Seafood lovers, make plans for a fun weekend at the coast! The 26th Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival kicks off on Friday, Oct. 5, and continues through Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Morehead City Waterfront. The free festival offers seafood, live music and entertainment for the entire family. For more information and a schedule of events, visit:

Since 1973, representatives from home extension clubs in Carteret County, North Carolina have met each month in a Morehead City kitchen to test new ways of handling, storing and preparing fish and shellfish caught off the North Carolina coast. Their 30 years of seafood wisdom are now gathered in this comprehensive guide for cooks who want to know more than just how to bake or fry fish.

Mariner’s Menu contains more than 100 original seafood recipes developed by the dedicated testers and tasters of the Seafood Lab kitchen. Many of these recipes, such as Broiled Tuna Provencal and Steamed Clams in Wine Broth, use easily available ingredients and require little preparation. Separate sections instruct cooks on broiling, grilling, frying and steaming. Important preparation techniques such as deboning fish, deveining shrimp and cracking crab are illustrated in detailed drawings by Morehead City artist Connie Mason. Photographs by Scott D. Taylor of Beaufort reflect seafood’s vital role in coastal communities.

Seafood-stuffed avocados.

Seafood-stuffed avocados. Photo by Vanda Lewis.

Packed with images, safety tips, helpful hints and mouth-watering recipes, Mariner’s Menu is more than a cookbook. It’s a complete resource for handling, storing, preparing, cooking and enjoying fresh seafood.

This autumn, Coastwatch brings ashore an array of recipes from Joyce Taylor’s Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas. We offer seafood-stuffed avocados, oysters and mushrooms, and a simply prepared tuna. These mouthwatering meals can be complimented with a warm loaf of bread and a seasonal salad.

Quality counts when preparing these dishes, so be sure to use fresh seafood from North Carolina’s waters. For more information on selecting fish and shellfish, go to: or check the Mariner’s Menu blog at: The Mariner’s Menu seafood resource book is available in bookstores. To order a copy from North Carolina Sea Grant, call 919/515-9101.

— V.L.


Carefully remove any shell or cartilage from crabmeat. In medium bowl, lightly toss crabmeat and shrimp. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. Add to crab and shrimp.

Mix gently but thoroughly. Chill for several hours.

When ready to serve, peel avocados and cut in half lengthwise. Pile centers with salad. Sprinkle with paprika. Place on lettuce leaves. Serves 6.


Prepare Lime Butter and set aside.

Brush steaks with oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill about 4 inches from coals until done on one side, about 6 to 7 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Spread with Lime Butter. Serves 4.

Lime Butter:

In small bowl, combine margarine, juice and lime zest. Set aside for flavors to blend. Serve over cooked steaks.


Drain and dry oysters. Melt margarine in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until blended. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup oyster liquor and cream. Add salt, paprika, mustard and pepper.

Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Reduce heat and add cooked mushrooms, lemon juice, Worcestershire and oysters. Heat, stirring until edges of oysters begin to curl, but do not boil. Place in 6 individual shells or ramekins. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika.

Broil about 4 inches from heat until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Serves 6.

This article was published in the Autumn 2012 issue of Coastwatch.

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