Seafood 101 with Karen Dunham

My wife Denise and I recently attended an amazing Demo Style class in our Learning Center. Seafood 101 with Karen Dunham was so informative and delicious! I grew up working in restaurants in Saratoga and spent lot’s of time prepping shrimp, making crab cakes, and cooking seafood. I love to cook at home and my wife Denise is a huge seafood fan so this class was a prefect date night experience for us! Karen is super knowledgeable about seafood and her presentation was full of helpful information. She discussed the proper ways to store and buy your seafood. Karen also explained to us that 90% of the fresh seafood at Healthy Living comes from Foley Fish out of New Bedford & Boston, MA.  Healthy Living also sources their seafood from Black River Produce which is out of Springfield Vermont.  Karen told us that having two seafood vendors is always great because of supply, delivery days, and competitive pricing. Healthy Living typically gets deliveries on Mondays through Saturdays , so there is always something fresh from that day’s delivery. Foley’s fish is bought at auction only one or two days out of the water which insures freshness.

The Evening’s Menu:

Karen cooked three equally delicious dishes for us that night. The first dish was a baked fresh cod cooked with butter and breadcrumbs. It was simple, elegant, and light in taste. A marinated salmon, & seared sea scallop dish rounded out a wonderful menu.

IMG_2381This Faroe Island Salmon was marinated in tamari, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic, scallions and chives. Karen cooked it flesh side down in a hot pan for a few minutes to get a nice brown on top of it.


The salmon then went straight into the oven at 350 degrees to finish cooking. Karen’s rule of thumb: 10 minutes of cooking per one inch of thinkness.


When the salmon was done cooking we all enjoyed sampling it. This salmon looked, smelled, and tasted delicious! I can’t wait to try this marinade the next time I make salmon. Below is the recipe which Karen gave to us to bring home.

Asian Style Seared Salmon (serves 4)

4 salmon fillets (about 6oz each)


1/4 cup sherry or bourbon

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup gluten free tamari or gluten free soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped scallions

3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped chives

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Olive oil, as needed for searing

Cooking spray, as needed for baking(or oil of choice)

3 Tablespoons of scallions for garnish.

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine Marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag.  Add salmon to the bag.  Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.  Do a swirl of oil in a large saute pan.  Turn heat on medium to high.  The oil will have a light smoke when you are ready to sear your salmon.  Remove the salmon from the bag, set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade.  Place salmon in saute pan, flesh side down, skin side up.  Sear for 2 minutes to get a nice caramelized coloring on the salmon.  Flip salmon over onto a greased sheet pan, (skin side down).  Cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  Fish should flake easily when tested with a fork. While the fish is cooking in the oven, place the reserved marinade in a sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer on medium heat for 1 minute. When the salmon is cooked, brush reduced marinade onto the salmon.  Garnish with scallions. Enjoy!


Karen  next cooked some beautiful Dry Sea Scallops! She first put a pan on the burner and added a few swirls of oil. The scallops were simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Karen noted that you should be looking for a for light smoke from the pan before adding the scallops. You should hear a noticeable sizzle when the scallops hit the pan.


Cooking time depends on the size of scallop, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure that you have nice browned sear on them before turning.


When these beauties were done we were all able to enjoy them. They were so sweet and delicate. The scallops truly tasted like the sea. I recommend this class to anyone who loves or is curious about fresh seafood.