Chef Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude are the proud owners of SlapFish, a “boat to plate” restaurant in Huntington Beach with a modern take on American seafood. At the heart of the casual dining establishment is a chalkboard menu that changes with the seasons and most recent fisheries data. When it comes to responsible and delicious seafood, these guys get it! We got a chance to talk with Chef Gruel about some of their responsible sourcing practices, on top of which he shared his mouthwatering tuna melt recipe featuring responsible American Tuna brand pole caught wild Pacific albacore. Yum!
Why is sourcing seafood responsibly important to you?
Well-managed sustainable seafood is also high quality seafood, and since our mission is to only sell the best seafood it goes hand in hand with responsible sourcing.
What’s so special about American Tuna?
It’s locally sourced and managed. It is msc certified. The quality of the product can’t be beat.
Are there variations you recommend for this recipe or suggestions when cooking with albacore in general?
Albacore is a very versatile fish. It is perfect prepared simply seared rare with some high quality vinegar and herbs, or cooked through and tossed together in a salad. The fat content allows the fish to work well with high acid sauces and dressings.
What other local seafood do you feature at Slapfish?
We feature whatever we can get from California and waters south into Mexico such as yellowtail, sole, dungeness crab, halibut, sablefish, mussels, oysters, white sea bass….the list goes on.
Do you have any advice for the novice home chef on sourcing seafood responsibly?
Ask as many questions as possible. Browse the internet and read up on more than one source of info regarding sustainable seafood. There is a lot of information out there regarding seafood, some meant to sensationalize the issue and paint fisherman and responsible farmer’s in a negative light. The most important thing is to buy fish from areas in which there are management plans in place to maintain healthy sustainable stocks. Google it.
6oz can of pole-and-line caught wild Pacific albacore (American Tuna)
1T grated carrot
1T chopped celery
1T chopped red bell pepper
1t sliced chives
1T chopped kalamata olives
1t chopped capers
1 lemon juiced and zested
2T dijon mustard
1/2 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1t balsalmic vinegar
1t Sriracha hot sauce
For the sandwhich:
2 thick slices artisan bread, handful of baby spinach, 2 slices provalone cheese, 3 slices tomato, and butter for toasting
Combine all the ingredients together for the salad. Build the sandwhich with the remaining ingredients and toast in butter either in the oven or on a stove-top. Serve hot.