Caring for the ocean and cooking seafood go swimmingly together
There is a photograph I keep on my wall. It is of me at age 19 in scuba gear, standing beside the Red Sea after a dive. It's a reminder of my favorite place to be: beneath the water, where I’ve often returned since I first sank into the teeming Hawaiian blue at age 14.
11-13 Original DownTown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival
12-13 Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques
11-12 Fiesta Oyster Bake
12 BIRTHDAY Earl Robert Kinney
25-27 Sagra dei Garagoi
197O, AUSTRALIA For April Fool’s Day, the Australian nightly news program This Day Tonight ran a segment about a fake invention known as the Dial-O-Fish, a fishing rod that could be set to catch any desired species. Hundreds of viewers took the bait and called in wanting to know where they could buy one.
I'd always associated the 19th-century French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with cancan dancers and ladies of the night, two of his favorite subjects. But in 2010, when I was living in Toulouse, France, I stumbled upon a cookbook he’d written.
Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a 12” skillet over medium heat; cook bread crumbs until golden, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in parsley. Add 3 tbsp. butter to skillet; melt over medium-high heat. Season sole with salt and pepper; cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 4–6 minutes; transfer to 2 plates and keep warm.
This intense potion (pictured on page 16) is adapted from one served at parties by the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. To make it, stir 2½oz. cognac and ¼oz. absinthe in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lemon twist.
In Germany, where I grew up, the Thursday before Easter is known as Gründonnerstag, or Green Thursday. The holiday, which commemorates Christ's Last Supper, dates back to the Middle Ages, when parishioners were given a green branch to signify completion of Lenten duties.
For most of my life, I satisfied my clam chowder cravings with two variations: New England and Manhattan. That all changed on a recent visit to O’Steen’s Restaurant, in St. Augustine, Florida, where I was introduced to a third style, unique to the northeastern part of that state: Minorcan.
Boil clam juice in a 6-qt. saucepan. Add clams; cook, covered, until shells open, 1–2 minutes. Transfer clams to a bowl and discard shells; reserve juices in another bowl. Add pork and oil to pan; cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 3 minutes.
New York has long maintained a special relationship with the oyster, the ingredient dearest to its collective heart. For that reason, the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal occupies a special place. It is a living link to glory days when ordinary New Yorkers devoured oysters by the bushel at market stands and oyster cellars, and the well-to-do made their way to palatial restaurants for heaping seafood platters, oysters Rockefeller, and oyster pie.
Tangy, creamy shrimp rémoulade, though French in origin, has become a uniquely New Orleans tradition
I spent part of my late 20s living in New Orleans. And like most anyone who’s lived in that city will tell you, it got inside of me, never let me go. Though I now reside in Brooklyn, on many a weekend you’ll find me in my kitchen—Saints cap on my head, cold bottle of Abita beer in my hand—stirring a pot of chicken and andouille gumbo, or a batch of red beans and rice.
Whisk mustard, paprika, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil until sauce is emulsified; stir in shrimp, parsley, celery, onion, and Tabasco. Serve immediately or chill overnight if you like. Divide lettuce between plates; top with shrimp and garnish with parsley.
In 2011,I was intrigued by the scandal that broke when a visiting New Orleans journalist noted that the shellfish in the lobster salad at the venerable Manhattan gourmet shop Zabar’s was actually crawfish. The dish was renamed, but my view of the Cajun staple was forever altered:
Sardines may be one of the most underappreciated foods the world’s oceans have to offer
EIGHT TOP TINS
MARY SUE MILLIKEN
The first time I encountered fresh sardines was in 1980.I was a young chef working in Paris. When the city shuttered, as it always does in August, I hurried south to stay with my friend Susan Feniger, who was cooking day and night at a restaurant in Mandelieu-La Napoule on the French Riviera.
Place sardines skin side down on a plate; rub 1 tbsp. oil into fillets. Mix salt, thyme, and sugar in a bowl; sprinkle over fillets. Place 4 fillets, skin side down, in a glass loaf pan; top with half the lemon and drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil. Top with 4 fillets, skin side up.
Stir oil, parsley, thyme, garlic, zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stuff each sardine with about 1 tbsp. garlic mixture. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.) Grill sardines, flipping once, until slightly charred and cooked through, 4–6 minutes.
Heat oven to 300°. Season sardines with salt and pepper in a 9” x 13” baking dish; spread into a single layer. Heat oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat; cook fennel seed, garlic, bay leaves, carrots, chiles, sliced fennel, celery, onion, salt, and pepper until golden, 10–12 minutes.
1 Cook chard in salted boiling water until wilted, 1–2 minutes. Drain, let cool, and squeeze dry. Heat 4 tbsp. butter plus oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallots until golden, 5–7 minutes. Add flour; cook 2 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Cook panko until golden, 2–3 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to skillet; set over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper until soft, 1–2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and sardines; cook, stirring to break up sardines, until stew is slightly thick, 8–10 minutes.
Oh, how we adore seafood. We’re enamored of it at harborside bistros where the catch comes from a stone’s throw off the pier. We admire it iced in brimming fish markets farther from the coast. We savor it in haute urban temples of fish, where each impeccable fillet is lavished with an expert sauce.
In the Atlantic Ocean off Canada's coast, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, two tiny islands ruled by France, are foggy, mysterious, and brimming with delicious seafood
LOOKS LIKE FISH
Adam Leith Gollner
"SUBJECT TO FOGS," CONCLUDED Captain Cook in 1763. His assessment remains valid, as I learned on a recent visit to the remote North Atlantic island of Saint-Pierre. The memorial statue in the main square is of a steely-eyed fisherman grasping his ship's wheel.
Though you can get fish fillets at most supermarkets, buying a whole fish and filleting it yourself has benefits: You can easily tell if a whole fish is fresh by its clear eyes and bright red gills, and the leftover bones make a flavorful stock (see page 84 for recipe).
The islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are located in the North Atlantic 12 miles from the southeastern tip of Newfoundland. Air Saint-Pierre (airsaintpierre.com) flies there from St. John’s in Newfoundland, as well as from Halifax and, in summer, Montreal.
Pristine seafood is at the heart of home cooking in the villages along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, hundreds of miles of jagged limestone islands dotting the Adriatic Sea
CROATIA’S BEST BOTTLES
Brendan Francis Newnam
THEY SAY THAT when God finished creating the world, he chucked a handful of leftover rocks into the Adriatic. My ancestors hail from one of those rocks: the tiny island of Murter in Dalmatia, a 233-mile stretch of coastline in the middle of Europe staring at the back of Italy’s boot.
Pat fillets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Heat 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a 12” skillet over high heat. Cook 2 fillets, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, 3–4 minutes; transfer to two plates.
Croatian Airlines (croatiaairlines.com) flies from the country’s capital, Zagreb, to the cities of Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast, as well as to certain islands. For more information on planning your trip, contact the Croatian National Tourism Office (croatia.hr).
When buying seafood, talk to your fishmonger, says David Pilat, Whole Foods Market’s global seafood buyer. Ask when the fish came in, where it’s from, how it was caught, and whether it’s sustainable (see “Good Catch,” page 36). If you can’t find it fresh, much fish today is flash-frozen as soon as it’s caught, so quality is high.
A drive along Oregon’s coast reveals soaring sand dunes, enchanting fishing towns, and some of the most memorable seafood dishes you’ll likely find anywhere
UP IN SMOKE
U.S. IOI—A TWO-LANE road that snakes through California, Oregon, and Washington, nearly all of it along the Pacific—might be the most sublime drive in America, especially the 363-mile segment that runs along the Oregon coast, where we traveled last spring.
There are two basic kinds of crabmeat: the white, firm, sweet meat of the body, often sold as “lump,” and the darker, more strongly flavored leg and claw meat. Chef Charlie Branford of Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, Oregon, shared his technique for cleaning Dungeness crab, though the method works just as well for blue crabs and other similarly structured varieties.
For help planning your own journey along Highway 101, contact the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (visittheoregoncoast.com). Bowpicker Fish & Chips (1636 Duane Street, Astoria; 503/791-2942). Inexpensive. Known for its beer-battered albacore tuna and fluffy steak fries, this take-out joint is in a dry-docked fishing boat.
Cook lobster in boiling water until tender, 12–15 minutes; chill. Remove and chop meat; chop shells. Heat ½ cup oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook shells until golden, 7–8 minutes. Add chile flakes, half the garlic, the carrots, fennel, leek, and onion; cook until soft, 8–10 minutes.
One writer recounts his lifelong love for the tuna sandwich, the unsung hero of the American lunch
LONG GONE from Washington, D.C., Sholl’s Colonial Cafeteria in 1968 was the kind of place that reminded you of everything pleasant about America’s humdrum side. Yet nothing about the United States was humdrum to me because I was a State Department brat who’d grown up abroad.
Boil potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water until tender, 5–7 minutes; drain and set aside. Add oil to saucepan; place over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook until soft, 1–2 minutes. Add potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5–7 minutes.
1 Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil; cook asparagus until tender, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water until cold; drain. Line a 10” cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving 4” hanging over edges; set aside. 2 Place half the stock in a large bowl; sprinkle in gelatin and let sit 10 minutes. Bring remaining stock to a simmer in a 1-qt. saucepan; whisk into gelatin mixture. Stir in cheeses, parsley, chives, dill, bell pepper, salt, and pepper; fold in crab.
Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aïoli and Pineapple Salsa
1 Make aïoli and salsa: Stir mayonnaise, parmesan, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, chipotle, and salt in a bowl; chill aïoli. Stir cilantro, bell peppers, pineapple, onion, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set salsa aside. 2 Make the crab cakes:
1 Make the crust: Pulse flour, butter, and salt in a food processor until pea-size crumbles form. With motor running, add water; pulse until dough forms. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour. 2 Make the filling: Bring wine to a simmer in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mussels; cook, covered, until shells open, 2–3 minutes. Transfer mussels to a bowl and discard shells; reserve ½ cup cooking
Heat oven to 350°. Grease eight 6-oz. ramekins or an 8” square baking dish with butter. Stir sour cream, parmesan, half the Monterey Jack, the garlic, cream cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl; fold in crab and shrimp. Divide between prepared ramekins; sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack, the panko, and paprika; bake until browned and bubbly, 20–25 minutes.
One advantage of buying whole fish is that it’s easy to tell if it’s fresh. Here’s what to look for: 1 The eyes should be bright and shiny, not cloudy or sunken. 2 Look for bright red gills; avoid fish whose gills are a dark rust color. 3 If you poke a freshly caught fish lightly with your finger, the flesh will spring back quickly rather than remain indented.
1 Place half the stock in a food processor; sprinkle in gelatin and let sit 10 minutes. Bring remaining stock to a simmer in a 1-qt. saucepan; transfer to processor and purée until combined. Add lobster, mayonnaise, cayenne, and salt; purée until smooth.
1 Place 2 tbsp. cold water in a food processor; sprinkle in gelatin and let sit 10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp. boiling water; purée until combined. Heat oil in a 10” skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and onion; cook until onion is golden, 5–7 minutes, and transfer to food processor.
Bring oil and garlic to a simmer in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook until golden, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel. Add shallot to pan; cook over medium-high heat until soft, 2–3 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced by half, 3–4 minutes.
1 Whisk flours, carob powder, minced rosemary, and thyme in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, combine water and yeast; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add yogurt, 2 tbsp. oil, salt, honey, and potato; combine. With the motor running, slowly add flour mixture until dough forms.
1 Line a work surface with plastic wrap; arrange salmon slices, overlapping slightly, in a 14” row over plastic; set aside. 2 Place half the stock in a large bowl; sprinkle in gelatin and let sit 10 minutes. Bring remaining stock to a simmer in a 1-qt. saucepan; whisk into gelatin mixture. Stir in cheeses, chives, dill, tarragon, salt, and pepper; fold in crab. Spread mixture lengthwise along center of salmon leaving a 1” border at each end; fold ends of salmon over filling.
1 Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook carrot and leek until soft, 3–5 minutes; transfer to an ice bath until cold, then drain and set aside. Whisk cream, flour, chives, dill, parsley, piment d’Espelette, curry powder, eggs, lemon zest and juice, and salt in a bowl until smooth.
When you’re working with fish, whether whole fish or fillets, it helps to have the right tools. The 1 Winco fish spatula is perfect for maneuvering pan-seared fillets. Ultra-thin, tapered, and flexible, the stainless-steel head slides easily under delicate cuts, and the splayed slotted design helps keep fish in one piece and allows cooking oil to drip back into the pan.
1 Place bass on a baking sheet fitted with a rack; season cavity and outside with salt. Let air-dry 30 minutes; transfer to a heatproof platter. Soak mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water until softened, about 30 minutes; drain and slice. Mix mushrooms, wine, sugar, garlic, half the scallions, and the ginger in a bowl; rub over outside and in cavity of bass.
Canned tuna—whether water-or oil-packed, plain or smoked—lends itself to any number of inspired sandwich preparations. Below are nine delicious interpretations of the classic tuna sandwich. Mix 3 tbsp.
One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to prepare fish is to pan-fry a skin-on fillet. The method yields browned, crispy skin on the outside and flaky, moist meat inside, all in a matter of minutes. That is, if you do it properly. Here are a few ways to help make sure you do:
1 Place cod in a 2-qt. saucepan and cover with 2” cold water; bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 20 minutes. Drain cod, return to saucepan and repeat process twice more. Transfer cod to a bowl and flake with a fork into large chunks; set aside.
1 Purée parsley, half the oil, the lemon juice, half the garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl with monkfish, sea bass, shrimp, and, if using, the langoustines; toss to combine and chill 10 minutes. 2 Grease an 8-qt.
1 Heat stock in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot; cook until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add rice; cook until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Stir in wine; cook until evaporated, 1–2 minutes.
1 Boil vermouth, bay leaf, shallot, salt, white pepper, and ½ cup water in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add scallops; cook until just tender, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, divide scallops between six cleaned scallop shells or shallow gratin dishes.
Heat a charcoal or woodburning grill or set a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat.) Season cavity of fish with salt and pepper. Rub oil, salt, and pepper on the outside of fish; grill, flipping once, until slightly charred and cooked, 12–15 minutes.
This classic preparation from Brittany is especially good over mild, flaky fish. Boil 1 cup dry white wine, ¾ cup white wine vinegar, and 2 minced shallots in a 1-qt. saucepan; reduce to 1¼ cups, 8–10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; slowly whisk in 16 tbsp. cold unsalted butter until smooth.
Ravigoter means “to invigorate” in French, and indeed, this lightly acidic French sauce perks up the palate. Whisk ⅓ cup sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard in a bowl; slowly whisk in ⅓ cup each canola and olive oils until emulsified. Fold in 1 tsp. each minced chive, parsley, and tarragon, 2 minced cornichons, 1 minced hard-boiled egg, ¼ minced shallot, salt, and pepper. Makes 1½ cups.
This long-simmered sauce from Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert adds aromatic intensity to grilled fish. Cook 2 tbsp. canola oil, 2 tsp. each coriander and cumin seeds, 4 sliced cloves garlic, and 2 sliced shallots in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until golden, 3–5 minutes.
1 Heat stock in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat; keep warm. Heat half the oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Add half each the shallots and garlic; cook until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add sliced cuttlefish and tentacles; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
When preparing a shrimp rémoulade (see page 27 for recipe), the late chef Warren Leruth of LeRuth’s restaurant in New Orleans used this foolproof method for cooking and cleaning shrimp. While many chefs recommend boiling peeled shrimp in a court-bouillon (water flavored with aromatics), Leruth found that the crustaceans’ natural flavor was masked that way.
1 Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until golden, 5–7 minutes. Add brandy; cook until reduced by half, 1–2 minutes. Whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Add cream and bring to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 3–4 minutes.
Parmesan-Crusted Halibut with Broccoli Rabe and Mashed Potatoes
1 Purée parsley, ¼ cup oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth; set aside. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil; cook broccoli rabe until just tender, 1–2 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice bath until chilled; spread on paper towels to dry.
All fish species fall into two basic categories: round and flat. Ranging from massive swordfish to tiny sardines, round fish have torpedo-shaped bodies. Flatfish, such as sole and hali-but, are bottom dwellers with flat bodies. Larger fish are broken down into smaller cuts, each of which is good for particular types of cooking.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Cook bread crumbs until golden, 2–3 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean; heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and onion until golden, 5–7 minutes. Slide pan off heat, add cognac, and, using a match, carefully ignite; return to heat and cook until flames die, 1–2 minutes.
1 Bring chile flakes, dried thyme, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemons, and 16 cups water to a boil in an 8-qt. saucepan. Add crabs; boil until cooked, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer crabs to an ice bath until chilled. Transfer cooking liquid, herbs, and lemons to a bowl; set aside.
Mix fish bones and heads, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, carrot, leek, onion, and fennel in an 8-qt. saucepan; cook, covered, over medium heat until vegetables are soft, 12–15 minutes. Add wine and 4 cups cold water; simmer 25–30 minutes.
1 Stir ½ cup strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, ½ tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. vanilla in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 6 hours or up to overnight. 2 Heat oven to 425°. Whisk flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. Using an electric hand mixer, beat ¾ cup sugar and remaining lemon juice, plus the zest, 1 tsp. vanilla, and the butter in a bowl until fluffy.
Snack on fish-shape foods; buy fish-shape bread from Breads Bakery (available by special order; 18 East 16th St., New York City; 212/6332253; breadsbakery.com); Goldfish crackers from supermarkets everywhere ($2 for a 7-oz. bag; kmart.com); gummy clown fish and sand sharks from Candy Warehouse (both $19 for a 5-lb.