The Chatham Harvesters Cooperative isn't the pioneer seafood cooperative at Chatham's docks. In the 1960s-1980s, Chatham fishermen, recognizing the value of their catch and eager to share it with locals and visitors, established the fisherman-owned Chatham Seafood Coop. This cooperative boasted a brokerage, a wholesale division, and a fish market selling fresh catches landed at the Chatham Fish Pier and Stage Harbor Trap Docks.
Picture the coop abuzz with activity – packers at the piers, fish cutters at the bay, and fishmongers peddling hake, pollock, monkfish, fluke, flounder, and various locally caught seafood varieties.
Enter Al Payne, the charming fishmonger of the market. Al generously shared his extensive knowledge of fish with patrons and colleagues. Always warm and informative, he'd delve into the nuances of hake, pollock, cod, and haddock tastes, offering cooking tips and recipes to anyone who asked. Al stood as a shining example to our Harvesters crew, embodying how to enhance your seafood experience.
In tribute to the Chatham Seafood Coop, with the recent arrival of plaice (dabs) and the availability of summer flounder, we at Chatham Harvesters Coop are passing on their legacy with a recipe: Flounder Roll-ups. This simple dish takes us back to a more straightforward culinary era.
Add a cream sauce and or fresh arugula, shaved carrots, and radish to enhance this dish. We like to savor it simply in appreciation of seafood-lovers like Al.
FLOUNDER ROLL UPS
1 pound of summer flounder or plaice
1 box of stuffing mix cooked according to directions
1/4 cup of quahog, lobster or oyster meats; or wild caught shrimp (optional)
1/8 t each salt and pepper to taste
1 T paprika
Allow to cool slightly
Chop meats and add to stuffing, mix well
Salt and pepper mixture
Scoop mixture on to each flounder filets
Roll up each individual filets
Secure with a tooth pick
Shake paprika over all
Place in a baking dish
Cook in preheated 375 oven for 20 minutes.
Notes: Serve with shaved veggies and/ or a cream or cheese sauce