Friday, August 9, 2013

The Whole Fish: Grill-out on Shell Beach

Yesterday the team and I stopped by the Boston Fish Pier processing facility of Portside Seafoods, a member of the Leading Seafoods group. There, Bill, provided us with a fresh pollock to fill our cooler. Special Plans were in store for the fishing club at Camp Harbor View.

When we arrived later in the day we told the campers in fishing club that instead of the normal routine we would be traveling to Shell Beach for something special. Once they saw the grill they knew that they were in store for a treat.
Campers gathered around as I explain the first cut
When I pulled the fish from the cooler the kids were immediately engaged and full of questions. What kind of fish is that? Where are its heart and brain? Can you cut out the eye so we can see it? The last in particular was asked repeatedly, so I quickly showed the kids how to properly fillet a fish and then set about to tackling the eye question. After removing the eye and letting the kids hold it, I set about removing the marble-like lens from its interior. The kids were fascinated to see such a cool organ.

A camper holding some Vitreous Humour
After this process we lightly seasoned the fish with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice and threw it on the grill.

While that was cooking I talked to the group about sustainable practices, in particular various things that can be done with what was left of the fish to help the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. I explained that usable meat could still be taken off of certain areas in the frame and that the bones and head could be used to make soups. Additionally I baited our minnow and crab trap with a few chunks. While I had intended to compost the remainder of the frame to demonstrate another use for the leftovers, I was regrettably informed that CHV no longer puts meat in the compost after a number of incidents with Long Island's native raccoon population.

A tasty combination
By the time I had finished my discussion, the fish was ready, and the campers dug straight in, eating pieces directly from the grill. I no time the fish had been entirely devoured. So quickly in fact, that we had to be careful towards the end to make sure no one ate any foil.

- To a full stomach and shore lunch with good friends, Tom Rebula

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