Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eric Ripert's Clams with Spicy Sausage from The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover's Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World

When it comes to the environment, trying to do the right thing can be exhausting. And confusing. So much so, in fact, that I sometimes find myself experiencing what I call "sustainability burnout."

Is this tomato local? Does it matter? (Not always, as it turns out.) Does this beef come from a grass fed cow? Is it okay if it's a cow from California or New York State? Is that organic? Can I recycle this? Are there hormones in that milk? It's enough to make me just give up and subsist on a diet of popcorn. Oh wait ... what if it's genetically modified?

And nowhere do things get more confusing than at the fish counter. Which fish is endangered this week? Does the MSC label really mean anything? Should I buy wild or farmed?

Enter The Perfect Protein, a new book co-authored by Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana.
Sharpless doesn't sugar-coat things: Yes, the world's oceans are overfished; and yes, you wouldn't know it to look at the seeming bounty on display at first world markets and grocery stores. But, while there are no magic bullet easy answers, it turns out that you can have your fish and eat it too, as long as you follow some simple rules, and are willing to defenestrate some of your culinary prejudices.

Rather than focusing solely on the finite numbers of popular big fish like salmon, Sharpless contends that we need to look to the abundant numbers of creatures that are lower on the food chain, but no less delicious - think mackerel, anchovies, sardines, clams, diver scallops, local crabs, lobster.  It's a simple mantra, one that borrows from Michael Pollan: "Eat wild seafood. Not too much of the big fish. Mostly local."

To help spread the word, I've been invited to be a "Perfect Protein Blogger" this summer. As such,  I'll be cooking with sustainable seafood and sharing my recipes and thoughts here at Tasty Trix. To kick things off, I made one of the recipes from the book - Eric Ripert's clams with spicy sausage (As it turns out, the pork and clams combination exerts a siren-like pull on me):
Given Ripert's reputation as the seafood master chef, this was every bit as good as you'd expect. Onion, garlic, curry powder, lemon zest, spicy andouille sausage, cilantro, and a whole mess of local littleneck clams - these simple ingredients come together perfectly to create a subtle, complex dish.

I am looking forward to trying more dishes from the book as well as coming up with sustainable seafood recipes of my own. If you want to see what other Perfect Protein bloggers come up with, follow the #perfectprotein hashtag on Twitter.

Happy sustainable eating!

I was provided with a review copy of the Perfect Protein; the views expressed here are my own. 


  1. Well you know me. I can't think about a non-sustainable Clams. Pork and Clams must go on to rule the world together. Its funny that you should be approached by the people pushing clams. No lie, I got hit up by the pork people last week. It truly is destiny.

  2. Fantastic! If only we could all be mindful all the time!

  3. Love the recipe with the curry... I've never tried that with clams but am fond of clams with sausage. I know the Chinese and their ocean raping mega fishing is killing the ocean... now Chinese are buying Smithfield to send pork to China? What a world. Hard to be positive about it but at least we must all do what we can to help.

  4. What a lovely dish, and so beautifully photographed. Must keep it short-am typing one handed after shoulder surgery.

    Adri the avid cook & blogger
    Was felled like a tree by a logger
    Her shoulder was shot, Surgeon Knapp said "Fear not,
    Dearest Adri,you'll still be a blogger.