Cape Ann Fresh Catch [Greater Boston Area, MA]

They try not to repeat within a season, but IME the reach exceeds the grasp. Lotsa pollock. And though there are a few varieties of flounder/dabs, it’s still flounder.

And every week it is flounder or dabs I am deliriously happy – especially dabs! Pollock is mighty tasty too in my book. just depends what you like.

I’ll document my experiences with them here.

My understanding is that they work with local fisherpeople. I’m curious how it works. If, as you suggest above, knowing what they have for Monday deliveries tells you something about what you’re likely to get on a Wednesday, it would imply that they buy a whole bunch of one type of fish every week then distribute it. It’s possible that’s how they operate. It seems equally plausible, though, that they buy one type of fish from one outfit on a Sunday, give it out on Monday, buy another type of fish on Tuesday, give it out on Wednesday, etc. They may even buy several varieties from one or more sources on one day and give out different varieties to different customers the next day.

When I was distributing the shares, I was asked when the fish was caught, so I asked the office. They told me it is usually within a day, never more than two. I believe that the reason there tends to be the same variety several, if not all, days of a given week is that there are a lot of that fish in the area that week, so that’s what the dayboats are unloading at the dock. It’s 18 months since CAFC dropped my location so I can’t swear things are still the same. I was surprised to see the addition of swordfish since it’s my understanding that these are caught farther out to sea than dayboats travel, but perhaps the big fish are now swimming closer to shore.

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I picked up a pound of very fresh-seeming haddock and a pound of salmon from them on Monday. Their suggested recipe was to roast sliced potatoes, tomatoes and thinly sliced shallots, with salt, olive oil, and a touch of fresh thyme covered at 425 for 45 mins, then add a layer of thinly sliced lemon topped with the fish (seasoned with salt and more thyme), and roast, covered again, for another 15 min.

I tweaked this a bit: I added a liberal dash of maras pepper flakes (maras is a Turkish hot red pepper) to the potato-tomato-shallot mix, and roasted covered for 25 min and uncovered thereafter. (As I had suspected the mix had gotten a bit soupy when covered). I then turned on the broiler, leaving the pan in while it was pre-heating, and added the fish seasoned with thyme, “Kamput & Salt” from the excellent Curio Spices on Mass Ave (a Cambodian black pepper and Maine sea salt mix, with a touch of lime), and liberal dabs of butter. I should have had the pan closer to the broiler, because I wanted some browning, but the results were nevertheless tasty. (I purposely stuck in one filet upside down to get a bottom view.)

I pan-fried the salmon rubbed with salt and cayenne, skin side down first till it crisped, then briefly on the other side. Added fried capers.


Those pictures are making me hungry! I do find with the recipes that they send I have to use my own judgment about how long the fish should be cooked. They pick internet recipes that sound good and I don’t think they test them and sometimes the directions would have you cook the fish a laughably long time.

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Yes, 15 min at 425 seemed a longish time for something like haddock. Mine was done (even a trifle over) after 5 minutes under the broiler.

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Cape Ann Fish, Week of 6/12 of the late spring and early summer season

Picked up a lb each of monkfish and scallops on Monday. Kept them on ice till Tuesday, when we had planned a barbecue.

Marinated the scallops briefly in a vitamixed juice of garlic, ginger and lemon, then skewered them and grilled sprinkled with salt and pepper on charcoal. Served on a bed of faintly pickled cucumbers, shallots and jalapeno (shocked with ice water, then “pickled” for a few hours in the fridge with sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar).

Coated the monkfish (cut into chunks) with a green chutney of garlic, ginger, green thai chilies, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes before skewering and grilling.


Oh, eggs. I got some of the “Cape Ann eggs” for $6.25 a dozen last week (6/5). Expensive, but no more so than other “farm eggs.” I fried a couple in butter, with one of Carol’s heirloom blue eggs from Whole Foods as a comparison:

The blue egg had an orangier yolk, and there was less of the thin white that runs all over the pan. The yolks of all the eggs tasted nicely eggy, with the edge to the Cape Ann.


Yesterday’s offering was swordfish. I was told it was local, but the reminder email did not offer details. (If you opted out, you got pollock from F/V Catherine F. The given name of your particular fish was not revealed.)

I was in a hurry when I got home with the fish, and had to move fast. I rubbed a mix of kashmiri chili powder (very red in color, but very mild as these things go), sri lankan turmeric (from Curio) and salt all over the fish. Chopped potatoes, fennel and spring onions, mixed with some of the dry rub and roasted in the oven at 425 on a parchment lined baking pan with olive oil for 20 min. Towards the end of this, panfried the fish in olive oil on medium-high for about 90 seconds on both sides and about a minute on the edges (steadied with tongs. Then placed on vegetables in oven for another 8 minutes. Meanwhile, poured off excess oil from frying pan, and used a tbsp of butter and a squeeze of lemon to deglaze it. Poured this over fish after it was moved to a serving plate.


Wow, that sure looks tasty!

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Last week of the late spring early summer season (and my 4th week):

The fish was dab, yesterday and I had to look it up:

It was suggested that I flour and fry, and I can see how that would have been good, but I did not have the time to give each delicate filet the attention that that method required. So I simmered a sauce of soy, a little rice vinegar, a touch of sesame oil, thinly slivered ginger, thinly sliced fennel, some young garlic cloves, chopped scapes and a seeded thai chili. Then slid the the fish in for a couple of minutes.


Dabs are just a small flatfish. Treat them like flounder, sole, or fluke.

Frames? Is that a modern euphemism for carcasses?

uh no. Frame is common terminology for skeleton of fish, after the meat has been sliced off for filets.

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Reply to KWagle: yeah, google is a “modern euphemism” for “looking up stuff.” Many recipes for fish stocks, soups, stews, paellas call for “fish frames” for making a flavorful liquid for cooking fish.

I’m finally doing a Cape Ann Fresh Catch fish share. Yesterday’s allocation for my 1 pound fillet portion were 2 delicate fillets of haddock plus a bit extra to fill out the full weight.

Pristinely fresh haddock with not even a tiny whiff of fishiness. I quickly baked the fillets with a diced beefsteak tomato, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a few squeezes of harissa (from a tube) brushed on top of the fillets. Threw in a few chopped, pitted oil-cured Moroccan black olives at the end. The concoction made a sauce as the fish baked. Quick and easy.

We were too hungry to get a useful photo, though!


Hope you’ll keep posting what you’re getting each week.

I decided not to continue the share for the main summer season. I found it onerous to be at a particular place at a particular time each week. And (as with vegetable shares) I find that making selections at a market suits my style of shopping better than getting something that somebody else has selected.

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