Extreme Cuisine – Smoked Albacore
Albacore, not to be confused with yellowfin, yellowtail, ahi or bluefin, is, like those other fish I just mentioned, a type of tuna, that is sometimes also labeled “white meat” when it’s packed into cans. It can reach 140 cm in length and up to 45 kg in weight. Very highly prized by chefs and home cooks alike because of its delicate meat, albacore is fished off the West Coast, in the Mediterranean and other warm waters around the world.
A lot of consumers have begun to rethink what types of seafood is safe to buy. And why not? By far, the majority of shoppers are concerned about high levels of mercury and overfishing. Luckily, albacore tuna is proving to be the right choice in these two areas and more. First, albacore tuna do not swim with dolphins; so, there’s no danger that dolphins might get caught up in the hunt. Second, testing has found that albacore contain very low mercury levels. Third, SeaChoice considers albacore to be the “best choice.” It’s a type of tuna that, except perhaps in the North Atlantic, is not in danger of being overfished. The
BC-Canadian Albacore Troll-Jig Fishery, a member of the SeaWatch, OceanWise and SeaChoice programs, recently took part in an assessment performed by the independent Global Trust Certification. Contracted by the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation and the Western Fish Boat Owners, the outcome of that assessment should officially recognize the BC-Canadian Troll and Jig Fishery’s commitment to sustainable fishing.
If your grocer doesn’t label which fish are sustainable, ask him or her to do so. Far from being a fad. The push for sustainable products in our grocery stores is growing because consumers believe it’s important. In the meantime, here’s a great recipe adapted from the BC-Canadian Troll and Jig Fishery’s collection.
Smoked Albacore Tuna Panini
6-12 slices smoked Canadian Albacore tuna (or substitute Canadian Albacore Canned Tuna)
1 cup brine-cured black olives, sliced
1 cup pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
1/4 cup pepperoncini or banana peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp minced shallots or red onions
2 Tbsp finely chopped celery
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 small ciabatta buns
3 Tbsp garlic herbed cream cheese
Shredded Romaine lettuce, as needed
1. Combine and mix all Olive Salad ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Yields about 2-1/2 cups.
2. To Serve: Slightly toast rolls and cut each in half. Spread 1/2 Tbsp of garlic herb cream cheese on the bottom half of each roll and pile on some shredded lettuce, then 2-4 slices of smoked Canadian Albacore Tuna, each about 1/4 inch thick. Top the other half with a heaping tablespoon of the Olive Salad. Assemble the sandwiches, place on a platter and serve.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of sparkling rosé.