be found both in open sandy areas, and also in rocky areas and reefs.
Do they migrate? Like many fish in this area, scup spend the winter in deeper water further from shore. (In the wintertime, that deep water is warmer than the shallow water closer to land.) Then in the spring and summer they come closer to shore and hang out in bays and estuaries.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Scup eat a lot of different kind of animals, including worms, small clams and crabs, small fish, and anything else they can find on the bottom of the ocean. Many bigger fish (including flounder and sharks) eat scup.
Any other fun facts? Archeological evidence suggests that scup have lived in this region for thousands of years!
For more information, check out this NOAA memo on scup.
Storage and cooking tips
Place your porgy/scup in the refrigerator as soon as possible!
Porgy/scup are similar to snapper in terms of cooking; you can adapt any snapper recipe for porgy/scup.
For instructions on how to scale and gut your fish, you can read this guide.
Week 1: Squid
For our first week, we are offering longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealii, formerly known as Loligo pealii). They are known in the industry as Loligo squid.
Our squid was caught primarily by the Cape May-based vessel Nordic Viking (captained by Jimmy Lunds). A small portion was caught by the Rhode Island-based vessel Debbie Sue (led by Captain Tory). All the squid was cleaned by employees at Lunds Fishery in Cape May, NJ.
- Where do these squid live? Loligo squid are found in the Atlantic from Canada to Venezuela.
Do they migrate? Like many fish in this area, Loligo squid spend the winter in deeper water further from shore and come closer to shore in the spring and summer.
What do they eat, and what eats them? Loligo squid eat anything they can find, including small crabs, fish, and other squid. They are important food for fish, whales, dolphins, and seabirds.
Other fun facts? Loligo squid are used to study neuroscience. Also, their lifespan is usually less than one year.
Place your squid in the refrigerator as soon as possible!
If you want to freeze your squid, place it in a ziploc bag, squeeze all the air out, seal tightly, place in the freezer, and use within 2 months.
- To avoid rubbery squid, cook it very quickly (less than 2 min, just until opaque) or stew it at low heat for a long time (an hour or more).
There are so many delicious ways to eat squid! Here are just a few!
- Fried calamari
- Korean spicy stir-fried squid
- Italian stuffed squid
- Chinese salt-and-pepper squid
- A collection of quick squid recipes
Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.