Why It’s a Good Idea to Smoke Your Own Fish

Uh, oh, the FDA is recalling Haifa Smoked Fish, due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers most likely to be affected are those who bought the company’s smoked fish in greater New York, New Jersey and Illinios. Oy!

If you love smoked fish (and who doesn’t), fire up the grill and smoke it yourself. It’s easy, and we tell you how in our recipes for Hot-Smoked Sablefish and Hot-Smoked Arctic Char with Mixed Greens and Golden Beets. Even better, the fish will be sustainably sourced.

Where there’s smoke, there’s flavor!

NOURISH Evolution Serves Up a Taste of Sonoma

Serving food to 2,500 hungry people is lots of fun–especially if you do it on a perfect September Saturday in the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country. That’s what we did at last weekend’s Taste of Sonoma at the historic MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg. The sell-out crowd came to spend the day sipping Sonoma County’s best wines, watching chef demonstrations and sampling tasty treats.

Healdsburg is Lia’s home turf, so of course NOURISH Evolution Partnership Director Mary Beth Burner and I gussied up to join the fun (that’s us with Lia in the lower right-hand photo).

We spent two days cooking up Corn & Quinoa Pasta Salad, Asian Pesto and Hot-Smoked Sablefish (the recipe is below). People relished tasting new-to-them foods, such as quinoa and Jovial einkorn whole grain pasta (it’s rolling out at Whole Foods nationwide in coming months) or the zippy pesto with Asian flare.

“I love this sablefish!” said one new fan. “I’m sick of salmon, it’s nice to have something new.”

“This is food I live for,” raved another.

Hungry festival-goers gobbled it up, and lots of peeps came back for seconds–with friends in tow. Many lined up to watch Lia demo the pasta salad, pesto and our Sauteed Sablefish Ginger-Soy Glaze. She also demonstrated a cumin-crusted grilled scallop recipe at the Alaska Seafood station.

The most fun for us was meeting NOURISH Evolution fans in person and making lots of new friends. If we didn’t see you there, you can enjoy your own Taste of Sonoma with the recipes on our site (they’re exactly what we served on Saturday). And we hope to see you at next year’s event. It’s a delightful way to spend your Labor Day weekend!

Hot-Smoked Sablefish (Black Cod)

Wild-caught sablefish (a k a black cod, Alaska cod, butterfish) from Alaska is a fatty, mild-flavored fish with luscious, buttery texture. It’s an ideal candidate for smoking. If your fillet is long, cut it in half so you can pull the thinner tail end, which will cook more quickly, off the grill when it’s done. If you can’t find sablefish, use wild Alaskan salmon instead. Your choice of wood will influence the taste. For more pronounced smoky flavor, use hickory. For subtle smokiness, use applewood. Serve atop crackers, flaked over a tossed green salad or with bagels and cream cheese (with capers, of course).



Hot-Smoked Arctic Char with Greens and Golden Beets

Arctic char is a relative of salmon and trout, with flavor is somewhere between the two, and it has a luscious fattiness. The fish is native to chilly Arctic waters, and it’s a good option for sustainable aquaculture since the fish are cultivated in closed recirculating tank systems, according to Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish. I had a hot-smoked Arctic char salad similar to this one at the Los Angeles restaurant Ammo. This recipe demonstrates how easy it is to smoke fish on a standard grill. Serve the smoked arctic char warm or chilled. This recipe also works well with wild salmon.