San Diego, Calif., November 17, 2004 — At last, consumers throughout America can enjoy fish without the fuss thanks to new premium and ready-to-heat, entrée-style tuna steaks that will guarantee a high-quality seafood meal in only minutes.
Bumble Bee Seafoods, North America’s leading branded seafood company and number one canned albacore producer, has announced its entry into the ‘dinner’ category with its introduction of Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks — individual servings of 100 percent natural, grilled and firm albacore tuna steak packaged in easy-open, vacuum-sealed pouches. Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks are available in three seasoned varieties — Lemon & Pepper, Mesquite Grilled, and Ginger & Soy.
According to Bumble Bee President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher D. Lischewski, Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks are the only domestic products of their kind, pioneering the extension of tuna into a dinner occasion. \”More than 50 percent of canned tuna consumption today is in the form of a sandwich, with another 20 percent consumed as tuna salad,\” he said. \”Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks offer today’s busy consumers — from Moms through professionals to college students — the chance to enjoy albacore as a seafood dinner with just a few minutes’ preparation and little to no fuss.\”
Lischewski added that the albacore steaks were designed to also respond to growing trends addressing convenience. \”Among the various food trends that experts are predicting for 2005, convenience still dominates. Ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat products are items that will meet with consumer appeal given the progressively hectic lifestyles we’re adopting.\”
Rick Moonen, renowned seafood guru and chef-owner of restaurant rm in New York and rm seafood, Las Vegas agrees. \”Together with rice and a vegetable, or your preferred choice of side dishes, the albacore steaks provide for an easy, tasteful microwaveable or stovetop meal,\” he said. \”Each variety is suited to different consumer preferences, offering three unique flavor presentations. A couple of specialty side dish ingredients and a few extra minutes can produce an affordable gourmet dinner that’s also ideal for entertaining guests over the holidays.\”
Moonen, author of ‘Seafood Without A Doubt’ — a new cookbook that aims to demystify cooking with fish (Houghton Mifflin, fall 2005) — believes the new Bumble Bee entrée makes fish accessible to consumers. \”Bumble Bee has helped to take the mystery, and even anxiety, out of fish preparation and provided American households with superior seafood entrée options that share many healthful benefits of fresh fish, yet in a much more convenient form.\” \”The tuna steaks are high in protein and Vitamin B, and provide Omega-3 fatty acids — whose benefits include strengthening the immune system, reduced risk of heart disease and hypertension, as well as improved mental health,\” Lischewski said.
The new albacore steaks represent Bumble Bee’s first line extension under the Prime Fillet label. \”The steaks were a natural next step for Bumble Bee due to the high demand for premium tuna, as witnessed with the success of the Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore canned tuna that we introduced in 2004. Consumers are very receptive to our premium grade products and we’re optimistic they’ll love the tuna steaks,\” Lischewski concluded.
Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks began shipping to supermarkets in fall 2004. The premium ready-to-heat entrées will become available in supermarkets nationwide by January 2005. Suggested retail price is $2.99 per four-ounce pouch.
Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Lemon and Cracked Pepper Albacore Steak with Pesto Crust, Fine Herb Risotto, and Lemon Olive Oil Emulsion
Recipe developed by Chef Rick Moonen — chef and co-owner of restaurant rm, New York, and executive chef of rm seafood, Las Vegas — for Bumble Bee Seafoods
6 servings/ pouches of Prime Fillet TM Lemon and Cracked Pepper Albacore Steak
½ cup basil pesto (see recipe below)
½ lb fine herb risotto (see recipe below)
2 cups lemon olive oil emulsion (see recipe below)
small bunch of frisee (or micro green salad)
3 tbsp blanched almonds
2 cups basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 pinch sea salt
5 ounces extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, place almonds, basil, garlic and salt. Pulse until mixed, then drizzle olive oil until creamy and smooth.
Fine Herb Risotto
½ lb Arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 large onion
2 large shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
3 to 5 cups vegetable stock, fresh or canned
3 tbsp chives
3 tbsp tarragon
3 tbsp parsley
4 ounces butter to finish risotto
In a medium-sized stainless steel pot, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the rice and stir for two minutes to allow the rice to toast in the oil and butter. Add white wine and continue stirring until liquid is absorbed. Add the vegetable stock, 1 cup at a time allowing the rice to absorb the liquid each time before adding the next cup. Continue adding the stock until the risotto mixture is creamy and the rice has a slight bite. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and fold in 4 ounces of sweet butter to finish. (Olive oil may be substituted for butter.) Finish with fresh herbs and set aside until tuna is ready to be plated.
Lemon Olive Oil Emulsion
2 cups fish fumet/ stock (canned chicken stock may be substituted)
1 cup fresh clam juice (or bottled)
3 medium shallots
1½ cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
In a medium-sized stainless steel pot, add shallots, fish fumet and clam juice. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add this mix to a blender and purée. Strain shallots from liquid and then return liquid to the blender. Add lemon juice to the blender and with the motor on the lowest speed, slowly add olive oil while the motor runs to emulsify the oil into the liquid.
Hold emulsion and keep warm.
Place tuna steaks on a baking sheet cover with a thin layer of pesto and warm under a broiler until heated through. Pesto should bubble but not burn. Evenly divide risotto on plates or in a bowl. Then place the warmed crusted tuna on top of risotto and spoon lemon olive oil emulsion around, and finish the dish with a small bunch of frisee or micro green salad.
Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC, headquartered in San Diego, is the U.S. operating subsidiary of Connors Bros. Income Fund (TSX:CBF.UN) — a limited purpose trust established under the laws of Ontario, Canada. Connors Bros. owns a majority interest in both Bumble Bee and Clover Leaf Seafoods, L.P., its Canadian operating subsidiary. Together, these two operating companies comprise North America’s largest branded seafood company, offering a full line of canned tuna, salmon, sardine, and specialty seafood products marketed under leading brands including , Clover Leaf®, Brunswick® and Beach Cliff®. The Bumble Bee brand has established significant consumer awareness and loyalty based on the superior quality of its seafood products. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com.