BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY SUPPORTED FISHERY Mermaid’s Garden has just announced two new pickup points starting later this month. Adding Ditmas Park’s Sycamore Bar and Flower Shop and Williamsburg’s Urban Rustic will greatly extend Mermaid’s Garden’s coverage for more than 200 fish lovers and adventurous eaters across Brooklyn.
There are also openings for some new members in the established spots in Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy, and Bushwick (see mermaidsgardennyc.com for locations). As always, the fish offered are sustainable species responsibly fished by individuals you will often get to know by name, thanks to the weekly email from Mermaid’s Garden.
Co-founders Bianca Piccillo, a Harvard-trained marine biologist, and Mark Usewicz, a Paris-trained chef, will become your mentors in protecting sealife one delicious dinner at a time. Bianca will gently educate you about the different varieties of fish they offer, frequently introducing you to the people and naming the boats that supply them, and on Mermaid’s Garden’s Facebook page, Mark shares recipes he has developed and some guidelines for better preparation. For instance, this one – posted last November – has proved itself in one of Brooklyn Artisan’s very own test kitchens.
Bay Scallop Crudo
Simple is the best recipe for bay scallops. This crudo recipe is a quick recipe that really lets the scallops shine.
12 Bay scallops, shucked
1 Tbsp. Lemon, juice of
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 drop Hot Sauce, (preferably scotch bonnet or habanero based)
Salt and Pepper
A few leaves of cilantro
1. In a nonreactive bowl mix the scallops, lemon, hot sauce and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.
But if that Italian-style scallop sushi is not your thing, you’ll find alternatives. The introduction to this recipe sets the tone:
How to Sear Bay Scallops
Searing bay scallops is a quick and easy process. The two most important things will be using a heavy pan such as cast iron or stainless steel and having your mise en place ready (a French term for having all of your ingredients and equipment ready). To sear your bay scallops you’ll need the following:
-Vegetable Oil (Canola, Grapeseed, Peanut, etc…), the higher the smoking point the better
-Salt and Pepper
-A heavy Pan
-Several layers of paper towels on a plate
For Mark’s step-by-step procedurals, go directly to the section of Mermaid’s Garden on Facebook.