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Sustainable Seafood Recipe Contest Winner: Lauren Winnewisser

“Might be the Best Dinner I’ve Ever Made” Ginger, Garlic, Agave & Lime Black Cod with Black Beans & Brown Rice with Ginger Jalapeño Salsa

By Lauren Amundson Winnewisser

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for Ginger, Garlic, Agave & Lime Black Cod
4-five ounce portions (about 1lb) black cod
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

 Ingredients for Black Beans & Brown Rice with Ginger Jalapeño Salsa 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped, use 1/4 of chopped onion
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Black pepper
Sea salt


Black Beans                                                                 Ginger Jalapeño Salsa

Onion, use 1/2 of remaining chopped onion        Onion, use remaining chopped onion

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed                       2 jalapeños

1 cup vegetable broth or water                                 3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground coriander                                    1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin                                          1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest

Sea salt                                                                          1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Sea salt

Top With: avocados, chopped, crumbled cotija or feta cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges

Instructions for Ginger, Garlic, Agave & Lime Black Cod
Finely chop/prepare your ingredients and mix together garlic, lime zest, lime juice, agave syrup, olive oil, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Place fish in a large re-sealable plastic bag (bonus points for re-useable version, like Stashers). Pour the marinade over the fish, press the air out of the bag and seal. Shake the bag to fully coat the fish in the marinade. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes (While you are marinating your fish, get started on the black beans, brown rice, and salsa!). Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the fish from the marinade and place fish skin side down on the parchment and bake 12-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. It should easily flake apart if you take a fork to it. Garnish with cilantro and serve alongside the black beans and rice.

Instructions for Black Beans & Brown Rice with Ginger Jalapeño Salsa

Brown Rice: Heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 of onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add 2 cups water and season with sea salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is just tender, 40-50 minutes (or if you have quick cooking rice, follow cooking times listed on packaging). After liquid has evaporated, fluff your rice and stir in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and season with sea salt and pepper.

Black Beans: While rice is cooking, heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/3 of onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes, and then stir in coriander and cumin for 1 minute. Add black beans and broth (or water), then season with sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes. When done smash some of the beans with the back of a spoon until thickened.

Salsa: In a blender, pulse jalapenos, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining onion in a blender until a chunky sauce forms. Season the salsa to taste with sea salt. Serve rice with beans alongside your fish; top with your salsa, chopped avocado, cojita or feta cheese, remaining cilantro. Add a lime wedge to each plate. 

I had never cooked with black cod before I started getting a bi-weekly sustainable seafood share from Get Hooked Seafood. I was always looking up different recipes for inspiration and then coming up with my own spin. I first made this creation when I was pregnant and upon my first bite, I declared it “might be the best dinner I’ve ever made!” Luckily, my husband agreed and even after my weird pregnancy cravings, this recipe has stuck and become a family favorite.

Where was the seafood purchased or caught? I purchased my seafood from Get Hooked which was according to their website was founded by Kim Selkoe and Victoria Voss, two women who know the value of making healthy food tasty, convenient and fun for our families. Get Hooked is a Community Supported Fishery — a subscription-based program delivering the highest quality sustainable seafood, sourced directly from local fishermen. Their sourcing is transparent, trustworthy and fair to fishermen. I pick up my bi-weekly Get Hooked share at local grocery store, Tri-County Produce, owned by John Dixon, where I can also pick up fresh produce and any other ingredients I need to make my fish into the perfect dinner!

 Why did you select this particular seafood for your recipe? I chose this fish since it was provided to my family this week (and in past weeks) from our sustainable seafood share from Get Hooked Seafood. I also routinely use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch App to check the sustainability of what I am buying. I work at the Santa Barbara Zoo and we promote this app whenever we can!!

How was your seafood raised or caught and what makes it sustainable? Thanks to Get Hooked Seafood, I know exactly where my fish came from for this week’s sustainable seafood dinner. Each week, the company sends you a description of your fisherman and how the fish was caught:

About Fisherman Taylor Nisbet: Taylor Nisbet was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He enjoyed sport fishing with his dad as a kid and lucked out getting a deckhand job with longtime fisherman John Colgate after he finished school. John is the VP of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara and opened the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company out on Stearns Wharf back in the day. Four years ago, John helped Taylor finance his own boat and permit for the black cod fishery, and so far, Taylor’s operation is going well. We are willing to take all his grenadier bycatch, which his regular buyer doesn’t want, so it is a win-win!

About the Black Cod Fishery: The Santa Barbara Black Cod fishery uses deepwater longline gear. Longlining uses a main line with smaller lines attached loaded with baits separated at regular intervals. The main line can be placed near the bottom of the seabed by applying weights for Black Cod and Rockfish, or near the surface for fish such as Albacore Tuna and Swordfish. Surface longlining is prohibited in U.S. waters due to interactions with sea birds and mammals. ‘Deep-set’ longlines don’t have that problem, and are encouraged as a gear type because it can be a low-impact alternative to bottom trawling.

Seafood Watch green-lights longlined Black Cod and Thornyhead as a ‘Best Choice,’ but gives a Yellow rating to Grenadier because they have not gathered the information they need to fully evaluate it, due to the fact it is rarely found in the marketplace. But, it is highly abundant and nearly untargeted, so we are not worried.

Santa Barbara has about a dozen active black cod fishermen, all with very small boats that zoom out to distant fishing grounds far off of Point Conception, in about 2000-3000 ft of water. This fishery only began ~10 years ago, when the price of Black Cod started to make it worthwhile. The Thornyhead that come up are kept alive and sold to a premium market, mostly targeting Chinatown in San Francisco and other Asian restaurants with live tanks. Selling your catch live is the best way to get a premium price, and so be able to make a good living as a fisherman without needing to take too many fish out of the ocean.

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