Want to know what a sustainable seafood menu looks like? Here are a few samplings: green crab bisque, avocado seaweed salad, monkfish with Thai green curry and basmati and seafood ceviche. Want to give any of those mouthwatering dishes a try? Head over to Stillings Dining Hall Wednesday, April 25, between 4:30 to 8 p.m. for the sustainable seafood dinner and you can sample those offerings and more.
The annual dinner is presented by UNH Dining in collaboration with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, UNH Cooperative Extension, New Hampshire Sea Grant, North Coast Seafood and Best Aquaculture Practices.
“With dishes like the monkfish, I am just trying to get people to try something different that they do not normally try,” says executive chef Kevin Jacques. “I put some really nice littleneck clams on there, too; a nice clam flavor with a little chew to it. It’s completely different than a steamer clam that we tend to get during the summer months. I have incorporated some local seaweed as well.”
“We’re looking to see if there could be a soft-shell market.”
Gabriela Bradt, a commercial fisheries specialist with New Hampshire Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension, says that when Jacques contacted her about showcasing seaweed and green crabs at the dinner, she “jumped all over it.” Bradt has led several seaweed workshops on the benefits of eating seaweed that she says, “packs a nutritional punch,” and has recently been exploring the idea of creating a market for green crabs.
The invasive crustaceans, most often used for bait, are sometimes an ingredient in soups and broths. Their hard shell and small size has kept them from being a viable entrée but Bradt hopes to help change that. Doing so would not only help control the population but provide another resource for fishermen.
“If you get them right after they molt, when their shells are soft, then you could eat them. We’re looking to see if there could be a soft-shell market,” Bradt says. The research is being done through New Hampshire Sea Grant’s N.H. Green Crab Project.
Jacques is interested in doing his part to promote green crabs as well, saying, “I am very aware of the crabs being an invasive species, so I’ll try to do what I can to help keep them at bay.”