Friday, August 21, 2009

My own seafood festival

I enjoyed fish at every meal on Thursday and I plan to attend an all-you-can-eat crayfish party tonight at Ikea in Paramus. Seafood is often the wisest choice when eating out because there is usually so little information about the origin of poultry and meat on menus.

My breakfast at home Thursday was another fat sandwich of preservative-free smoked wild sockeye salmon from Costco ($13.99 a pound), with hummus, tomato, romaine lettuce and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. This morning, I had the same sandwich, adding homemade pesto and substituting fresh mozzarella.

I was in Morristown on Thursday afternoon and stopped at The Grand Cafe, an elegant place for lunch: moist, flaky baked cod atop garlic mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms, all floating in a broth made from fresh peas ($12.95). Delicious. I soaked up every bit of the broth with crusty rolls. This legendary fish, often salted, feeds many ethnic groups: Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Jamaicans and more.

Back in Hackensack, I visited one of my all-time favorites, Wondee's, for another great Thai dinner: steamed shrimp-and-pork dumplings and steamed whole red snapper, topped with minced red chilies and garlic and swimming in a reddish broth ($16.95). This dish positively glows.

I ate all this wonderful food on a day when the media reported a federal study of mercury pollution in fish taken from nearly 300 streams across the country, but I'm not worried because the wild-caught fish I ate contained little mercury and came from the ocean or in the salmon's case, a river. I looked at the Web site of the U.S. Geological Survey, which released the study, but couldn't find a list of the streams or fish. The link is below.

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