Pocket Warmer sandwiches:
Here is a sandwich that I invented years ago while serving in the Army in Friedberg Germany. I was a cook in the Elvis Presley Dining Facility (so named because it was the same unit that Elvis served in and where he met Prescilla). The Army runs on it's stomach as everyone knows, so our usual breakfast line consisted of all of the ingredients necessary for the assembly of my post meal service concoction. Army cooks always eat after the meal service, before or during cleanup. Usaully a sandwich makes it possible to eat and clean at the same time. I would go down the line and assemble the following ingredients:
2 pcs. Texas toast French toast
6 strips of cooked bacon
2-3 very thin onion slices (paper thin)
1/2 oz. maple syrup
6-8 drops of Tabasco sauce ( very important to use ONLY Tabasco!)
Note: you can substitute any and all of the ingredients any way you wish. Just DO NOT call your version a Pocket Warmer Sandwich!
Now for the reason for calling the sandwich a "Pocket Warmer"-
One day I was going ice fishing with a few buddies, and I was charged with breakfast duty for all. We were running late, and wanted to catch "the bite". So I figured I would make something that we could take with us on the ice. I remembered how delicious my Army sandwiches were, so after checking to be sure I had all of the ingredients, I got to cooking. Because we were taking our sandwiches to go, I decided to wrap each one with tin foil in order to keep them hot. The guys were all anxiously waiting for me to finish so we could get going asap. As I wrapped the sandwiches, I handed two to each of the fishermen, and told them to put them in their pockets until we got out on the ice, and had a few holes drilled before we ate. As we drilled holes and set tip-ups, our hands would get cold from submersion in the icy water. We realized that the sandwiches, one in each pocket of our thick wool coats, were keeping those pockets toasty warm! After we got all set up, we talked about the amazing "Pocket Warmer" sandwiches, and how they had kept our hands warm and functional. As we ate our still hot breakfast, the sweetness and saltiness along with the rich egg coating and warming Tabasco sauce did their jobs to warm and reinvigorate our spirits! Since we each ate only one sandwich for breakfast, we had one warm pocket left till lunch!
These sandwiches should be placed in your pockets as soon as they are made, to retain the heat for your hands as well as your belly. They would be great for any cold weather activity such as football games, parades, skiing or snowshoeing. Enjoy!
Essentials of seafood cookery:
In the interest of demystifying fish cookery, John has provided a primer on the various basic techniques to help cooks achieve maximum pleasure from their seafood purchase. Mastery of the basics will give you the confidence to choose seafood that you may not have prepared before. Always pick up salmon? Try arctic char or steelhead. Love flounder or sole? Now you should try halibut or turbot. We are offering you this primer in the interest of allowing your fishmonger a little bit of creativity in their recommendations to their patrons.
There are two important things to consider when grilling fish. What type of fish to grill, and what type of grill to use for optimal flavor.
First, the type of fish that you should choose is determined by the firmness of the meat. Generally speaking, fish that is very delicate in nature such as flounder, sole, and cod should only be grilled if the cook is confident in their skills. For novices, salmon, tuna, swordfish, shark, halibut and shellfish are better choices. The firmness of these choices make grilling them easy, and enjoyable for the cook. As far as which type of grill to use, that is a matter of personal preference. Chef John recommends that any serious cook should have a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill. The flavor profile of wood/ charcoal grilling brings out the best flavor in steak fish such as swordfish, tuna, and shark. Salmon and trout benefit as well from a smoky heat. Generally, if wood is your fuel of choice, very little beyond a simple rub down with olive oil, salt and pepper is needed, as the wood smoke provides a great depth of flavor. Experiment with different wood types such as apple, hickory and mesquite, as each has very different flavor characteristics, and your choice here will dramatically affect the results. If you choose to have only one type of grill, Chef John recommends the charcoal over gas, as it's versatility is proven.
Sometimes you want to stop by the fish market on the way home from work, pick up a nice piece of fish, go home, turn on the gas grill and have dinner prepared shortly thereafter. For this reason, a gas grill is the logical choice. Most restaurants utilize gas grills, so you can certainly achieve good results with a little creativity. When grilling over a gas grill, start the grill first before you prepare your fish. This allows the heat inside to get the grill surface VERY HOT. This is important, because fish will stick to a cool grill surface. The hotter and cleaner that your grill surface is, the easier it will be to flip and remove your precious seafood. Marinades work well to boost the flavor of grilled seafood. But remember John's rule – do not over season or marinate grilled fish. You want to highlight the quality and freshness of your seafood purchase, by honoring it with just enough seasoning to bring out it's natural flavor. Also note that many commercial marinades contain papain – which is an enzyme found in papaya. Papain will turn your fish to mush, as it is used as a tenderizer in many marinades. Read the label of commercial marinades to be sure you are not eating anything that you wouldn't want. A better solution is to make simple marinades yourself with common ingredients found in your larder. Generally, oil should be your primary ingredient, with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice added to enhance the flavor. Salts are also commonly used to bring out flavor, and experimenting with a variety of them is recommended. For example, applewood smoked sea salt can add a smoky flavor profile, when charcoal or wood grilling is not possible due to time constraints. Pepper, garlic, onions should be used to add flavor to a marinade for steakfish. Whichever grilling method you choose, the fish should be coated lightly with oil, and sprinkled with a small quantity of breadcrumbs to help your fish easily lift from the grill surface. The grill should be very hot and clean when the fish is placed on it, and the heat can then be turned down a bit to allow proper cooking. Shellfish such as lobster tails and shrimp should be cooked in their shells for added flavor and moisture retention. And don't forget that clams and oysters are scrumptious when they are coaxed open with gentle heat from a wood fire.
You can deep fry anything. And everyone knows why this form of cookery is so beloved in the American diet. Golden fried shrimp, clams, flounder, scallops and cod are among the top selling items in restaurants. And for good reason- it is delicious! As far as fryers go, you can get good quality home fryers at any home goods store. If you are adventurous, a simple cast iron pan with deep sides and clean oil will do fine. Oil selection is important. Choose oil that has a high flash point, and low flavor profile, such as peanut oil, soybean oil or optimally- coconut oil. Frying in olive oil is not recommended due to cost, and flavor considerations. While olive oil has a very high flash point (the temperature at which oil bursts into flames!) it's strong flavor can overwhelm your finished product. Used oil can be used several times before it breaks down and starts to create greasy, burnt flavor.
Just about any seafood can be deep fried. It is a matter of your personal taste. However, there are a few rules to follow when deciding on which coating to treat you fish with before it's swim in hot oil. For delicate fish such as flounder, sole and turbot, you should coat the fillets with first flour, then egg wash (1 egg to one cup of milk- scale up as necessary for quantity of fish being prepared) and finally into breadcrumbs such as panko. This creates a firm sturdy crust that will hold your delicate fillets together after cooking. For sturdier fish such as cod, halibut, tilapia and grouper, simply coat the fish in flour, then egg wash, then back into the flour again. This produces a lighter crust that is desirable for thicker cut fillets. Shellfish such as clams, oysters and scallops should use the flour, egg wash, breadcrumb coating method, as the breadcrumbs will help to retain moisture, while offering a crunchy bite. Fish such as swordfish and tuna should not be deep fried, as usually these fish are prized when cooked medium rare, and it is hard to obtain a good crunchy crust without over cooking them. Another crust variation is cornmeal. Cornmeal is often chosen for it's sweet flavor for fish such as catfish, smelts, or sardines. Clams and oysters benefit from cornmeal crust as well. Finally, you could prepare a beer batter or tempura batter to coat fish when a substantial crust is desired. For beer batter, choose a light but foamy beer such as ale or lager. Mix 12 oz of beer with flour to create a batter that is about as thick as melted ice cream- runny, but not too thin. Tempura batter is made by mixing 1 cup cornstarch with 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda and sparkling or fresh water, to desired consistency (think of the melted ice cream!). Simply dip your seafood in flour, shake off the excess flour and then dip into the batter. From the batter, immediately drop the fish into hot oil (325-350 degree f.) one piece at a time. This takes a bit of courage and concentration, as you are placing your fingers very close to the hot oil as you do this. Experience, and perhaps a few small burns will determine your commitment to this method of frying. The results however, will be your reward, as your family and friends will be amazed at your golden fried bounty from the sea.
To Sauté is to cook in a small amount of hot fat on the stove top in a shallow fry pan. The purpose of sautéing is to retain the flavor of the fat in the food. For example, if you are making a sole picatta, the fish is dredged in an egg/ cream batter, then placed in a saute' pan with hot butter. After the fish is cooked to a golden brown, often the sauce is made from the remaining butter in the pan, to which shallots, white wine, lemon juice, capers and herbs are added. The resulting sauce is poured over the coated, cooked fish for a delicious entree that retains all of the flavor of the fish and butter originally in the pan.
Sautéing is a method of cookery that can take years to master, but it is worthwhile, because the results can be incredibly rewarding. Fat choice is important when cooking foods via this method, as the fat is usually incorporated into the sauce that is served with the fish. For this reason, choose flavorful fats such as butter, Extra virgin olive oil, or good quality lard. It is important also to coat your seafood with a light dusting of flour (wheat, rice, corn) before placing it into the hot oil, to prevent sticking, and to provide a light coating for the pan sauce to absorb into.
To poach is to cook in a low temperature liquid that fully covers the fish. The liquid, generally is a French preparation called court bouillon. To make court bouillon, choose a pan that is deep enough to put your fish into while also accommodating the presence of liquid to completely cover it. There are fish poaching pans found in finer cookery shops designed especially for this purpose. A good substitute is a deep roasting pan or loaf pan. Put enough water in your pan so that when you add the fish, it will be completely submerged by about 1 inch. Add to the water: bay leaves, diced fresh carrots, onion , celery, sea salt, white wine, vinegar, and fresh herbs like dill or chervil. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer on the stove top, and cook for twenty minutes, turn down the heat until the liquid is just barely steaming from the top. Place your fillet of fish- salmon is classic, but any fillet that is at least 1 inch thick can be used, into the liquid and be sure that it is covered completely. You can add a splash of wine or water to make up for liquid that has evaporated. Slowly cook the fish in the court bouillon until it is firm and cooked all the way through. If you plan to serve your poached fish hot, remove the fillet to a serving platter, and serve with a good quality sauce such as Hollandaise or beurre blanc. If you would like to serve the fish cold, allow the fish to cool in the court bouillon completely. This will prevent the fish from drying out as it cools. Once cool, remove the fish to a serving platter, decorate with various garnishes such as cucumber slices, capers, lemon slices etc. Serve with a fresh yogurt based sauce that is mixed with fresh dill or chervil. You can experiment with different poaching liquids as well, such as tomato water, pineapple juice or miso broth. The variety of which is only limited by your imagination. Please note: that although the fish has been cooked in liquid, this is the one method of cookery that could leave you with a very dry finished product, due to the lack of fat involved in the cooking process. To prevent this, do not over cook the fish, or allow it to sit too long before serving (if served hot) as the moisture and juices will run out of the cooked fillet once the heat is removed. Aside from the rich sauces that are often served with poached fish, this method of cookery is very healthful.
Who doesn't like steamed lobster , clams, shrimp and crabs? Often when one thinks of seafood, images of pots of crabs or crawfish are conjured in the mind of hungry diners. To successfully steam fish, many of the lessons of poaching must be heeded. Due to the fact that steaming often requires higher heat than poaching, while no fat is involved, the resulting product can go from scrumptious to dried out very quickly. For this reason, care must be taken to remove steamed seafood the very moment that it is ready. When properly executed, steamed fish can be a healthy and satisfying preparation method. For a good quality and flavorful batch of steamed seafood, a few rules should be followed.
Use a pot that allows enough space for the fish to cook evenly by giving it enough room for the steam to develop properly.
Place no more than 3 inches of liquid in the bottom of the pot. It is important to not let the liquid evaporate entirely, as this will burn the pot, and render the fish inside inedible.
Put some flavor into the liquid, such as Old Bay seasoning and Louisiana hot sauce.
Spread out old newspapers or paper grocery bags on a table, so that you can pour out the steamed seafood and everyone can get their share while it is hot.
Have plenty of melted butter on hand to dip the fish in while eating.
Use the liquid that is left in the pot to make a great broth or soup to accompany the feast.
Have plenty of napkins or wet naps available for easy cleanup of fishy fingers after the feast.
Enjoy with plenty of good friends and cheer!
Broiling seafood is very similar to grilling, however, the high heat comes from above the fish rather than below. The same care should be taken to ensure that your precious seafood does not dry out. Generally you should pre-heat your broiler the same as you do for grilling. Seafood for broiling is placed on a catch pan, so that after the fish is cooked, the juices can be poured over the fish to create a delicious sauce. Broiling can be tricky, but the main rule here is to not walk away from the cooking task, as the fish is cooked very quickly utilizing very high heat. Coat the fish in a small amount of butter or olive oil, sprinkle with breadcrumbs lightly, and place under the broiler. Cook until the desired doneness is reached, and then remove to a serving dish. Pour the pan juices over the top, and serve with fresh lemon or lime wedges. Many types of seafood can be prepared in the broiler, such as lobster (tails or whole split) salmon, haddock, cod, fluke, halibut, bluefish, striper, clams casino, oyster Rockefeller,
well, you get the idea!
Final notes on cooking seafood: The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a cooking method is to cook what you like. If you gain the skills described in this section, you will have a much more enjoyable dining experience. If you are still not sure about which seafood to choose, ask your fishmonger for their advice. Any reputable fishmonger will be proud to walk you through their fish case, showing off their variety of freshly caught bounty of the sea.
10 essential seafood sauces:
Chef John recommends the mastery of the following sauces. Imaginative variations of these sauces can create infinite possibilities for preparation of your seafood purchase!
We chose these 10 because if you can understand the preparation and character of each, you will gain the courage to experiment with their techniques to create your own successful recipes.
Know as tartar sauce in English, this classic sauce is the perfect accompaniment to fried fish and shellfish.
Ingredients: 1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1 whole sweet gherkin or dill pickle (The French use cornichons- the tiny dill pickles they
serve with country pate') if you use cornichons, use two.
1 Tablespoon capers
½ lemon – juiced
1 Teaspoon fresh chopped parsley or dill
1 Teaspoon Frank's hot sauce
Technique: In a food processor, put all ingredients together and puree until desired texture is achieved.
Remove to a clean glass canning jar and place the lid on securely. Refrigerate until service. Stores well.
This is another classic sauce that while incredibly simple to make, has innumerable uses for raw and cooked shellfish. It is also well regarded as a delicious dip for fried fish and hush puppies.
Ingredients: 1 cup of Heinz ketchup
¼ cup prepared horseradish Note: use more or less to taste.
½ lemon juiced
Technique: Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a small glass or metal mixing bowl. Remove to a clean glass canning jar or serving bowl. Refrigerate until service. Stores for up to one week.
Note: The lemon juice will cause the sauce to firm up in the container. Just stir vigorously to smooth out.
One of the classic French 5 mother sauces. The father of classic French cooking August Escoffier identified 5 sauces that if mastered, would serve as the basis for making a large variety of secondary sauces. For example: For sauce Bearnaise, Escoffier calls for starting with the recipe for Hollandaise, to which the cook adds a vinegar reduction with chopped shallots, tarragon and black pepper. For sauce Choron, chopped fresh tomato concasser ( skinless and de-seeded chopped tomato) is added to the Bearnaise. The versatility and richness of Hollandaise is what earned it a place in our list of 10 essential sauces. Serve Hollandaise or one of it's many children with delicate fish preparations such as sauteed, steamed, or poached fillets of delicate fresh fin fish.
Ingredients: 4 egg yolks
6 oz. Melted butter
1 lemon juiced
1 Tablespoon of water
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Technique: Place egg yolks in a medium stainless steel mixing bowl.
Add water and mix with whisk over double boiler until yolks are cooked but still smooth.
This requires constant whisking to avoid over cooking the eggs.
Once eggs are at desired temperature, place bowl on a kitchen towel to keep it in place.
Pour in the melted butter very slowly while whisking continuously to avoid breaking
sauce. This technique is called emulsification- bringing eggs and fat together to create a
smooth, stable mixture.
Once all of the butter has been incorporated, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Finish
with a dash of Tabasco sauce. Serve immediately or keep warm until fish is cooked. Thin
with water a drop at a time if necessary.
While not one of Escoffier's 5 mother sauces, Beurre blanc deserves it's place here on the list for much of the same reason as Hollandaise. It's versatility as a mother- type sauce as well as it's rich, creamy flavor, make it a great go- to sauce for grilled, steamed or poached seafood. I wouldn't recommend using it with fried or sauteed fish, as it is loaded with butter (fat) and therefore would be too rich for these fat- centric preparations.
Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons of minced shallot or onion
1/3 cup of white vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 pound of good quality butter – cut into ½ inch diced pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Technique: In a small saute' or sauce pan, place the minced shallots and vinegar. Place on stove with
medium- high heat. Reduce the vinegar/ shallot mixture until the vinegar is still present,
but nearly gone.
Immediately pour in the cream, and bring to a boil. After about one minute of rolling boil,
the cream will be slightly thicker from reduction.
While the cream is still boiling, whisk in the butter pieces a few at a time. Once half the
butter is used, remove the sauce from the heat, and continue whisking in the remaining
butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: once the sauce is made, you can customize it with chopped fresh herbs such as dill or tarragon or chervil. Also, you can experiment with different vinegars such as red wine, sherry, balsamic or raspberry. The addition of capers to a balsamic version of this sauce is very popular on grilled Yellowfin tuna or wild Alaskan salmon.
Chef Jean Jorges Vongerichten in his ground breaking book Simple Cuisine- the easy- new approach to four star cooking, introduced a breath of fresh air and lightness to the French cuisine vocabulary. A huge part of his tool kit involved the use of fresh vegetable juices and vinegars to create dramatic plate presentations with “broken vinaigrettes”. The effect of intensely fused fresh flavors as well as the broken lava lamp look of his vinaigrettes were revolutionary at the time. By reducing the vinegars to a caramel like consistency, and simply pouring in an infused oil, he was able to transform a simple grilled fish fillet into a visual and flavorful masterpiece.
Ingredients: Good quality vinegar such as balsamic, raspberry, or sherry
OR carrot, or arugula juice – experiment with other bright colored juices!
Oil such as Extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut, walnut, or grape seed oil
Technique: Mix and match a variety of vinegars and oils, at a ratio of 1 part vinegar or juice to 2 parts
oil. Even this formula is not set in stone, as some preparations may call for a higher
proportion of juice or vinegar to oil. Your personal taste is the only guide. Use this type of
sauce sparingly, to offer a “burst” of flavor and drama to your seafood presentations.
Brown butter has long been a simple yet dramatic preparation especially for flat fillets of bottom fish such as flounder, halibut and skate. To prepare, simply put desired quantity of butter in a sauce pan and heat gently over a medium-low flame until the butter turns dark brown (but not burnt!). The French call this preparation Beurre Noisette- or hazelnut butter, as the resulting product has a nutty- sweet flavor.
Simply spoon a small amount of the brown butter over lightly sauteed fillets of fish. Garnish with a lemon slice, and you have seafood nirvana!
Note: for a great variety of Hollandaise, brown the butter before whisking into your cooked egg yolks. Result- nutty, rich golden hued Hollandaise sauce!
Yes butter is a theme in our seafood sauce lineup. Butter goes with fish the way peanut butter goes with jelly. In this version of lemon-herb butter, capers are added for tanginess and texture. Typically, in a picatta presentation, the seafood is dredged in an egg- cream savory batter, sauteed in butter, and then topped with the sauce. The crispy egg batter soaks up the sauce, and creates a flavor that has been a favorite staple of quality restaurants forever.
Ingredients: ¼ pound of good quality butter
1 Tablespoon of minced shallot or onion
½ cup of dry white wine
½ lemon juiced
2 Tablespoons of capers
1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley
Technique: In a small sauce pan put the butter, shallots, and wine.
Bring to a rapid boil, to cook out alcohol from wine.
Remove from heat and add capers, lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Serve over fillets of mild flavored fish that have been sauteed in an egg/cream batter (Think
French toast batter). Garnish with lemon slice and sprig of parsley.
Since the Hudson Valley is well known for our celebration of the humble- sexy oyster, we need to include this classic French condiment in our essential 10 list. The classic version simply requires a good quality vinegar such as sherry or red wine, to which is added: minced shallots, tarragon and a generous quantity of cracked black pepper. The sauce is served on the side of a plate of glistening freshly shucked oysters presented over crushed ice.
Just got your hands on some beautiful mangoes, watermelon or sweet corn? Fresh in season fruits and vegetables can be combined with lime juice, cilantro and green onions to give your summer grilled lobsters, scallops or steak fish a fresh simple garnish. Simply cut the ingredients into bite size pieces, combine with fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice, and set aside while you grill your seafood. The variety of fresh vegetable or fruit salsas in infinite, and should only be limited by whatever is super ripe, fresh and in season.
Just a squeeze of lemon or lime juice? Really, you are calling that one of the essential 10? Yes. When you are treating yourself to a new variety of oyster, or trying out some sushi grade fluke, why cover up that great fresh flavor with anything but a simple squeeze of tangy, fresh lime or lemon juice? Many classic sauce preparations were devised to cover up the quality of fish or meat being served at restaurants. Usually, the stronger the flavor of the sauce, the lower the quality of fish it was paired with. While I have presented some of the classic sauces and their traditional uses, the quality of your seafood, if purchased from a reputable fishmonger, only really needs a squeeze of juice to highlight its superior flavor.
Featured seafood recipes:
Jamaican escovitch of Long Island Porgy
-a highly sustainable, wild New York fish!
2 whole cleaned LI Porgies (your fishmongers will do this for you )
Fryer or deep skillet and soy oil for deep frying
All purpose flour for dredging the fish prior to frying
1 large Spanish onion sliced thin
2 large red or green bell peppers sliced thin
1 T minced garlic
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T dry oregano
1/3 C tamarind vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place enough flour in a casserole dish to allow for dredging the whole fish. Coat the fish inside and out with a generous quantity of flour, and then knock off excess flour.
Gently place the coated fish into 325 degree soy oil to deep fry to a golden brown- about 12-15 minutes.
While the fish is frying, heat a medium saute' pan to medium high temperature.
Add the olive oil, onion and pepper slices and minced garlic. Saute' on medium high heat until the garlic starts to turn golden brown.
Immediately add the tamarind vinegar (or Worcestershire sauce) – bring to a quick boil, then turn down to a low simmer. - A touch of water can be added if the vegetables soak up all of the vinegar. There should be liquid in the sauce when it is finished.
Add the dry oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Keep hot.
Remove the porgy to a paper towel lined platter and dab excess oil from hot fish. Remove the paper towel and return fish to platter for service.
While the fish is very hot and crispy still, pour the escovitch sauce over the entire fish- don't forget the head, that's where the cheeks are!
Serve immediately with a side of good quality short grain rice such as Goya.
If your guests get impatient while smelling all of the incredible flavors, tell them “soon come mon”!
Additionally, this recipe works well with the following seafood:
Spanish Mackerel, Red snapper, Grouper, Pompano, Long Island bluefish, Red ocean perch, Freshwater- bass, pike and walleye.
Red Mullet (Rouget) with IPA and ginger snaps
-Recipe translated from a Paris restaurant where John trained
8 skin on scaled fillets of Rouget
1 cup of chopped and washed (3times!) leeks
¼ cup minced celery
¼ cup minced fennel
8 very thin slices of celery root- blanched
¼ pound sweet cream butter- unsalted Plugra works best
½ ounce extra virgin olive oil
12 oz can of your favorite India Pale Ale
6 ginger snap cookies
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Place the skin-on fillets of Rouget on a clean plate and season both sides with a rub of olive oil, and a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Set aside.
Heat a large saute' pan to medium temperature.
Gently cook the fillets until firm, being sure to crisp the skin without too much browning. Remove to serving platter and keep warm- without allowing them to cook further.
Place the butter, leeks, celery, and fennel into the still hot pan.
Cook the vegetables until translucent and tender over medium-low heat.
Add the IPA and turn up the heat to cook out the alcohol at a fill simmer- about 5 minutes.
Place the celery root slices into the sauce and heat them gently for about 1 minute. Drape the translucent slices of celery root over the cooked Rouget fillets on the serving platter.
Finish the sauce by adding the ginger snap cookies and whisking them in to thicken the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the Rouget fillets immediately and serve.
Accompany this dish with a smooth puree of potato or butternut squash.
Garnish with fresh fennel fronds and slices of blood orange that have been caramelized on a grill or griddle.
Additionally, this recipe works well with the following seafood:
Sea scallops, Long Island bluefish, Red snapper, Grouper, Tilefish, Monkfish, Shell on deep water Gulf shrimp or Langostines. Basically, any firm fleshed and full flavored ocean fish will work.
Quick Oysters Rockefeller
2 dozen fresh Gulf oysters
6 Tblsp. butter – softened
1 Tblsp. finely minced garlic
6 Tblsp. finely-minced fresh fennel
6 Tblsp. each of finely minced tarragon and chervil
3 Tblsp. finely-minced onion
3 Tblsp. finely-minced parsley
1 cup panko
1/2 teaspoon salt
Lemon wedges for garnish
In a medium skillet on medium heat, add the butter, minced onion, fennel and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft. Place the panko, tarragon, chervil, and parsley in a food processor and add the vegetable- butter mixture. Puree together in food processor until smooth. Shuck the oysters over a bowl, and reserve the liquid that comes out. Place the half shell oysters in a roasting pan that is 1/3 filled with rock salt. The salt will help keep them level, and will impart a brininess to the shell. Add the oyster liquid and a few drops of Tabasco sauce to the mixture in the food processor, and mix until emulsified. Put a generous quantity of filling over each oyster using a piping bag or spoon. Be sure to cover oyster to edges. Place the roasting pan under a broiler and roast until golden brown. Serve immediately with a garnish of lemon wedge.
Teriyaki glazed skate ribs
4 whole bone in skate wings (about 2 pounds)
1 cup Tamari soy sauce
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1-20oz. Can Dole crushed pineapple in juice
¼ cup brown sugar
chopped fresh scallions
Have your fishmonger clean and trim the skate wings and leave in the center “bone”. Cut them into 1” wide pieces that resemble pork spare ribs. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Place the skate ribs into the mixture and let marinade for two hours in the refrigerator. Pre heat your gas or charcoal grill. Place the ribs on the hot grill and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, turning only once. Meanwhile, place the remaining sauce in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil, then turn off. Place the cooked “ribs” in a large bowl and pour the hot sauce over them and toss to coat. Place on a serving platter, and pour over the remaining sauce from the bowl. Serve with cornbread and perhaps a side bowl of basmati rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.
Key lime gulf shrimp
1# U-15 Gulf shrimp
½ # butter
2 Tblsp minced fresh garlic
½ cup Key lime juice
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe mango – chopped fine
1 can coconut milk
2 Tblsp. Yellow mustard
1 fresh habanero pepper -(optional)
With kitchen shears, cut the back of the shrimp shell and de-vein the shrimp, leaving the shell on. In a bowl, mix the garlic, key lime juice, chopped mango, mustard, coconut milk and habanero. Place the shrimp in this mixture for 1 hour. Place the butter in a large skillet and place on stove at medium-high heat. When the butter starts to brown, drop the shrimp in one at a time until all are used. Turn them once after about 30 seconds. Cook for another 30 seconds on the other side, pour in the remaining sauce from the bowl, and bring to a quick simmer. Pour out of the pan on to a platter of cooked rice. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
Note: The shrimp must be peeled while eating, but the flavor and sweet juiciness of the shrimp are worth the extra effort!