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Join us for Easter at the Cannery!

2014 Easter jpegJoin us for our annual Easter Scavenger Hunt! This year, our hunt has been extended over three days and will take place all day Good Friday through to Easter Sunday. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Easter Salmon scurrying by! Included with regular admission to the site.

Scrumptious Seafood: Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Just in case dyed eggs aren’t your thing for the upcoming Easter weekend, there’s a more grown up alternative in these delectable deviled eggs. Brought to you by Fine Cooking - the Easter Bunny’s got enough on his plate!

  • 6 large hard-cooked eggs
  • 4 oz. cold-smoked salmon, very finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. minced red onion
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. packed finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Peel and halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks and crumble them into a medium bowl. Add the salmon, 3 Tbs. of the chives, the mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, zest, and 1/8 tsp. pepper and mix. Mound the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. chives and several grinds of black pepper.

Scrumptious Seafood: DIY Gravlax

AKA cured salmon, to those who aren’t Scandinavian fishermen by trade. Voila a delicious guide to making this brunch treat in the (soon to be fishy) comfort of your own home, courtesy of Edible Vancouver. Read more about the medieval origins of the name here.

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lb (700g to 1kg) wild salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 cup (250mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp (8mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 large bunches fresh dill, chopped

Cut the fillet into two pieces and remove the pin bones (pressing down with your fingers to locate them, then using tweezers if necessary). In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, pepper, and dill. In a dish (large enough to hold the two pieces of fish stacked one on top of the other), spread 1/4 of the sugar mixture. Lay the first piece of fish over it, skin side down. Cover the flesh side well with half of the remaining mixture. Spread what remains of the cure over the flesh side of the second piece of fish, and lay this, skin side up, on top of the first piece. You’ll have what looks like a salmon sandwich with the sugar-salt cure as filling. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with pebbles or cans. Leave unrefrigerated for six hours so the cure melts into the fish flesh (unless you’re doing this during a heat wave or your home is very warm, in which case it would be safest to put the fish straight into the fridge.)

The fish will be cured after 24 hours, but more flavourful after 2 days. Unwrap the fish and rinse away the cure. Dry well and slice thinly on the bias (at a 45-degree angle to the skin). Discard the skin (somewhere near a cat).

Thank you, Cannery volunteers!

‘Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.’
       -Marjorie Moore

April 6th-12th is National Volunteer Week and the perfect time to say how much we appreciate everything our dedicated team does to help us. Come to the Cannery and chances are good that you will encounter a volunteer – perhaps greeting you at a special event, organizing the gift shop, or imparting their considerable knowledge on tour. Equally important are the helping hands behind the scenes who are building our exhibits, mailing our newsletters, processing our memberships and making the big decisions on our board. They help us run this place on every level and we could not succeed without them. All together now…YOU’RE THE BEST!

What Am I? The Iron Butcher!

Full Iron butcher resized

After a short hiatus for spring break, the answer to the previous mystery is: the Iron Butcher!

So what did this death-defying steampunk-esque machine of grinding gears and spinning blades do? It removed the parts of the salmon that you don’t (usually) want to munch on – the guts, fins, tail, and head.  The close up photo from last week is of a wheel that was specifically designed to eviscerate (gut) the salmon.  The machine is one of the earlier cannery inventions, coming on board in 1906. A Canadian-born, Seattle-based inventor by the name of E.A. Smith dreamed up this baby, thereby revolutionizing the canning industry.

Though we call ours the ‘Iron Butcher’, the machine has a couple of other monikers as well. These machines replaced the manual labour workforce that butchered fish by hand – a workforce composed mainly of Chinese men. Some of these men ended up working at other spots on the canning line while others, unfortunately, lost their jobs.  The Cannery has two of these machines on display – come and check them out daily from 10am to 5pm! (Bonus: Our machines are from two different eras, so have a gander at the widely differing safety measures in place on these!)

Next week’s mystery item consists of two pictures, try and see if you can guess how these go together!

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The babies are swimming!

salmonids 002 - blogThe baby salmon, that is. They’re actually called fry, but as you may have guessed, we’re rather attached to them. Now that they’ve fully hatched, we’re able to keep the doors of their ‘cradle’ open throughout the day.  When they make the big journey up to the top of the tank to take a gulp of air, they will inflate their swim bladders and be able to float. We’ll begin to feed them next week (mm, krill!) in preparation for their release in May. Drop by and see them while you can!

Scrumptious Seafood: Scallion Crusted Arctic Char

photo by Romulo Yanes

Farmed Arctic Char is a Best Choice on the SeaChoice Sustainability Guide and, if this Gourmet recipe via Epicurious is any indication, delightfully simple to prepare. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

Ingredients 4 to 6 scallions 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 2 (6-ounce) pieces arctic char fillet Preparation

Preheat broiler. Line rack of . . . → Read More: Scrumptious Seafood: Scallion Crusted Arctic Char

Roe, roe, roe your boat?

Several RCMP vessels are docked at Shearwater on Denny Island near Bella Bella to guard against any potential interference by Heiltsuk protesting a commercial gillnet fishery in local waters. Photo courtesy of The Vancouver Sun.

The Vancouver Sun reports that RCMP have been installed in Bella Bella as the conflict over the commercial herring . . . → Read More: Roe, roe, roe your boat?

Happy Friday!

Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. As seen on Twitter, courtesy of the Pacific North West Salmon Center in Belfair, WA, @PNWSC.

Scrumptious Seafood: Spaghetti with Squid, Bell Pepper & Lemon

Scrumptious? Check. Sustainable? Check, provided you use U.S. Atlantic longfin squid. Really, the Seafood Watch recipe from the Monterey Bay Aquarium has everything going for it. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Serves 2, can be doubled) 6 ounces spaghetti, preferably multigrain 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 whole garlic cloves, flattened 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut into . . . → Read More: Scrumptious Seafood: Spaghetti with Squid, Bell Pepper & Lemon