While this free-range meets fruits-du-mer dish has plenty of elements, it can be prepared in the 15 minutes the chicken spends in the oven. Storebought basil oil can be substituted, but those with access to fresh basil and a blender will love the results.
Crab-Stuffed Free-Range Chicken Breast
6 oz (170 g) Dungeness crabmeat (fresh or canned)
1 red pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
4 oz (115 g) goat cheese
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter or extra virgin olive oil
4 free range chicken breasts (skin on or off)
Mix crab, red pepper, green onion, and goat cheese in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using sharp knife, make lengthwise incisions into each chicken breast. Place one quarter of crab mixture into each breast pocket. Seal with toothpick.
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Heat ovenproof frying pan and add butter or oil. Ease chicken breasts skin side down into pan so butter or oil does not splatter and brown for 2 minutes. Turn breasts over in pan and place frying pan in oven. Cook 15 minutes.
Root Vegetable Hash
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced small red potatoes
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced carrots
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced butternut squash
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced white onion
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Cut all vegetables into 1/2-in (1-cm) cubes. Boil potatoes in water until fork pierces through easily, about 4 minutes. Heat olive oil in frying pan over high heat, and saut?nions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add carrots, squash, and potatoes. Cook until fork pierces them easily, about 6 minutes. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
1/2 cup (125 mL) basil leaves
1/2 cup (125 mL) grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
While bringing a saucepan of water to boil, fill medium bowl with water and ice cubes. Blanch basil for 5 seconds in boiling water, remove, and immediately place in ice water. Drain. Place basil and oil in blender and blend on high for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; then strain through fine mesh sieve.
To serve, spoon equal amounts of the Root Vegetable Hash on the centre of each of 4 plates, top with Crab-stuffed Chicken Breast and dress with Basil Oil for extra colour and flavour. Serves 4.
source: "The Gramercy Guide to Better Cooking", alive #279, January 2006
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.
Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote , is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal. Sustainability status Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch. Prep party Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.