7 Seafood Recipes That Go From Dock to Dish
Seafood is never out of season in North Carolina. In springtime, we can enjoy the lighter fare that opens the door to the shrimp boils, oyster roasts and beach cooking that follows in summer. North Carolina State University offers a treasure chest of seafood recipes from its Seafood Lab. Another great source for seasonal fare is North Carolina Sea Grant, also through NC State. These, and others, offer guides to the seasonal top picks for farm, stream and ocean fish.
In addition to the bounty of the ocean, North Carolina is also home to several catfish and tilapia farms, which makes it easier to know exactly the source of your fish.
Safe handling and freshness quality are key elements in enjoying seafood fully. The aforementioned websites both offer great guidelines. Cross-contamination, safe storing, seasonal peaks, proper cooking temperatures and freshness education are key in avoiding illness and enhancing seafood texture and flavor.
Springtime is when local produce and fish pair up naturally. A season of freshness opens back up for warm weather culinary adventures. Whatever is coming out of the ground right now is generally going to be good with what comes out of the water. Seasonal favorites combine to make friends on our plates.
Everything is a bit more precious and tender this time of year. The Catfish Cakes in this story were inspired by simple parsley and late-picked citrus. My preschool-aged granddaughters finished off a whole plate of them. We adults had to wait for the second batch.