It’s a new year, and if you ask us, eating more delicious locally sourced fish should absolutely be on your resolution list - but we may be a little biased there!
This month, we’re focusing on some simple, timeless flavours, showing that there’s still plenty of taste and elegance to be found even in staple dishes.
First up, we’re putting a feature spotlight on canned salmon, and why it should be promoted from afterthought to kitchen essential.
Next, we have a novel take on an Italian classic with a look at some ideas for making seafood lasagne. And finally, we’re going to be chowing down on some chowder, something that is a key part of our menu and product range!
Spotlight on Canned Salmon
Canned foods can have something of a misleading reputation. These aren’t just last resort options for camping trips and the forgotten corners of your cupboards — with the right use, and the right source, canned goods can be a healthy, versatile, and delicious option.
And if there’s one canned food option that stands above the rest (for us at least), it’s canned salmon!
Oily fish such as salmon is loaded with omega fatty 3 acids, which are great for your health. And the canned option may even be richer in protein and calcium than its fresh counterpart.
Luckily, the flaky and delicious product that is canned salmon can be used in a variety of ways.
Canned salmon ideas:
- Salmon Burgers
The flaky texture lends itself perfectly to a burger patty that will hold up while frying and have an amazing texture when eating. Simply top with a fresh zingy slaw, tomatoes, and sandwich inside a brioche bun for a fresh summery taste
- Sriracha Salmon Summer Rolls
You can buy the rice paper wrappers from any good Asian supermarket (or the Asian section of your local grocery store) and then it’s just a matter of loading them up with thinly sliced vegetables and a generous helping of hot sauce for something that is fun to eat and fun to make
- Salmon Fried Rice
There are few things tastier than fried rice, a must-have accompaniment to any stir fry — but the addition of flaky canned salmon can somehow take things up a notch! We think this would go great with a teriyaki sauce and grilled vegetables.
The key to finding good canned salmon? Freshly caught, sustainably sourced, high quality salmon canned by people who know what they’re doing.
Thankfully, you don’t have to look far, we stock a wide variety of canned salmon all taken from the same catch as our fresh variety, and it can all be found here.
Recipe Highlight - Seafood Lasagne
Lasagne is one of those universally beloved dishes. The kind where everyone knows what to expect, and the fewer surprises the better. However, a seafood lasagne is a delicious twist on the classic beef and tomato sauce dish.
You’ll definitely want to try out one of these three amazing variations for creating a tempting seafood lasagne:
- The Classic
As a seafood meat that takes to both cream sauces and cheese exceptionally well, crab makes for an amazing take on the classic lasagne formula without any real adaptation required. Simply use fresh shredded crab mixed into a light tomato sauce and layer up as usual and bake.
- The Decadent
To transform your lasagna recipe into a seafood delight , switch out the traditional meat ragu for a decadent seafood ragu of finely diced white fish, salmon, prawns, and a generous glug of white wine to reduce. Omit tomatoes and add cream for a truly rich dish
- The Fine Dining
For the ambitious home cooks out there, try making lasagne sheets yourself at home, before filling them with a scallop or crab mousse, and drizzling the whole thing in a beurre blanc or natais (a traditional french butter sauce).
Those recipes just go to show that cooking is all about exploring ideas and breaking boundaries! And that with fresh high-quality ingredients such as those sold here at Oak Bay, there are truly no limits to the delicious food you can create.
All About Chowder
Speaking of classic dishes, few things are as synonymous with fish and seafood cookery as the immortal classic: Chowder.
Famed across New England, Seattle, and the Canadian Pacific Northwest, this is a dish with a long history and legions of fans across the globe. So it goes without saying that we not only had to put it on our menu, but also had to sell our very own Chowder creation in our store for you to buy!
The origins of Chowder are somewhat disputed - as with many classic dishes - but the most common theory is that it originated with French and English sailors on fishing boats, and that the name is taken from the French word for a special type of cauldron often used in cooking — Chaudiere.
The dish itself has evolved somewhat from its more prosaic origins, where a substance known as hardtack and other ingredients that were impervious to spoiling such as dry crackers were used to thicken the soup.
But you can still see the template of that dish even today, albeit with the slightly more refined ( and delicious) alternatives of roux or cream that are used to thicken it.
While the building blocks of a seafood chowder will be immediately recognizable to anyone — thick chunks of fish or seafood, a creamy soup, and packed with the flavours of garlic and herbs, there are still countless variations across the globe. In fact, Canadian chowder is its own distinct style of dish, typically thinner and more seafood-heavy than the creamy American versions.
Another of the reasons for chowder’s enduring popularity is its simplicity — and we’ve made things even simpler by preparing all the ingredients for you. All you have to do is cook on heat!
Our Seafood Chowder is packed full of flavour, with halibut, shrimp, cod, rockfish, and salmon, as well as dash of lemon zest and garlic to add that extra kick to proceedings.
Of course, you can still switch things up at home by adding some cubed bacon or pancetta to provide another dimension, much in the same way 19th century sailors would add salted pork.
No matter what the recipe, you’ll be sure to find the very best ingredients right here at Oak Bay. We source all of our produce locally and sustainably, meaning you’re getting the very best of the fantastic bounty of fish and seafood we have right here on our doorsteps.