Sustainable Seafood on the Grill

May 31, 2010

Working with the Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago, Chef Gerard teaches seafood lovers how to choose fish that are good environmental choices because the method of catching or farming them assures the long-term survival of the oceans, the Great Lakes and their inhabitants.

Chef Gerard is the Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and promoting environmentally sound alternatives to endangered seafood species. He travels around the world educating, consulting and demonstrating cooking using sustainable seafood products to ensure fish for our future. He is a dedicated chef who has spent many years as an Executive Chef in San Diego, California, and the Virgin Islands. Gerard has a well-honed understanding of Mediterranean cuisine as well, which he developed while spending three years in Spain, France and Italy. Chef Gerard has taught at culinary schools and is very active in the community of local farmers and his commitment to sustainable food practices extends to his role as the director of Savour Fine Catering.

Chef Gerard has devoted a large part of his career to what he terms "functional cooking". This is where he adds nutritional ingredients to dishes to gain healthful results. He is well known for his ability to lower the glycemic index value of food, add omega fatty acids, and whole proteins to dishes without compromising the texture or taste.

He's sharing some his favorite summer recipes featuring sustainable fish and healthy salads.

For more information on sustainable seafood, visit and

Grilled Scallops over Beet Salad with Broken Tomato, Orange and Red Palm Oil Vinaigrette
4 servings
5 large vine-ripened tomatoes or 1 can if out of season
2/3 cup Red Palm Oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup Minute Maid® Premium Heart Wise® Orange Juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Rosemary, fresh, 15-20 small leaves
.5 tsp Kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper


Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice.
Place remaining orange juice, Craisins, rosemary, salt and pepper in a sauce pan. Heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil while stirring frequently.
Pour cornstarch mixture into boiling juice mixture. Continue to boil and stir until thickened.
2# Scallops [About 16]

Core the tomatoes, chop, place in a blender, and puree. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. You should have about 2 1/2 cups puree.
Heat 1 Tbs of the palm oil in a non-reactive medium saucepan until hot. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until golden. Add the puree, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discard the solids. Repeat twice more until it is as thick as cream, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Be sure to lower the heat as the mixture thickens to prevent scorching. You should have about 1/4 cup of very smooth tomato juice. Taste for salt and pepper. Whisk together the palm oil, tomato mixture, and orange glaze, The mixture should be 1/3 ea.

3 small raw beets, trimmed and peeled
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Agave Syrup
2 Tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the beets on the julienne blade of a mandoline, or grate them on a box grater if you don't have a mandoline.
Combine the beets, orange zest and shallots in a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, Agave, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.

1. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops and marinate in Red palm Oil.
2. Salt and pepper the scallops. Place the scallops on the grill for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have grill marks on each side while still being translucent in the center. Remove from grill and plate over beet salad, spoon dressing around the plate.

Seared Scallops with Salsa Romesco
1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp Malaysian Red Palm Oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Romesco Sauce [recipe follows]

1.Remove the small side muscle from the scallops.
2.Add the butter and oil to a 12 inch sauté pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately with sauce.

2 cups
12 blanched almonds
10-12 hazelnuts
1 head garlic
1 slice stale bread
2 ripe medium size tomatoes
2 large roasted red peppers, well-drained
1 cup Red Palm Oil
1/2 cup red wine or sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1. Roast garlic by first rubbing off excess dry skin from garlic head. Then place on baking sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 300F degrees or until garlic on inside is roasted and soft.
2. If almonds are not already blanched: While garlic is roasting, blanch almonds, then peel. Make sure almonds are completely dry after blanching. Place almonds and hazelnuts into food processor and process until finely ground.
3. Pour a few tablespoons of Red Palm Oil into a small frying pan and quickly fry bread until both sides are browned. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Once bread is cooled, tear into 6 pieces and process with the nuts.
4. Cut tomatoes into quarters and sauté in same pan, adding oil if needed. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
5. Add sautéed tomatoes and continue to process. Squeeze roasted garlic from the skins into the processor. Place roasted red peppers into the processor
with the other ingredients and process until ingredients are a thick puree. While processor is running, slowly drizzle in the Palm oil and vinegar. Add salt to taste.

Pasta Primavera
Springtime Pasta Salad
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound asparagus, thin spears
1 cup green spring peas or 1 cup other green vegetable
1 cup fava beans [fresh, shucked] or 1 cup other green vegetable
2 ea endive, cored and julienned
1 ea red bell pepper, small dice
.5 cup chopped flat- leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls
1 pound Raconto® Essentials Heart Health Penne
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp Agave Syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, adding 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water.
2. Blanch the peas, asparagus and fava beans [or other choice of green vegetable] for 5 minutes, less if smaller, then lift them out of the simmering water and plunge them into an ice water bath. Drain, pat dry and set aside. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to a bowl. Pop the fava beans [if using] out of their skins and reserve the beans.
3. Combine chopped, cooked asparagus with endive, red bell pepper, cooked pasta, green peas, favas and chopped parsley.
4. Heat shallot and oil in a small pan on the stovetop over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Allow oil to cool back to room temperature.
5. Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in agave and cooled shallot oil. Pour dressing over salad and mix. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste.

Seared Mackerel with Citrus Palm Oil Bagna Cauda and Grilled Polenta
6 servings
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Red Palm Oil, plus 2 tsp
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp thinly chiffonade basil leaves
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
6 (6-ounce) Mackerel fillets or other sustainable species
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the butter and 2 tablespoons red palm oil in a heavy medium saucepan over low to medium heat just until the butter is melted. Add the anchovies and stir until the anchovies dissolve, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the orange juice, basil, and lemon and orange zests. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt.
The bagna cauda sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before using.


Red Palm Oil for brushing polenta
2 cups polenta
6 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk polenta, 2 cups water and salt. When the mixture comes to a simmer, gradually whisk in the remaining water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until polenta is soft and creamy, about 25 minutes. Butter a large casserole dish and add polenta, smoothing it into a level surface. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 6 hours.

Preheat a grill pan to medium. Cut polenta into 6 squares and then cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Brush polenta with red palm oil and grill for 3 minutes per side or until heated through.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 200 degrees F. and place a sauté pan over medium high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper and brush both sides of the fish with remaining 2 teaspoons palm oil. Working in 2 batches, sauté the fish until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter and keep warm in the oven while cooking the second batch of fish. Drizzle the sauce over and around the fish and serve.

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