HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


COTM - HOPKINSON: FISH and SHELLFISH (Anchovy, cod, crab, hake, etc.)

I combined several chapters in these threads, but I think you should be able to find them as I left the chapter names mostly intact. You may have to search for individual chapters under the umbrella heading, but it's a small book and that shouldn't be difficult.

Plz advise of any errors.

Thanks, Oakjoan

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Poached Salmon, Hollandaise Sauce and Pickled Cucumber, p. 183

    I made the court bouillon ahead of time - I think I probably put in too many peppercorns (6) as I thought it smelled quite peppery, liked the addition of the cloves, and white wine vinegar as opposed to wine. He calls for 1.5 lbs of salmon, on the bone, which isn't something that I could find, so I just used a piece of salmon with the skin. He calls for poaching 20 - 30 minutes - I put the timer on for 20, since I had no bones - although the fish was still very tender and moist at 20 minutes, I'd probably start checking it earlier, as we tend to like it a little less done.

    The hollandaise is the easiest hollandaise I've ever made. I was a bit sceptical of his instructions because of their brevity, and hauled out MTAFC to read Julia's much longer instructions, but decided to go ahead and use SH's. A complete breeze. I melted the butter ahead of time, skimmed off the "froth", then whisked the eggs on the lowest flame on my smallest burner and proceeded. The eggs were at room temperature, by the way, which I think is probably good. For those who don't want to go with the Hollandaise calories, you could make a nice yogurt sauce of some kind instead.

    Pickled Cucumber was a nice side for the salmon, and those being careful about sugar could just omit it, I think.

    I had some small potatoes that I boiled, and served Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan as well, though we ate it as a salad course after the salmon (it would make a nice starter).

    17 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Looks and sounds delicious! I can't wait to try some of them on my own. Thanks, also, for the tips on how one might go about lightening it! It helps to have feedback know which ones can and which ones simple cannot be altered without changing the essential character of the dish.


      1. re: MMRuth

        I'm now wondering about the "salmon on the bone". I'm reading the Hake chapter, and he writes "I like to cook cutlets "therefore on the bone" - and I'm wondering if he's referring to what I think of as "fish steaks". Not sure how else one could get a 1.5 lb piece of "salmon on the bone". Any thoughts?

        By the way, in addition the recipes in the Hake chapter - he also talks in the intro of his favorite way to make it, "au poivre", with enough instructions to make it if one wanted to, I think.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I assumed he meant a 1.5 piece of salmon cut from a large fish. But apparently you can also get salmon fillet on the bone - see links below.



          1. re: greedygirl

            Thanks for the link!

            Are you referring to the one described as "Fillet"? That's what I used (though, for once, the fish monger had actually removed that line of bones, so I didn't have to pry them out with the pliers!) I can't imagine that that long row of little bones would add much difference to the flavor when cooking - what do you think! I can see how the bones in the steaks would add more flavor.

            I love making those little "mignons" for dinner parties though I do skin them. So elegant looking.

            1. re: MMRuth

              It says on the first link that you can get fillet with the large bone still attached, although I have to say I've never seen it myself. At the bottom of the second link there's a reference to "chunks" cut from the middle of the salmon. I think that's what I would use.

              1. re: greedygirl

                Thanks - I'll go back and look more carefully!

                " fillet of salmon may contain a single set of large bones, depending on the type of cut." - you don't think those are the ones that you pull out w/ pliers?

                Hadn't seen the 2nd link before - I guess that chunk at the end would work - once poached, just peel of the skin, remove the two filets from the bone, and then cut into smaller filets. I'm going to try that next time!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Don't those tend to be what we call "pin" bones - very small ones?

                  I'm going to quiz my fishmonger about this at the weekend!

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Yes, exactly - I couldn't remember the name for them.

                2. re: greedygirl

                  Ah, yes, that makes sense to me that "fillet on the bone" can mean that kind of folded-over cross-section. Basically, both fillets are still there...


            2. re: MMRuth

              I think he must be referring to fish steaks. I've mainly seen those in halibut and salmon.

              I don't know if I've ever seen hake at my local fishmongers. Might it be an East Coast, North Atlantic type of fish? Or could it be know under another name? I guess I'll have to call our local laid-back, yet tres chic, Monterey Fish and ask them.

              1. re: oakjoan

                It might be an Atlantic Ocean fish. I've bought it here in New York (Lobster Palace in Chelsea Market).

                1. re: oakjoan

                  I agree that he's probably talking about the "steak" cut - what threw me off was having one piece of it - I usually see individual steaks, though I see large pieces of filet. I'm sure I could ask for one large piece of the "steak" cut though.

              2. re: MMRuth

                We tried the poached salmon last night--sans the hollandaise sauce, and with a lemon wedge and dollop of yogurt instead. We loved the pickled cucumber dish--I used just a bit of Splenda and it worked out fine. I couldn't find salmon on the bone either, so I just used a fillet (without the skin) and it turned out lovely.

                Hopkinson says in the book that some might think this recipe is "uninspired" (he calls the other poached salmon recipe, "old hat")--it is not a "wow" dish (though, it certainly might be with the hollandaise sauce--remember, I only did the poached fish and cucumber part of the menu, so, I can only make a partial judgment); nor is it especially quick, but most of the time spent is passive time (literally--as the heat isn't even turned on under the salmon). I suspect this is a very forgiving and foolproof recipe and would be the perfect dish to prepare if you wanted a simple dish that gave you time to putter around the kitchen and work on your vegetables and dessert etc.


                1. re: MMRuth

                  I made this yesterday for a lunch party and thought it was really good. I used a chunk of centre-cut salmon on the bone, and it was quite a bit bigger than suggested (more like 2.5 pounds), so it was really quite underdone in the middle, which was fine but next time I'd leave it to poach a bit longer.

                  I'd never made hollandaise before, but bolstered by MMR's report, I wasn't particularly worried and it turned out fine (the dish was practically licked clean). I really liked the pickled cucumber salad, although I left out the dill as I'm not that keen on it. I served the whole thing with boiled potatoes and asparagus.

                  Not a scrap left, which is a shame as I was hoping to have poached salmon and potato salad for my lunch today!

                  This also worked really well for company, as most of the preparation could be done in advance.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Yes! I thought it would be a great "for company dish"--I'm glad it worked out that way. Sorry about the leftovers--or, lack thereof. ;-)


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I hardly ever have leftovers, however much I cook. My friends sure can eat!

                2. Old Report - Salmon in Pastry with Currants and Ginger

                  Last night I made Salmon in Pastry with Currants and Ginger. It calls for preserved ginger, which I couldn't find, so I used ginger in syrup and rinsed them well. You use (bought in my case) puff pastry dough - 3 oz pieces rolled out "thinly" to 5" squares, but in my case 3oz pretty much equalled 5" squares, and looked a bit small for my salmon pieces, so I rolled out to 6" squares. Soaked currants and slivered ginger are added, along with salt, pepper and a pinch of mace to softened butter, patted on top of the salmon and chilled. Once both the squares and the salmon have chilled (30 minutes), you brush the squares with egg yolk/water, put the salmon butter side down, wrap up in packages and chill again, seamside down, for another 30 minutes. Then bake at 400 degrees on a buttered baking sheet for 20 - 30 minutes - I did 30. He says the dish can be served with a sauce Messine or a hollandaise "lightened" with whipped cream, or just served as is with a wedge of lemon. I decided to forgo the sauce and forgot the lemon, but still absolutely wonderful. The salmon was moist and flavorful - a 6oz portion, with the added dough, was very filling. Served Goin's roasted beets and horseradish sauce on arugula as a salad that we ate as a separate course.

                  More discussion here, including JoanN's report:


                  Note: From comments from various UK posters, it appears that the globe ginger in sugar syrup was the right ginger to use.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I made this again last night, but this time I cut too deeply when scoring some of them and alot of the juices ran out. Also, it took almost 35 minutes for them to get properly browned, but I think that was my fault, as I put them to close together, such that I had to "cut through" the sides to seperate them. As a result, the pastry was a little mushy on the sides. However, it still tasted wonderful and my guests enjoyed it. I served with a quick saute of morels chanterelles, and blanched favas, peas and asparagus tips.

                  2. From Week In, Week Out (Old Report)

                    Chili Crab Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

                    This is apparently a salad that he replicated from the Oriental Hotel, which was served with pomelos, not grapefruit. The dressing is definitely a spicy Thai dressing:

                    Leaves of small bunch of cilantro
                    Leaves from 6 mint sprigs
                    2 cloves of garlic, chopped
                    4-5 small seeded and chopped green chilies (used two serranos and that was plenty hot)
                    1 T caster sugar
                    Juice of 4 large limes
                    8 T fish sauce
                    8 T tepid water

                    Mix together in food processor (or liquidiser, which is preferred, but I didn't check to see if that was a blender or something else!). Then you arrange "Little Gem" or similar lettuce (I used tender parts of Bibb lettuce), grapefruit segments, avocado (mine had lots of black spots, so the slices aren't too pretty), and white crabmeat (I used some inexpensive claw meat).

                    The next night, with the leftover lettuce, crabmeat, cilantro, mint and some of the dog's carrots, I made summer rolls, and when I went to make the dipping sauce, realized that the dressing from the night before would be perfect with them.

                    1. Poached Cod with Lentils and Salsa Verde (p. 49)

                      I liked this a lot; my husband however, was not at all pleased with the consistency of the poached cod (which was especially sad because this was supposed to be a special welcome home after a few days away dinner ... oh well). I personally thought the fish was gorgeously silky. Both of us did like the salsa verde a lot, although it is fairly similar to other SVs I've made before. I found the instructions for the SV a little silly - 10 basil leaves (I had some the size of my thumbnail and some the size of my thumb), 15 mint leaves ...

                      For the lentils, I couldnt' find the du Puy (not even at the local Whole Foods), so just went with organic. And when I went to make them I realized I didnt' have the cloves I thought I had. Oh well, the lentils were still very nice and a good, earthy accompaniment (sp?) to the fish and salsa verde. I served some roasted asparagus along with it all.

                      Dessert was rhubarb fool from Forever Summer (the rhubarb looked too good to pass up, and I've been dreaming about this stuff since making it last summer). Funnily enough, as I read the headnote of the recipe I saw that Nigella Lawson says "This recipe is not Simon Hopkinson's but is wholly, chest-swellingly inspired by it." Kismet!

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Lucky you with the rhubarb - I've not seen any yet and want to make the "Fruit Fool" on p. 60. Saw some beautiful cod at the farmer's market last week - next week, I guess.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          The rhubarb down here has been beautiful. The fruit fool recipe in his book is very similar to the NL recipe, except he uses orange rind and she uses vanilla. The rhubarb fool is killer. Look forward to hearing about the fruit one.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            The shops are awash with rhubarb where I am - which is not far from the UK's "rhubarb triangle (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes...


                            We've done "fool". We've done simply stewed and eaten with yoghurt (better than fool, IMO). What I think might work is to make it into a sauce for duck or fatty pork. Any thoughts?

                            1. re: Harters

                              I've made a rhubarb chutney, if that sounds interesting ....

                              (BTW - hope you will chime in on my pheasant cooking .... advice needed, I think!)

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Thanks, Ruth. "Done" chutney a couple of years ago when there was some very cheap around at the "pick your own" farm a few miles away.

                                Off to your other thread to see if I can help


                                The PheasantMeister

                              2. re: Harters

                                I had a rhubarb and vanilla jam once in France that I've search all over for since but cannot find. It was absolutely incredible - the sweetness of the vanilla played so nicely off the tartness of the rhubarb. If anyone out there knows somewhere I can find some, please please please tell me.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Rhubarb jam is very easy to make - normally paired with ginger round these parts, but I'm sure you could tinker with a recipe. Maybe use vanilla sugar?

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Harters: I had a terrific breakfast in Melbourne, AUS about 6 years ago which consisted of stewed rhubarb served over muesli and topped with yoghurt. I' loved it so much I've recreated it here in California many times.

                                  Is this something the Brits do as well?

                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                    Not a classic Brit breakfast - but certainly if there's leftover rhubarb and yoghurt, I'll have it.

                                    Muesli is my usual breakfast - normally with milk but I treat myself to yoghurt every couple of weeks or so. Basically if there's any soft fruit in the fridge, it'll go on breakfast - rhurbarb, berries, apricots, etc.

                                3. re: MMRuth

                                  MMRuth, I saw rhubarb in the Amish market the other day.

                                4. re: LulusMom

                                  Re: Lulu's Mom's post about lentils ala Hopkinson

                                  Interesting. One of my favorite Jamie Oliver recipes is salmon wrapped in prosciutto and roasted in a frying pan served with lentils mixed with spinach, herbs and yoghurt. Man, is that good! Learning from the Master.

                                  Also, it took me a long time to like cod because of that "slimy" texture. Now, I absoloutely adore it - even Black Cod (Butterfish) and can't understand how I ever spurned it.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Do you peel the rhubarb in this dish? I'm going to make SH's for tomorrow - bought some rhubarb today.

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      No, you needn't peel the rhubarb (at least in the Nigella recipe) because after cooking it you strain it. Makes things a lot simpler. Good luck with it!

                                  2. Anchovy and Onion Tarts (p. 8)

                                    This was my first time making my own pastry (embarrassing admission, but true). I figured this was the perfect chance to just go ahead and do it. And guess what?? It worked! Not much help from SH, I have to say, but somehow it turned out ok (at one point he says "don't blend the two together in the normal way of pastry-making" which meant absolutely nothing to me). I started making it a day in advance, as he suggests. What I ended up with that day was a very wet blob ... his instructions to fold and lift could only be laughed at ... my stuff was neither foldable nor liftable at this point. But I persisted (although I *almost* threw it out). I went back to it a little later in the afternoon and rolled it out again, flour everywhere; did the same again yesterday afternoon and somehow it worked. My husband couldn't believe I'd never made pastry before when he tasted the tart.

                                    Onto the tart - I thought the 4 large onions made way too much onion mix for the 4 tarts (I froze some to use in a quiche or something later). The onion, anchovy and black olive flavor was wonderful; if you like salty things you'll love this.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      I've never made this kind of pastry either - did it come out like puff pastry? Sounds delicious. I've been erring on the side of using smaller "bunches"/onions/etc in his recipes. I get some onions that are just huge - I think the mussel soup recipe called for 2, and I used one huge one and it was plenty.


                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Wow - you've never made pastry before and you started with puff pastry! I'm seriously impressed. Well done, it sounds delicious.

                                        Re: the onions. I think an American large onion is probably a lot bigger than an English one. Supersize me, and all that!

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            Thanks Ladies! I have to admit that I gave myself a small pat on the back last night. It wasn't so much puff pastry as kind of like pie pastry, if you get what I mean about the difference. Sort of maybe a point in between? He *does* make it sound easy (although he has a funny line in there ... something like "now is the point when you wished you'd used frozen pastry"), and somehow it did work out, but not without a lot of anxiety on my part.

                                            Now I know about the onions. I mean, this was a HUGE amount of onion, and really double (at least) what I needed. But hey, it will save me some work some other time, so I wasn't upset about it. But I will take that into account in future recipes.

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Lulu's Mom: Thank you for taking one for the team with this pastry! All I can think of is that when I make it I'll be able to say "No, don't give up. LM says it'll work out!'

                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                Oakjoan, I was actually channelling you, having read one of your posts about having learned fairly recently about pastry. You did me good! Like I said, it isn't the prettiest pastry in the world (at least mine wasn't) but it was good. I'm trying to figure out whether I want to dare the gods by trying again with the cepe tart ...

                                        1. Brandade de Morue, page 52

                                          I made this nearly a week ago and I’m glad I didn’t get around to posting about it until now. I’ve liked it better and better each time I’ve tried it. I should note that not only have I never made brandade before, I’ve never even tasted it. How it’s passed me by all these years I’ll never know, but so be it. Anyway, I have nothing to compare it to so can’t tell you if this is an unusually good one or not. I did read a number of other recipes though and Hopkinson’s has less potato and quite a bit more milk and oil, which I find interesting.

                                          I used a good EVOO, but not a great one. My fault; he does say the oil should be of the finest quality. I should have read the intro again, not just the recipe itself. As MMRuth reported with the Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, the oil is a critical element in the taste of the dish. And although I used the 3 cloves of garlic called for, some other recipes call for even more and I think I’d prefer that.

                                          I was very disappointed when I first tasted this and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I’ve decided it was strictly cultural. I grew up loving whitefish salad and because this kind of looked like it, I was disappointed it didn’t taste like it. But after nearly a week of nibbling with cocktails before dinner, I’m a convert.

                                          The recipe made a huge amount and I’m hoping it freezes decently. I’ll definitely make brandade again, but I think I’ll try the version in James Peterson’s “Glorious French Food” next time if for no other reason than that it will give me something against which to judge this one.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            It does look creamier in the photo than I think of it as looking usually.

                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              Re: JoanN's Brandade and MMR's response.

                                              The photo looks almost exactly like the one my sister made at Xmas. That was also deelish, but made for the wrong crowd. I can only figure that she really wanted to make it for herself and probably me, because the other guests were not exactly culinary Einsteins. It was actually hilarious watching these folks dip a piece of bread into the brandade, put it into their mouths and make a face, then attempt to cover it up.

                                            2. re: JoanN

                                              Coming back to report that the Brandade froze better than decently. I had put it in a large ramekin and covered it with plastic wrap and foil. A friend was stopping by after a matinee yesterday, so I thawed it overnight in the fridge and brought it to room temp about an hour or two before. It was a bit liquidy in the very bottom of the ramekin, but neither texture nor flavor was affected adversely. It was only in the freezer for a week, but this was very good to know nonethless since the recipe did make such a large amount.

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                Who'da thunk? That is really good to know. Thanks.

                                            3. Grilled Salmon with Sauce Verte and Fennel Salad (I think that's right - don't have the book in front of me).

                                              This is a pretty quick dish to put together. I made half of the aioli recipe, though I had to get my husband's help (he's the resident mayonnaise expert), as mine broke. I think I started to add the lemon juice too early, and next time, I'd just add it at the end. We had to do several "reconstitutings" - first with a little bought mayonnaise, then started over again with another yolk, adding the mixture to it. Next time, I might add another anchovy filet to this. The fennel salad was quick and easy, and and a nice contrast to the rich salmon and sauce.

                                              I really liked his method of grilling the salmon - I used my LC grill pan. I didn't have Maldon salt, but used finer sea salt, and I wished I'd used a little less, since the Maldon is a lot flakier. But, the skin was beautifully crispy. I think I cooked for 5 minutes on the skin side, to ensure the crisp, then 3-4 on the flesh side, and a couple of minutes in the oven as he says. Next time I'd cook for slightly less time, as we prefer our salmon just a little less done than this, though it was still incredibly moist. I would have preferred to have center cut filet, but my husband was kind enough to go to the market, so no complaints!

                                              5 Replies
                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  Beautiful! I love the combination of fennel and salmon. Is this from the Second Helpings book?

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    No - it's in Roast Chicken - I just didn't have the book with me to put in the page number. Wish I had some leftovers of the salmon .... btw - I just made half the fennel recipe, and two salmon fillets, but really screwed up my math on the fillet size - I did two 8 oz instead of 6 oz - not that it matters, and did use too much salt on them.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      How in the heck did I overlook that one?? Got a new one for my try list.

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        And, I'd add the lemon juice gradually, even at the end - I don't think I used all the lemon juice called for, much as I like lemon. But again, it was a v. large one!

                                              1. Deep-fried cod, Page 50.
                                                I am using COTM as a prod to make things I would never usually prepare. I don't fry because it's messy and fattening. I made this dish, and guess what? It was messy and fattening. But good, especially considering that I never fry.
                                                I find Hopkinson's recipes charming but sometimes inscrutable. One of the batter ingredients he lists is "a bottle of beer, half a pint." So far as I know, a bottle of beer is 12 oz. and half a pint is 8. I added two thirds of a bottle and the mixture was very thick so I added the rest. It was still thick. He says to "sieve" the batter after all the ingredients have been mixed. What? I actually tried and it was so thick it sat there in the sieve. And would still be sitting there 24 hours later if I'd left it. So I dumped it back in the bowl. Anyway, I liked the way the batter puffed up in the oil. And it did stay on the fish. It would have been crispier if I knew more about frying. But everyone liked it. Hopkinson says to serve the fish with tartar sauce, fries, lemon etc. or "what you will." I didn't feel like frying potatoes too so I made hasselback potatoes and a chopped salad. And I put ketchup and lemon wedges out.

                                                23 Replies
                                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                                  "Inscrutable" - great word for it!

                                                  I wonder if that's one of the ingredients that didn't get checked for "translation" to the U.S. Not a big beer drinker, but I gather that in the U.K., one orders "a pint" or "half a pint". Also, a "pint" in the UK is a different number of ounces than a "pint" in the U.S.

                                                  What kind of beer did you use?

                                                  I used to not fry at all, but over the last year or so have started to fry some, and I find practice does help, in terms of getting the oil temp correct. But, not good for us for me to practice too much!

                                                  1. re: NYCkaren

                                                    The beer thing may have been lost in the translation between British and American pints. We've don't use ounces in this way, so I struggle to make the conversion, but in the original book he says "300ml/half a pint".

                                                    American or European style "lager" that we import is usually in 330ml bottles. UK brewed beer normally 500ml.

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      I just did the conversion online - 300 ml = 10.14 US oz.

                                                      What kind of beer would you have used for this recipe, btw?

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        I'd use a lager, not a traditional British "ale" which i think would have too much (or just wrong) flavour.

                                                        I have no idea what "butter, incited" might mean - can you point me towards the reference. Sounds fun.

                                                        In terms of translation, I think I've noticed in recent TV series for both Lawson and Oliver, that there are more "cutaways" where there's a voiceover giving the quantity - presumably making it easier to redub for the American market. Then again, maybe I am just spending too much time with you transatlantic cooks and am imagining it :-)


                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          On page 14 of the US version of Roast Chicken, in the recipe for the hollandaise sauce that accompanies the Delices d'Argenteuil, the ingredients list calls for "1 cup butter, incited." In the instructions he says, "Add the melted butter in a thin stream . . . ." So incited butter is pretty clearly melted butter, but would it be clarified butter?

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            I've just seen MMR's other thread and checked my original copy. It is , indeed, simply "melted", so just a typo in the American print run. It can't be necessary to clarify the butter - he'd have said if it was.

                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                              If it’s a typo it strikes me as a very odd one. How does one get from “melted” to “incited”? Also, Googling “incited butter” brings up too many references for all occurrences to be typos. Here, for instance, are two of them.

                                                              http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/1950s... See the second paragraph.

                                                              In the first reference it’s pretty clear that “incited butter” is “clarified butter.” Not so clear in the second instance, but entirely possible. Most of the Google hits seem to be from fairly early sources. I wonder if it’s just an old-fashioned term?

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                It may be an odd one but it seems to be the answer in this case.

                                                                The original UK edition says "melted". "Incited" is not a word known here in cooking. If he had thought it necessary to use clarified butter, that is what he would have said in the UK edition as it's the term we would use.

                                                                If you've found Americann references to "incited butter" then it seems as though the recipe may have been reworked for your market for some reason.

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  I've now compared the Hollandaise recipes on p. 14 and p. 183 - in the latter, the recipe calls for "unsalted butter", then tells you in the instructions to melt the butter, let it rest, and skim off the froth that collects on top. On p. 14, it says "butter, incited", and then just tells you to add the melted butter, in the instructions. So I do think it sounds like some cookbook editor came up with using "incited" as a short hand for melting and skimming off of the froth. Thanks to all for your insights and observations!

                                                      2. re: NYCkaren

                                                        Even assuming that the "pint" called for is an imperial pint, half of that would be about 9-1/2 ounces, so if you ended up using 12 ounces that certainly should have been sufficient. I wonder if the missing part of the equation might be in the flour. Did you add potato flour to the AP as called for? If not, I wonder if that would have made a difference. Or perhaps it's just a difference between UK and US flour.

                                                        I agree with MMRuth that some of the ingredients in this book didn't get "translated" for a US audience. And the recipes quite obviouslty weren't retested for US publication. This is obviously not a book for beginning cooks but for those who can adjust on the fly as necessary. So far though, I've been pleased with the results.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          I was having the same suspicion about the recipes not having been "retested". Now if I can only figure out what "butter, incited" means! But for now - off for my first pastrami sandwich.

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            Yes I used potato flour. I followed the recipe as closely as I could. And I assume that the batter ended up more or less the way it was supposed to. Of course, I could be wrong. I have no experience with covering things with batter and frying them. Do you suppose the batter was supposed to be thin? Maybe. It was certainly way to thick to "sieve." I'm scratching my head over that one.

                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                              Batter is normally meant to be the consistency of double (heavy?) cream. Mind you, I've never made deep-fried fish either, and I've certainly never sieved batter. I don't recall my Mum ever doing that either when she made fish and chips.

                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                I've also never deep-fried fish (it's what fish & chips shops are for). But isnt the thick batter thing like a tempura batter? Perhaps that's what he's intending ? Although why you would then sieve it beats me.

                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  Is it possible that he means that the dry ingredients should be sieved together, and then the liquid ones added? It's not what it says, but .....

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I thought of that. The dry ingredients are just all-purpose flour, potato flour, salt and pepper. I don't know why you'd need to sieve those. Maybe that is what he meant though.

                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                      Possible. But it's not what it says.......

                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        Good to know it says the same thing in the UK edition. I'll just have to try making this myself as well and see how it goes!

                                                            2. re: NYCkaren

                                                              I noticed something similar in another recipe. He calls for "2 glasses of wine - or 16 ounces" something along those lines, and I thought "boy, is he going to be disappointed when he gets to the US and orders a glass of wine!"

                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                You know, it occurs to me we had similar problems with Nigella Lawson’s “Forever Summer.” The use of “groundnut oil” for “peanut oil” comes immediately to mind. And it’s interesting that Lawson, at the time that book was published, was not well-known in the States and neither was Hopkinson when his book first arrived on these shores. Both books were published by Hyperion. My years in book publishing tell me that until a British author has proven that s/he can sell a significant quantity of books on this side of the pond (Jamie Oliver, for instance), Hyperion is simply unwilling to invest what it costs (and it *is* expensive) to have a title thoroughly vetted for the US market.

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  Sigh, all this talk about salmon reminds me that our West Coast salmon season has been totally canceled (from California up into Oregon with a much smaller season allowed in Northern Oregon) due to the lack of fish and spawning. The number of salmon going upstream to spawn is so drastically low that we aren't going to get ANY wild salmon from California waters. It'll all be farmed and, to me, that's BAAAD news.

                                                                  So we have the $500 per lb. Atlantic or Scottish Salmon to look forward to. I know, I know, I'm exaggerating.

                                                            3. Basque Chiorro (p. 105)

                                                              I chanced getting "bad wife of the week" award with this one, because it is the other recipe in the book with poached cod (or hake). I simply poached the heck out of the cod this time around, and bingo - it worked. We all loved this. I used a fairly plonky red wine and at first thought that had ruined it, but the longer it sat and stewed down, the deeper the flavor got. It actually got so deep that it actually tasted almost as if it had chocolate in it, like a mole. I used 2 regular size onions, given previous onion sizing discussions and it was perfect. Really easy, and very good. Served it with a simple salad with his vinaigrette (eh ..).

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                It was a toss up last night - Basque Chiorro or Poached Cod with Lentils and Salsa Verde....PCwLaSV won... page 49

                                                                I followed his recipe even though when I make lentils, I dice the onion and add carrots and more seasoning. While the lentils were cooking I made the salsa, then poached the cod. Everything came together rather well and tasted fine. Nothing to swoon over, but an altogether satisfying meal. Because I had a cabbage to use up I made Chacalaka following Hungry Pangolin's recipe in another thread. That was absolutely heavenly!! I must tell him... Can't wait to have a bit of the leftover for lunch today.

                                                                As we work through this book it occurs to me that his recipes, or rather his ingredients, can be used as a base to be expanded on.

                                                              2. Curried Smoked Haddock Soup (p. 192)

                                                                This isn't going to be for everyone, but I liked it a whole lot. My ex-M-i-L was English, and she used to make the most wonderful kedgeree, and when he mentioned in his headnotes that this was similar, that was all it took for me to want to try it.

                                                                You cook some leeks and garlic in butter, then add chicken stock, chopped potato, and curry powder. Smelled wonderful in the house. At this point in the recipe I got kind of mad at him - he says Poach the haddock (doesn't say how long); he says 1 tablespoon basmati rice cooked in a little chicken stock (doesn't say how much, and with that tiny bit of rice, do i still cook it the usual 20 minutes?). Not the most helpful instructions. I was worried that this was going to be too little food (wasn't sure if it was 4 servings soup course or dinner course), but with a salad it was more than enough because it is very rich once you add that bit of rice and cream (and lemon juice, saffron,and cilantro). This is a dish with a very strong flavor, and if you're not a fan of smoked fish and/or curry, it probably won't appeal. But I would definitely make it again.

                                                                22 Replies
                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  That sounds delicious - where were you able to find smoked haddock? I actually haven't looked for it, but had assumed that it might be hard to find.

                                                                  Edit: In the recipe before that one, he says to poach for 3 minutes - how long do you think you poached it?

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I had to special order the smoked haddock from Whole Foods, but they were more than happy to get it for me.

                                                                    Yeah, I went with a little more than the 3 minutes he mentions in the recipe before it, but you know, if you're going to be tossing it in with the soupy mix and then "gently heating" maybe it didn't need to be so long? It was fine, so I guess I did the right thing. Another thing that slightly confused me was he instructs to remove skin and bones from the smoked haddock - mine had skin but no bones (for which I was very grateful!). But I spent probably longer than a normal person would have looking for those bones, just in case.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Great - thanks - I'll check w/ WF here if I don't see it at my next trip to my regular market. I love curry and smoked fish, so I think this is just up my alley. Having two friends to dinner tomorrow night, and am working on coming up with a SH menu.

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        I was just thinking this morning that I should add that basque fish stew thing to my dinner party list. That was a big hit and fairly elegant in presentation. Good luck with the smoked fish.

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                          I'm making that for friends tonight. I've just got Mr GG to go and pick up the hake I pre-ordered at the fishmonger (it was almost half the price of cod, which is good). How long did you poach it for, out of interest?

                                                                          I'm also going to do the creamed goat's cheese with roasted garlic.

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                            I poached mine for 4 minutes, although I don't think it needed that long in the end. But the nice thing about poaching is that it doesn't end up making stuff tough. I hope you enjoy it! And my mouth is watering at the goat cheese and roasted garlic ...

                                                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                                                          MMR: Smoked haddock (finnen haddie) is extremely difficult to find out here on the Left Coast. I've tried several fishmongers without success. They'll special order it but only in large quantities like 10 lbs.

                                                                          LULU'SMOM: I hadn't thought of Whole Foods. Will try them now. I absolutely love finnen haddie as my mother used to prepare it. How much did you have to order?

                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                            I only ordered the one pound and they were fine with that. The only downside is that I had to do it a week in advance - they make weekly orders with their suppliers so I suppose it is luck of the draw.

                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Sounds lovely - I adore smoked haddock and kedgeree and had somehow missed that recipe. It's pretty easy to buy in the UK, so it's on the list!

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                        This is something I wish was more common in the US - but I think I've seen it maybe once on a menu, and even then it was at some place trying very hard to be a british pub. Do try it - if you like those flavors this should be perfect for you. Oh, and I didn't strain it as he tells you to do - just used my immersion blender. Also (really, he does need to get over this) I used the whole cilantro, stems and all, not just the leaves. But probably only about a half cup chopped.

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                          Weird that you can't get it easily in the US - I guess it must be a British thing. Thinking about it, I made a fish pie when staying at a friend's house in France at New Year, and I couldn't find much smoked fish there either.

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                            It's not that we don't have much smoked fish here in the US, it's just that smoked haddock is very uncommon (smoked salmon, trout, and mackerel are readily available and well known).

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              When I made a Nigella Lawson fish pie once I susbstituted some other kind of smoked fish for the haddock. I forget what kind. For future reference, what kind of smoked fish do you think would be closest to smoked haddock?

                                                                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                As smoked haddock is not cooked through and needs to be poached, I'm not sure there is a substitute other than smoked cod, which is probably just as hard to find in the States! I think I'd use smoked trout if I really wanted the smoked fish taste, but obviously I wouldn't poach it before adding it to the white sauce.

                                                                                A little google search threw up the following source in the US:


                                                                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                  I'll bet you could substitute smoked sable--available at all Jewish delis from Zabar's to Russ & Daughters. But it's really expensive.

                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                    You're not kidding! Also the picture I found on the interweb looks like you just eat it as is, like smoked trout/mackerel etc.

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      Yes, that's true. You don't need to cook smoked sable.

                                                                                2. re: greedygirl


                                                                                  Next time you're in my part of the world, go to the Cheshire Smokehouse near Wilmslow. They sell the ABSOLUTE BEST smoked haddock. Bring a cool bag and it'll be fine during your trip back south.

                                                                                3. re: LulusMom

                                                                                  Yeah, it's weird that he doesn't know that one can use stems of cilantro. It's pretty well-known out here in Califa.

                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                    I think loads of recipes, though, call for using just cilantro leaves - I don't think I've ever thought about using the stems. But it makes sense - I'll have to taste a stem and see what I think.

                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                      This is definitely an herb where the stems can easily be used without hurting anything.

                                                                            2. Basque Chiorro.

                                                                              I made this with hake and it was delicious. It was made in rather a rush after work, for a number of old friends who came for dinner. I poached the fish for the five minutes stated in the recipe, but next time would do it for a bit less as it kind of fell apart when I took the skin off. The sauce of onions, paprika and red wine was a good foil for the fish.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                So glad someone else made this and loved it. I'll be making it again.

                                                                              2. Scallops Bercy, p. 187

                                                                                I finally found some scallops w/ the roe and made this. As he says "Sauce Bercy is one of those classic French sauces that is just perfection". And, not surprisingly, he's right. Easy to make, beautiful and delicious.

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                    Did you think the roe made a huge difference? I'm thinking finding scallops with roe here will be difficult, but love the sound of this dish.

                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      I think it would be very good w/o the roe. The roe isn't used in any special way in the recipe - just cooked along with the scallops. The sauce was just delicious and would be wonderful with other seafood as well, I think.

                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                        Thanks - very good to know. I love scallops and can always use new ways to cook them, but finding them with the roe would be tough.

                                                                                    2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                      I’ve been getting phenomenal scallops (without roe) at the farmers market and decided to give this a try. Hopkinson calls for 6 tablespoons of butter in the Bercy sauce, but I thought 2 was enough. Sure 6 would be better, but 2 was sufficient to give it a very buttery flavor. I forgot I didn’t have lemon so gave it a squeeze of lime. Too acidic. Don’t know if it was the lime, too big a squeeze, or both. Still good, just not perfectly balanced.

                                                                                      I liked this a lot. I suspect I would have liked it even better if I hadn’t in the past month or so made two knock-your-socks-off scallop recipes from “Fish Without a Doubt.” I’ll definitely keep the Bercy sauce in mind, though. Quick and easy way to make a simply broiled or grilled fish quite luxurious.

                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                        Well that looks really nice, Joan. Good for you for hauling out Hopkinson after all these months. Whatever made you think of that book for scallops?

                                                                                        I'm trying to keep track of each book and the recipes I make from them. At first I write a list of the recipes I'd like to make and keep the list in the book for the month. Then when the month is over I put the list into a 3-ring binder. It's still a bit rag tag and still has some filing issues but at least I can look through and see what we liked and what I would do differently.

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          After two-and-a-half years of COTM, there are maybe 8 books that I know I want to explore in much greater depth and Hopkinson is one of them. So whenever I have an ingredient or a hankering, those are the books I check first for inspiration.

                                                                                          I love your method of keeping track of the recipes you’ve tried and those you want to try. My books are full of post-it notes. And because I have no qualms about writing in my books, I just annotate the recipe with any thoughts or possible changes. But I'm often surprised when an older thread comes up and I'll see I've posted about a recipe I've completely forgotten about. The only way I have of remembering what I've cooked is from my photos. Since I've taken photos of nearly all my COTM dishes, and I keep them filed by book title, I can open the photo file for that particular title and see what's there. But that's not something I do very often.

                                                                                          I do keep menus of all dinner parties--date, who was there, what I served, where the recipe came from. Your system sounds so much more organized. I may have to give something like that a try. I’m glad you mentioned it.

                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                            I do the same with dinner parties, and thought I was the only person on earth who did this. Feel much much better now. I just don't want someone coming over thinknig "jeesh, she's serving THIS again??" I also try to note down things I've loved that would be good to make for company (hopkinson's spanish cod recipe -sorry don't remember title right now; Zuni fish with beans, fennel, etc.).

                                                                                            I have an excel file with recipes I'd like to make soon, but am not quite as organized as I'd like to be with that. With the COTMs, with each one I've bought I have a piece of paper in it with recipes I want to try; with ones I took from the library I just photocopy recipes I've liked a lot and put them in a folder.

                                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                                            What a great idea, Gio! The funny thing is, I do remember my 1 or 2 very most favorite recipes from the books we've tried, but, when I go back and re-read the old COTM threads, I'm astonished to find that there were other recipes I liked a lot that I don't remember, because they've been eclipsed (in my memory anyway) by my favorites.

                                                                                            I would like to become more organized. The hardest thing is trying to remember where I saw an intriguing recipe for an ingredient that was out of season at the time we were cooking from the book. For instance, Dunlop was before all of our summer vegetables were in and if there was a great recipe in there for, say, zucchini, I try to make a mental note of, ooh, must try that when zucchini comes in, but I seldom do remember.

                                                                                            JoanN, those scallops look brilliant.


                                                                                      2. Scallops Sauté Provençal (page 187)

                                                                                        I’m still getting phenomenal scallops from the day-boat fisherman at my local farmers market. And they’re not very expensive, either. So as long as he keeps having them, and as long as they keep being as good as they have been, I’m going to keep looking for new ways to prepare them. This one was one of the easiest and right up there with the best.

                                                                                        You roast (or broil) seasoned tomato halves in a bit of olive oil until they’re cooked through and beginning to collapse. Then you sauté the seasoned scallops in olive oil until “really crusty and browned.” “The secret,” he says, “is to give them longer than you think before turning them over.” And I did. When the scallops are cooked, you set them aside with the tomatoes to keep warm, toss some butter in the skillet, add a bunch of chopped garlic and some parsley (which I had ready, but forgot to add), and spoon the sauce over the scallops and tomatoes. I served it with some practically undressed mizuna and it was just heavenly.

                                                                                        Simon Hopkinson really is a gem. His flavors are so bright and pure and true to the ingredients. And most of his recipes are quite simple. I can’t offhand think of anything I’ve made that hasn’t been very good, if not wonderful. I must remember to reach for this book (and “Second Helpings,” which I just bought) much more often than I do.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                          Once again, thank you for reminding me about this book, JoanN. I'll look through this chapter to find some recipes to use with my CSF share this month. That comes from a day-boat fisherperson also but so far it's been cod....scallops would be marvelous!

                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                            Are the scallops you are getting sea scallops? I've been getting beautiful huge ones from Dorian's, but I'm paying about $2.00 a scallop! I've been cutting them in half per various David recipes, so that helps. I made some beautiful scallop fritters from one of her books - I'll try to get around to posting about it - the batter is v. simple, so I'll include precise instructions in case you want to try it.

                                                                                            And, yes, he is a gem!

                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                              Those look absolutely gorgeous. I'm always looking for new ways to make scallops, because we're all big fans. I loved the porcini butter ones from Fish without a Doubt (which you also led me to). I'll put this on my to try list.

                                                                                              I had one catastrophe with SH (the baked onions or something like that), but aside from that everything was really outstanding.

                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                I think those porcini butter ones from FWAD are still my favorites, but these were close.

                                                                                                And, yes, MMR, sea scallops. Not huge, certainly. I felt no need to cut them in half. And he's charging $12/lb, which I thought quite reasonable.