For Cod and Country

For any cooks who are interested in expanding their seafood repertoire in a responsible way, Barton Seaver’s new cookbook, For Cod and Country, will be a welcome addition to the library.

Seaver, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, first gained attention as a sustainable seafood advocate as the executive chef of Hook restaurant in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood. Hook was swanky and the food was fantastic—Seaver took care that guests never felt like they were sacrificing a great meal for a cause.

A few years later, Seaver is an at-large chef and advocate, with a cookbook, a television series, and a fellowship with National Geographic. His knack for engaging audiences shows in For Cod and Country—organized by season, the book’s narrative connects readers with the sources of the food on their plates, while luring you into the kitchen with its purchasing tips and lovely recipes (like the one below, excerpted from the book). Seaver conveys an approach to cooking and eating in a way that minimizes environmental impact but maximizes pleasure and fun. Yes, please.

For any Boston-area readers, Seaver will be in town promoting the book next week, including a stop at the New England Aquarium. Until then, you can bring For Cod and Country into your kitchen with this recipe:

Smoked Bluefish Spread with Toasted Bread and Olive Oil

This recipe is a wonderful use of smoked bluefish, which can be strongly flavored. I tend to serve it at parties or enjoy it as an afternoon snack. If you cannot find smoked bluefish, you can substitute smoked trout or hot smoked salmon. The taste won’t be the same, but it’ll still be good.

8 ounces smoked bluefish
3 tablespoons sour cream
Salt
1 loaf crusty baguette, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Remove any skin from the bluefish and flake the fish into a bowl. Add the sour cream and whip with a whisk until the mixture forms a thick paste and the flakes have all broken down into a purée. Check for seasoning and adjust with a little salt if necessary. (This can be made up to a few days ahead of time; keep refrigerated until ready to serve.)

Brush the bread with olive oil and toast under the broiler (or in a toaster oven) until golden brown.

Serve the spread in a bowl with the toasted bread and lemon wedges surrounding it. Finish the spread with a heavy drizzle of olive oil, then serve.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or snack

Posted by: Chefs Collaborative

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