Bluefish - Defined, Dishes and Recipes

Bluefish—A great favorite and in good demand in any form on the bill of fare, although baked or broiled have the most calls; a six pound fish cuts to best advantage for restaurant use, cutting five good portions; a four to five pound fish being too thin for restaurants, but just the thing for a course dinner.

BLUEFISH STUFFED AND BAKED—The fish scaled, trimmed, wiped dry and filled with a stuffing composed of cooked veal two parts, boiled bacon one part, and grated bread crumbt one part, the meat chopped fine, then mixed with the bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme, mace, and lemon juice, mixed thoroughly and slightly moistened with fish broth; when filled, the opening sewn up, the fish dredged with flour and put in a pan with carrot, turnip, onion, a few cloves, claret wine and consommé; baked; when done, taken up, and to the pan is added some Espagnole sauce; boiled up, strained; served with some of the sauce, and garnished with Duchesse potatoes.

BLUEFISH STEAKS, ITALIAN SAUCE—The fish cut into steaks, and arranged in a buttered pan containing some minced shallots, white wine and mushroom liquor, covered with a sheet of buttered paper, baked; when done, taken up, some Italian sauce strained into the pan, boiled up, and strained back into a rich Italian sauce:, served with some of the sauce poured over, and garnished with Hollandaise potatoes.

BAKED BLUEFISH WITH TOMATOES—The fish cut in portions, seasoned, dredged with flour, placed in a buttered pan, to which is added minced onions, tomato sauce, and a can of tomatoes that have been strained from their juice; baked; when done, served with some of the tomatoes poured around, and garnished with small potato croquettes.

BOILED BLUEFISH, SHRIMP SAUCE—The fish cut in portions, put to boil in boiling fish broth containing salt, peppers, cloves, carrot and onion in slices, with a dash of vinegar; when done, served with a shrimp sauce poured around, and garnished with quartered steamed potatoes sprinkled with maitre d'hôtel butter.

BROILED BLUEFISH$ WITH ANCHOVY BUTTER—The fish cut in portions, seasoned, dredged with flour, brushed with butter, broiled; when done, served with some anchovy butter on top of the fish, and garnished with chip potatoes, parsley, and a slice of lemon.

BAKED BLUEFISH WITH FINE HERBS—The fish cut in steaks, seasoned, dredge with flour, arranged in buttered baking pan, covered with a fines-herbes sauce, baked; served with some of the sauce poured around, and garnished with potatoes chateau. Bluefish prepared as in the recipe just given, may also be served and baked with Piquante, Bordelaise and Tomato sauces.

BLUEFISH SAUTÉ, ADMIRAL SAUCE—The fish cut in steaks, seasoned, dredged with flour, fried in butter; when done, taken up, and into the pan they were fried in, some butter sauce is added, boiled up, and strained into another sautoir containing minced fried shallots, capers, grated lemon rind, and pounded anchovies; boiled, skimmed, the fish served with the sauce poured around, and garnished with Condé potatoes.

BLUEFISH SAUTÉ WITH ANCHOVIES—The fish cut into portions, seasoned, dredged with flour, fried in butter, taken up; into the pan is then put some minced shallots; when browned, anchovy paste and lemon juice added, with a little Bordelaise sauce, boiled up, strained; served with some of the sauce, and garnished with Hollandaise potatoes.

STUFFED FILLETS OF BLUEFISH—The fish filleted and cut in portions, seasoned, dredged with flour, quickly broiled on the cut side, the broiled part spread with a thick vélouté sauce containing grated ham, minced fried shallots, mushrooms and chopped parsley; when all are spread, placed skin side down in a buttered baking pan, with a little white wine, baked; served with parsley sauce poured around and garnished with potato quenelles.

BAKED BLUEFISH IN CRUMBS—The fish cut into portion pieces, seasoned, arranged in a buttered baking pan, moistened with anchovy sauce, sprinkled with grated bread crumbs and melted butter, baked; served with anchovy sauce, and garnished with Parisienne potatoes.

BAKED BLUEFISH, MATELOTE SAUCE — The fish cut in steaks, seasoned, ,brushed with butter, arranged in pan, moistened with claret wine, baked; when done on one side, turned over and browned on the other, then taken up, and to the wine in the pan is, added some Espagnole sauce and mushroom liquor, boiled up, strained, skimmed, finished with grated nutmeg and anchovy butter, the fish served with some of the sauce poured around, and garnished with Victoria potatoes.

The Bluefish Species

Bluefish occurs widely in the world's oceans. It is common in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico from Nova Scotia to Texas; in the Caribbean; in the southwestern Atlantic to Uruguay; in the northeastern Atlantic off the Azores and from Portugal to Senegal; in the Mediterranean and Black Seas; off the east and west coasts of southern Africa and Madagascar; in the eastern Indian Ocean; and off Australia (Wilk, 1977).

Several distinct populations of bluefish are found in the Atlantic Ocean as suggested by the significant breaks in the species distribution. The bluefish population addressed by this Plan occurs in continental shelf waters along the eastern coast of North America from Nova Scotia through the east coast of Florida.

This population appears to be distinct from that occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. Bluefish in the Gulf of Mexico are much less abundant than on the Atlantic seaboard and are less common in the western half of the Gulf than in the eastern half.

All available tagging and other information indicates a significant degree of separation between Gulf of Mexico and northwestern Atlantic bluefish (Lyman, 1974; Wilk, 1977). Seasonal and areal distributions of the fish and fisheries support the theory of separate populations, as does the recent discovery of a separate bluefish spawning area in the Gulf (Barger et al., 1978).

As noted by Wilk (1977) and Anderson (1980), investigators have hypothesized that several distinct bluefish populations occur along the US Atlantic seaboard. However, stock assessments and catch data are not available for these separate populations. This Plan is based on an Atlantic seaboard unit population concept.

Wilk (1977) reports, "the bluefish is a migratory pelagic species, generally traveling in groups of like-sized fish, the groups being loosely associated in much larger aggregations which may extend over tens of square miles along the coast. Aggregations travel seasonally, generally northward in spring and summer, southward in fall and winter.

Their movements are directed by several features of environment, of which temperature and photoperiod are probably the most important...On the Atlantic coast, bluefish visit some sections of the coast for brief periods, a few weeks at most, enroute to their summer or winter 'destinations'.

These 'destinations', i.e., sections of coast where they gather and sojourn for several months and where the greatest numbers are caught, center, during summer, in that part of the Atlantic between Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay, and in the northern part of North Carolina and in its adjoining sounds; and during winter, in the southeastern part of Florida.

It is probable, as indicated by Lund and Maltezos (1970), that in winter much of the bluefish population remains offshore and has yet to be discovered. The groups composed of the largest fish move fastest and travel farthest. They tend to congregate in the northern part of their range."

As reported in Wilk (1977), available information indicates two general spawning areas and seasons off the east coast: offshore near the inner edge of the Gulf Stream from southern Florida to North Carolina in the spring, usually in April/May; the other in the Middle Atlantic Bight over the continental shelf in summer, usually in June through August. Summer-spawned bluefish seem to remain at sea, migrate south of Cape Natteras in early fall, and over-winter offshore. These bluefish appear inshore in the spring mainly in the North Carolina area (Wilk, 1977).

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