Basics for the Refrigerator and Freezer

The refrigerator and freezer are essential to a good pantry. When it comes to the refrigerator, goods from the sea are as necessary as eggs and butter. Look for items such as smoked fish, fish dips, and pasteurized crab that can be added to warmed corn tortillas, omelettes, soups, and more. When it comes to the freezer and fish, frozen really is the new fresh. Best-in-class freezing techniques mean that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between fresh and frozen. The best of the best in fish and seafood now comes straight from your freezer, so stock up!

Cobia

Cobia

Open Blue Cobia offers frozen fillets.

Crab

Crab

Recommend: I like keeping jumbo lump crab meat on hand. 

Sustainability: I recommend pasteurized, frozen blue crab caught in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay with trotlines – a domestic crab that is considered a “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch. Blue crab stocks in the U.S. are considered healthy in most states with the exception of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay waters. In these areas, there is an endangered turtle called the Diamondback Terrapin which lives in the brackish waters of estuaries, tidal creeks, and salt marshes of these states and gets caught in the pots used to catch crabs.

 

Trout

Trout

Riverence Smoked Steelhead Trout

Lobster

Lobster

Frozen lobster meat from Maine is incredible.

Salmon

Salmon

Recommend: You can never go wrong with smoked salmon – I love smoked Kvaroy Arctic and Santa Barbara Smokehouses Rope Hung Smoked Salmon. Kvaroy Arctic’s Salmon Burgers & Hot Dogs are also phenomenal.

Sustainability: I believe that there are many great salmon choices – from well-managed wild stocks when it’s salmon season to marine net pens to indoor recirculating tanks (RAS) with wastewater treatment. I am so excited to champion a third-generation family farmer in the Arctic Circle, Kvaroy Arctic. It is a way to support farming done right while championing sustainable, ethical aquaculture.
Trout

Shrimp

Recommend: Shell and tail on and frozen – look for the ASC or BAP label and read more about sourcing shrimp in this blog postI also recommend Kauai Shrimp, a farm on the west shore of the island of Kauai, is also rated “Best Choice.”

Sustainability: Keep an eye out for giant freshwater prawns farmed in Central and South America and giant tiger prawns from Selva Shrimp Verified Farms in Southeast Asia, which are rated green for “Best Choice.” 

“Good Alternatives” (the yellow rating from Seafood Watch) include white leg shrimp from ponds from Ecuador and Honduras, white leg shrimp grown in infrequent exchange ponds from Thailand, and giant freshwater prawns from Asia.

For wild-caught “Best Choice” shrimp, look for spot prawns (aka spot shrimp) and two other closely related coldwater shrimp: the sidestripe and the coonstripe (both of which may be marketed as spot shrimp or prawns). These are caught on the Pacific Coast, primarily from Washington to Alaska.

Pacifico Striped Sea Bass

Sea Bass

For Chilean sea bass, look for the MSC label.

Lobster

Seafood Dip

A smoked seafood dip is great to have on hand for snacks and appetizers. Here is the recipe for my Tinned Smoked Salmon and Caper Dip

Tuna Fillet

Tuna

Albacore tuna steaks are delicious!

Non Sea-Essentials

Basics for the Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Butter, unsalted
  • Eggs, large grade A
  • Garlic: fresh cloves, minced in oil
  • Lemons                      
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk
  • Yogurt, plain non-fat