HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


March 2009/July 2012 COTM Fish Without a Doubt: Poaching, Steaming, & Boiling

**March 2009 Cookbook of the Month** is Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes for poaching, steaming, and boiling here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Packets of Haddock with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Parsley Pesto, Pg. 223

    Easy prep and full of flavor....I've never heard of Leida or Avocado Squash recommended as alternatives so I used the zucchini.

    Onto an 18" X 18" piece of aluminum foil go sliced zucchini seasoned with sea salt, FGpepper and olive oil then halved grape tomatoes are seasoned like the zucchini and placed on top. 1" thick haddock fillets are seasoned with S & P and placed on top of the vegetables. The packets are folded up in thirds for the "drugstore wrap" - the directions are given in the front of the book - placed on a baking sheet and baked for 15 minutes.

    This had a nice, mild seafood taste with lovely opalescence. On my own I might have added sliced onions, a bit of minced garlic and a sprinkle of paprika but I now see that would have completely over powered the haddock.

    Parsley Pesto, Pg. 422
    A typical recipe, this.... 2 cups flat leaf parsley, 2 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup Parmisano, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 1/3 EVOO, kosher salt all processed in my ancient Braun which is holding up very well after about 25 years! What really makes all the difference is using the freshest ingredients. The pesto was a perfect accompaniment for the fish.

    A simple baked potato and sautéed kale completed the meal.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Oooh! This sounds great, too. I'm always looking for ways to use tomatoes and zucchini in summer. Do you think this could be done on the outdoor grill?


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I think probably, TDQ. Chris Schlesinger has, in his cookbook with John Willoughby "The Thrill of the Grill," a few packets like this one designed to be cooked on an outdoor grill. They call them Hobo Packs.

      2. re: Gio

        My eyes glazed over when I saw the Parsley pesto in the book, but you've made me rethink my reaction. I always seem to have parsley around the house, and we eat a lot of fish. thanks for nudging me a little in this direction.

        1. re: LulusMom

          I've made the arugula one, and it was lovely.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I read your review on the Fw/oaD thread and it sounded so good. Unfortunately my husband has put his foot down when it comes to arugula. Sad-making. But I now get away with cod, brussels sprouts and garbanzo beans, so we're making progress!

          2. re: LulusMom

            We get tomatoes, parsley and zucchini in abundance in summer and I never know what to do with it all. I am definitely going to try this on the grill when summer comes. I'll bet the pesto keeps for awhile, too.


          3. re: Gio

            Revisited this recipe last night and once again it was very delicious! Used some lovely fresh pollock fillets this time and somehow it was even better than I remember. Also, this time used my new toy, a Cuisinart mini-chopper, for the pesto.
            Make this dish! It's terrific.

            Served with Oseland's Green Beans with Coconut and the Fingerling potatoe salad from BAY'A.

          4. Better boiled lobster, P. 118:
            I'm assuming this is the right place for this post. I'd never cooked lobster before and I figured I might as well start. I was spurred to try when someone on the Manhattan board griped about paying $80 a pound for cooked lobster at Citarella and someone else said just cook it yourself, a 9-year-old could do it.

            I got two small lobsters _ 1 1/4 lb. each. I figured that would do for a first course for four. Following the directions in the book, I brought a pot of water to the boil and put a LOT of salt in it. Then I lowered the critters in head first. I brought the pot back to the boil, boiled for one minute, then turned the heat off and let the pot sit for 20 minutes. It worked perfectly! The lobsters were delicious. I'm pumped that I scaled a new culinary peek.

            8 Replies
            1. re: NYCkaren

              I'm impressed. This is one I haven't done yet. My husband got really squeamish when I brought home live soft shell crabs - more for me!

              1. re: LulusMom

                And soft-shell crabs don't really even move!
                I never thought I could kill a lobster. I worked my way up by starting with crabs. It was worth it. So much cheaper than ordering lobster in a restaurant. And as a former vegetarian I do feel that if I'm going to eat animals I should be willing to kill them.

                1. re: NYCkaren

                  I completely agree (as another former vegetarian).

                  1. re: NYCkaren

                    I love eating crab, but can't bring myself to cook one because they really freak me out. Those swivelly eyes on stalks, the pincers, the horrid sideways scuttle.... I really need to get over it. A friend has promised to come and hold my hand the first time I do it but so far I've avoided it! Pathetic.

                2. re: NYCkaren

                  Lobster Roll (page 118)

                  This is really more of a lagniappe accompanying his Better Boiled Lobster recipe (which I did not use; I’ve been getting perfect results for years using Jasper White’s instructions and have no desire to experiment further).

                  I had some leftover lobster (Yeah. I know. A first for me, too.), was buying fennel to try Eric Ripert’s recipe for lobster stock, and decided to use the rest of the fennel, a suggested alternative to celery, to make these Lobster Rolls. Except for the use of fennel instead of celery, his recipe is about as classic New England as you can get: lobster, fennel or celery, mayo, a bit of s&p, and a hit of lemon juice. After tasting, I decided to add a very small squeeze of Sriracha. But that’s just me.

                  This was just exactly what it’s supposed to be. And I really liked the fennel substitution, although it was very subtle. I wonder if I would even have noticed it if I’d been served it in a restaurant. May just have been that my supermarket fennel wasn’t very assertive. My only disappointment was that Moonen says he prefers potato buns to hot dog rolls and I saw some potato rolls in the supermarket and bought them. I thought they were too soft and too sweet.

                  Nice new year’s day treat after my standard new year’s eve dinner. May even plan for it next year. Any recommendations for a really good hot dog bun? (No, I’m not going to make my own just to have one or two.)

                  1. re: JoanN

                    What a lovely treat that was JoanN!! I completely overlooked the lobster roll in the basic
                    recipe now I have to try the fennel, which I love. It usually has a clear, fresh taste when in season. As for the hot dog buns, a while ago the Boston Globe's test kitchen did a taste test and the winner was Pepperidge Farm.

                    Happy New Year to you!

                    1. re: Gio

                      Ah! Good to know. Making a note in my book right now.

                      Although obviously one tester's comment that "a bun, is a bun, is a bun" just ain't so.

                      (And HNY--and good cooking--to you, too, Gio.)

                    2. re: JoanN

                      Lobster Roll, Pg. 118

                      We made this lobster roll last night and like JoanN we liked it with the chopped fennel instead of celery. . I pretty much followed the recipe using 2 1/2 lbs of lobster which picked gave us about 3/4 lbs. meat. These were not soft shell lobsters. Broke from New England tradition when I used lovely round soft rolls, grilled, from the farm bakery where we pickup our CSA basket. Also, following Joan's lead, I squirted a couple of dashes of Sriracha into the dressing. At 3.99 per pound for the lobster we had a great LR for under 10.00. Not Bad.

                      Served with the Farmer's Market Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing from Raising the Salad Bar. For dessert (which we hardly ever have) there was rum raisin ice cream served to the tune of "It's Summertime Summertime sum sum Summertime"...

                  2. Turbot (Sole) poached in milk, with noodles and mustard butter sauce (p. 88)

                    Lulu and I liked this (Lulu was crazy about it), husband said "just ok." I poached sole instead of turbot and loved the result, very soft and tender, almost melt in your mouth. You serve the fish on a bed of egg noodles and peas with mustard butter sauce. The mustard butter sauce requires that you first make the basic butter sauce (my one complaint with this book is how you see a recipe, think - pretty simple - and then find that you keep having to make yet another recipe to make it - but this is minor since none of these things are difficult). Made the basic butter sauce, and another quibble. He tells you to use a small pot when melting the butter, and then to use an immersion blender. For me, this meant melted butter all over me, all over the stove. I wasn't thrilled with that part. But the basic butter sauce (boil shallots and a sprig of thyme in water, then add butter a bit at a time) tastes absolutely heavenly - I think it alone would be wonderful over the poached fish. For the mustard butter you add mustard and a little lemon juice. Very simple. I did *not* strain out the shallots from the butter sauce. I like that little crunch they give, and don't really see the point.

                    28 Replies
                    1. re: LulusMom

                      and photo (posting this took almost an hour)

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I could totally see that immersion blender thing happening to me.... hope you didn't ruin a cute outfit :) That sauce sounds great.

                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          I felt like a dummy for having thought it could work! Luckily was wearing an oldish shirt, but still, not thrilled.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I can't remember exactly what it was, but I know that something similar happened during one of my COTM adventures. Of course pretty much all of my cookbooks are spattered to the max, but I know I had things flying everywhere at one point too.... LOL.

                            1. re: foxy fairy

                              I'm so glad I'm not the only one! And geesh - you should see the shape this cookbook is in at this point. Good thing I love it, because no one else is going to want it now. I've had my way with it.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                I got the book from the library and I am trying not to get it totally splattered.
                                The fish looks great. Good thing Lulu liked it. My daughter won't eat fish unless it's fried.

                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                  I'm a little worried about the next time I end up getting the COTM from the library. Have you tried shrimp with your daughter? That is one that Lulu loved from the start, no questions asked. And dipping sauce with *anything* seems to make it more appealling.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Yes, shrimp is the one seafood that my daughter Margaret will consistently eat. So we've been eating a lot of it.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          Dover sole, fresh caught, was only $5/lb today at the market, so I bought some and made this dish for dinner. Since there are only two of us, I divided the recipe[s] in half. I elected to omit the egg noodles since I had just made some Viennese rolls.

                          Started with the butter sauce. With such a small quantity of sauce in the pan, the immersion blender was fairly useless, so I started adding the butter with a wisk. As the amount of sauce increased, I alternated between the blender and the wisk just to cut up the shallots. I did not strain the shallots. I used Fallot Dijon mustards. So glad I tasted before adding salt. There was plenty already.

                          Meawhile the milk boullion was working in a small saucepan. Again, I reduced the amount of liquid from 8 cups in the recipe to 2 cups. [8 cups is HUGE.] Ran the peas under the tap to thaw and then warm, and set them in a strainer over some hot water to keep them warm.

                          Fish was done at exactly 6 minutes [with that one turn.]

                          I really liked this dish. Of course, I might like any dish with 2 tablespoons of butter per fish fillet! I still have a little sauce, the bouillon and one piece of fish left for a meal tomorrow. [What are people doing with the leftover milk bouillon? Does it just get thrown out?]

                          1. re: smtucker

                            Where in the world did you get Dover Sole for $5.00 a pound?

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Somerville, MA Market Basket. Never frozen. I was astonished and put it right into my basket.

                            2. re: smtucker

                              Yes, I just tossed out the leftover milk bouillon. And yes, it really doesn't need salt given the salty flavor of the mustard.

                              1. re: smtucker

                                Good sell, sm, I'll be making this on Wednesday. The Dover sole will be at the Reading Market Basket, and DH has his instructions..... Get There Early.

                                We, too, used the whisk when we made the butter sauce. It just seemed easier to do it that way.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Oh, How I wish I'd started off with the whisk!

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Next time...LLM...next time. LOL

                                  2. re: Gio

                                    We made the Dove Sole tonight as I had planned and I must say it was superb. Loved the Mustard Butter Sauce, Loved the peas & noodles.... Loved the way he uses ground white pepper. It adds such a different taste to a dish. The fish was cooked beautifully in such a very short time. I'm saving the milk bouillon but I wonder if I should freeze it. I already have 3 bags of lobster stock in the freezer and can't decide what to do with them/it.

                                    I served the sole with a spicy tomato and white onion salad with cumin & white balsamic vinegar and it all went together beautifully.

                                  3. re: smtucker

                                    smtucker: I'm really glad you mentioned Fallot mustards. Once you use them in cooking and on sandwiches you can't go back to Grey Poupon. They are fabulously tangy and tasty. I ran out and my local market didn't have any so I bought GP. We couldn't eat it.

                                    It's weird, here in SFBayarea, at Berkeley Bowl, I've often gotten dover sole at a very good price (around $5-6/lb). Petrale, otoh, is almost always very expensive.

                                    Could you use the milk bouillon as a base or addition to some kind of clam or fish chowder?

                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                      I'll have to keep an eye out for Fallot - I usually use Maille.

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        I know Kalustyan's carries it, but it's about 4 dollars more a bottle than it is at Zabar's. Problem is, Zabar's doesn't always have it.

                                        Those prices at levillage,com are terrific, smtucker. Nearly half what I've seen it for here in NYC. Definitely worth the shipping for me. Great tip. Thanks.

                                      2. re: oakjoan

                                        I discovered Fallot years ago, and will never use anything else. (Well that isn't completely true. For summer potato salads at big family gatherings, I use the Grey Poupon.) I can't find the Fallot around Boston so I mail order from levillage.com. To order one jar is ridiculously expensive with shipping, but if you order 10 or 12, the price becomes very reasonable. Hard to find Fallot in France oddly enough, except in the Dijon region.

                                        Fish chowder might be a very good use for that milk. Great idea!

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          FWIW, oakjoan, I've read that there's another fish that's often called "Dover sole" that's sourced on the Pacific coast, as opposed to the true Dover sole from Europe, and I've wondered if that's what we're seeing here for such a good price.

                                          Here's a reference to that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dover_sole

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            I think you're absolutely right, Caitlin. Here's what James Peterson has to say:

                                            "Dover" Sole (Microstomus pacificus): Unfortunately this insipid-tasting fish is never marketed with the quotation marks, which may lead the unwary to confuse it with authentic Dover sole from Europe. The two have nothing in common. This fish, also called Pacific flounder, is considerably larger . . . than authentic Dover sole and has a mushy texture when cooked; authentic Dover sole has a very firm texture.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              I believe a lot of what's sold as sole in the US (called Dover and otherwise) is actuallyy flounder.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                This fish was definitely not flounder. Fillets were the wrong texture and too small. Plus it didn't taste like flounder. That doesn't mean it was Dover Sole. The good news is that "the fish with no name" was really tasty.

                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              That's what I've always heard too.

                                              I remember reading an interesting earlier discussion on Chowhound (linked below), with the consensus that inexpensive US "Dover Sole" is Pacific flounder/flatfish.

                                              Dover Sole in US supermarkets: is this the real thing?

                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                Yes, I think that makes more sense - thanks for finding that link.

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  Well, I have to say that whatever those lovely small, flat, sweet fish fillets were they were delicious cooked in the milk court bouillon.

                                      3. Steamed halibut (p. 107) with coconut and green curry sauce (p. 431)

                                        The steamed halibut recipe calls for corn and red pepper coulis, but being on a Thai cooking kick, I was happy to find the coconut and green curry sauce, which went perfectly with the fish.

                                        I adore halibut and never thought to steam it, which is a good idea. In fact, I never thought to steam *any* fish. I was very pleased with the results, and I'm here to say it's a good nonfat cooking technique so you can get your fat elsewhere rather than as a cooking vehicle. It also preserves the texture and flavor of the halibut.

                                        Lacking a steamer, I put a colander in a pot w/ water, and a cover that didn't fit, but it worked fine. It's a great technique for a thick fish like halibut, and I'll do it again.

                                        I've sauteed scallops and served with a corn coulis (excellent epicurious recipe) in the summer w/ tomatoes as a side, which is delicious but scallops are sweeter than halibut and I wanted something with more zing to go with the fish.

                                        Served w/ sauteed napa cabbage and roasted potatoes. Mmmm.

                                        1. Steamed Black Sea Bass with Sizzling Ginger (page 104)

                                          The fisherman at the farmer’s market had the most beautiful small black sea bass, so I bought it and found this recipe for which I had all the ingredients on hand.

                                          You slash the fish, stuff the cavity with shallots and ginger, and marinate the fish in soy sauce for 20 minutes. You then lay the fish on a bed of split, trimmed scallions and steam it for 10 minutes. After it’s cooked, you spoon over it a bit of hot oil in which you’ve sizzled matchsticks of fresh ginger.

                                          After all the spicy and robustly-flavored food I’ve been eating lately, I really had to sit still for a moment and let all the wonderfully subtle flavors announce themselves. I’m not all that sure that the ginger oil added much, but hard to know. It may just be that I was using frozen, rather than fresh, ginger and frozen ginger—although it works just fine for flavoring a dish—doesn’t retain it’s texture and contains too much liquid to really sizzle. Anyway, I really liked this. It’s not quite as easy to either make or eat as other Asian-type recipes I’ve made with fillets, but especially with barely-out-of-the-water fish it was a real treat.

                                          Just for photo identification, I had it with plain rice and roasted kale.

                                          1. Court Bouillon - p. 78 for poached Salmon

                                            Last week I poached salmon using this wonderful Court Bouillon recipe. I think it was the best poached salmon I've ever eaten, let alone made. Followed the recipe, but used 6 cups of water instead of 5. To poach the salmon, I heated the poacher a little, brought the bouillon to a boil, put the salmon in the poacher, poured the broth over the salmon quickly covered the pan and let it sit for about 15 minutes (3 pound fillet). Wonderful! The salmon was very slightly infused with the tarragon flavor - almost more an aroma than a taste. I wound up poaching 5 large fillets to help a friend with her party and everyone who had some raved.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mirage

                                              Court Bouillon - p. 78 for poached Salmon

                                              As mirage states, this is a wonderful recipe. It's so flavorful. I do wish that Moonen put in a rough guide for poaching though. I had a one lb. fillet and I let it sit for about 5 minutes (using mirage's guide above). It wasn't enough so I simmered it for a few minutes. Today, I'm going to simmer for 3 minutes and let it rest for 5. I'm hoping that does the trick.

                                            2. Tuna Preserved in Oil [pg 98]
                                              Niçoise Salad [pg 336]

                                              Cross-posted so make it easier to find in the future.

                                              My favorite farm sells something that they call Saladbowl lettuce. This lettuce is difficult to find in this country, but in the South of France, it is the standard lettuce at every bistro and restaurant I have eaten in. It has texture, fibre and a beautiful color, and yet is delicate like a Bibb or Boston lettuce. I make a point of getting to the Farmer's Market early enough to snag one of these heads before they are gone.

                                              Also in season right now are asperagus and carrots. With a shopping bag full of good vegetables, the question was, well, yes, but what is for dinner? A quick discussion and we decided to walk to the Korean market and get some of their beautiful tuna. So dinner was to be a salad with grilled tuna. But then it started to rain and I pulled out FISH!

                                              And dinner was changed. Niçoise Salad would be the plan.

                                              Poaching the tuna could not have been easier. Salt the tuna and let it rest for twenty minutes before putting into a heavy pan, covering with olive oil and cooking over a low heat for 20 minutes. The instructions indicated to get the oil warm, but not warm enough to bubble. I had to adjust the amount of flame under the pan several times to prevent the oil from over-heating. I admit, I had some moments of doubt as my gorgeous piece of pink tuna started to shrink and turn grey, but there was no turning back. After 30 minutes, you let the tuna cool in the oil. If you were saving it, you would move the tuna and oil to a glass container.

                                              The Niçoise salad dressing that was recommended is different than anything I have had in Nice or anywhere along the Southern French coast. To be honest, making this dressing was an act of faith. Moonen has been right before, and I will trust him!

                                              I used 1/4 cup of the tuna oil which he recommends for the best flavor. Heat a heavy saucepan and when it is hot, add the 1/4 cup oil and 1/8 cup of minced garlic. Stir. When the garlic is fragrent and almost starting to brown add 8 anchovies and stir until the anchovies are just about to melt. I let them melt just a bit before taking the oil mixture off the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar, and pour over the salad while still warm. I did let the dressing cool for just a few moments, since I didn't want a wilted salad.

                                              My composed salad had lettuce, boiled potato at room temperature, julienned carrots, blanched asperagus, hard-boiled egg and cucumbers, plus the poached tuna.

                                              I am not absolutely convinced by the dressing yet, but I may be reacting to the chunkiness instead of the flavor. My dining companion, who is not a fan of anchovies, really liked it, while I, the anchovy lover was less sure. Perhaps I should try making the dressing and then straining.

                                              The tuna, in spite of its grey appearance, was absolutely delcious- moist and flavorful. This is a method of cooking tuna [and probably some other fish] that I will utilize again. Overall, this dish was really good and served with a fresh loaf of bread was a perfect summer supper.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                That sounds a lot like the tuna confit I had at a local cafe recently. He served it with a salad with fennel and lots of fresh herbs and it was wonderful. It sounds really easy as well. :-)

                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                  Tuna preserved in oil p.99

                                                  I made this in order to make the Tuna salad with pickled vegetables on p.335. smtucker has done a great description above of the process of making the tuna. But I was underwhelmed by the result. To be honest it didn't taste any better than a good quality can of tuna in olive oil. And probably has less flavor. Given the cost of fresh tuna and of the olive oil it is poached and stored in, I wouldn't say this is worth it. I think I will still try the adjoining salmon recipe though - that uses bay leaves which I think would add more flavor.

                                                  One point - remove the tuna from the fridge about an hour before you need it (depending on the temperature in your kitchen) as the oil is solid.

                                                  1. re: JaneEYB

                                                    I found it pretty good, but agree that you should not use first-quality fresh tuna. I picked up tuna off-cuts from the fish shop, which were perfect for this, and I re-used the oil from poached brill in olive oil. Good quality canned tuna in olive oil is expensive here (NZ) and not always easy to find.

                                                2. Shrimp Boil (page 119)

                                                  Got home late, hot, and very hungry with a pound of jumbo shrimp from Costco. In the fridge was some leftover Salsa Rossa Piccante from "Italian Easy." Had on hand nearly all the ingredients for this Shrimp Boil: coriander seeds, brown mustard seeds, dill seeds (I had ground, not seeds), crushed red pepper, allspice berries (again, ground), celery seeds, white and black peppercorns, and a crumbled bay leaf. Add spice mix, 6 tablespoons of coarse salt, and juice and rind of half a lemon to 3 quarts of water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes, add unshelled shrimp, return to full boil, turn off heat, cover, and let sit 4 minutes.

                                                  This was just wonderful. I’m having guests in August who are serious shrimp lovers and I already know I’m going to welcome them with a huge bowl of these shrimp with a selection of dips.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    That sounds really good and flavorful. That is exactly how I "boil" shrimp, too: into boiling water, then off heat until they're pink through. I often do them unshelled, and realized the cooking liquid is then just the start of shrimp stock. The shells could be thrown back in, and it could be simmered for a little bit.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      It was really good. I was only surprised I hadn't thought to do it before since cold shrimp is something I love to have on hand during the summer for super-quick, no hassle meals.

                                                      I gave passing thought to saving the liquid, but I'm currently trying (without much success) to empty my freezer, not fill it. And I've already got quarts of both lobster stock and remouillage in there awaiting risotto weather. Good point, though. Perhaps next time.

                                                  2. Salmon Preserved in Oil (page 99)

                                                    I came back from CostCo with 2-1/2 pounds of gorgeous wild Copper River sockeye (@ $9.99/pound, I’ll have you know!) and decided to try this recipe with half of it. Although it’s a separate recipe in the book, it’s similar in technique to the Tuna Preserved in Oil that smtucker reported on above (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001... ).

                                                    Cover 5 bay leaves with ¼ inch of olive oil, bring to a simmer, and cool to room temperature. Salt the salmon, place on top of the bay leaves, cover with oil, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. He says the oil should just start to bubble at the end of that time. Unfortunately, I was distracted and by the time I returned to the kitchen the oil was bubbling and the thinner edges of the fillet were fried. They sure tasted good, though. I put the unfried part in the fridge covered with the cooled cooking oil. He says it can keep for weeks that way.

                                                    He suggests a number of recipes in the book for using both the preserved tuna and salmon, but one recommendation, for which he does not give a recipe, is to flake the fish and toss it with white beans and sliced red onions and serve it over arugula. That’s essentially one of my favorite, and simplest, antipasti, Tonno con Fagioli, from Ed Giobbi’s “Italian Family Cooking.” I usually make that with good, canned Italian tuna but decided to try it with the preserved salmon.

                                                    Not sure how much my love for the salmon had to do with it’s quality or it’s preparation, but it tasted like the best poached salmon I’d ever had. And what a lovely way to be able to keep it on hand to toss into salads or sandwiches a week or two later. I’ll definitely be making this again, and am now looking forward to trying the preserved tuna.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                      Oh Boy, does that look scrumptious. Another recipe from this fascinating book I'll have to try. I Love “Italian Family Cooking” and have made that Tonno con Fagioli many times, with several different kinds of fish...

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        I bought some of that salmon last week as well. It was so good. Half of the fillet we used the Moonan broiler method, and then for the second dinner I made salmon burgers. So very good. I don't know how long the Alaska run will last this year, but I hope to include this salmon in our menu plans as often as possible. I too love salmon with white beans. Can't wait to try this.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          I'm glad you reported on this recipe. For some reason it sounded to me like it would end up like fish canned in oil (I don't know why this occurred to me, as I love Greenspan's tuna slow cooked in oil). It really looks and sounds delicious. Do you use olive oil?

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            Yes, I used olive oil. But not anything fancy; just the house brand I buy by the gallon at Fairway.

                                                            Is that Dorie's tuna confit recipe you're talking about? I hadn't paid attention. But I see I have nearly all the ingredients on hand. Hmmmmm.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              That's it! Out of this world, including all the trimmings. I reviewed it here (before I had a lamp for photos in the kitchen!).

                                                        2. Butter-Poached Bay [Sea] Scallops with Rice and Peas (page 91)

                                                          After three days of a godawful heatwave, having eaten nothing more than yogurt, fruit, and raw vegetables, I was hungry and I wanted comfort food. This looked as though it would do the trick.

                                                          First, I made the Butter Sauce (page 404) in order to make the Garlic Butter Sauce (page 405). Because I ended up with less Butter Sauce than I should have (see disaster story here; I’m not going to relive it by typing it again: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001... ), there was too much garlic for how much Butter Sauce remained in the pot. I ended up with a slightly too-garlicky sauce, but I’m sure it would have been fine sans disaster.

                                                          Cook Arborio rice to al dente and drain it over barely thawed frozen peas, reserving some of the rice cooking liquid. Put the rice and the peas back in the pot with a mixture of egg and lemon and add enough rice cooking liquid to make the rice loose. Mine was loose enough at that stage; I didn’t think it needed any more liquid. Stir in some of the Garlic Butter Sauce in which the scallops have been poaching, top with the scallops, and garnish with parsley, chives, or scallion.

                                                          Since I had sea scallops, I cut them in quarters, more to be sure of the timing than for the aesthetics. And I cut the recipe in half, which was easy enough to do except for the whole egg with the juice of half a lemon added. I just made the full amount, adding only half of it to the peas and rice.

                                                          This was just as comforting as I had hoped it would be. It certainly isn’t one of my favorite recipes from the book, and it’s a bit more fussy to make than many, but it was just what I wanted for dinner. Perhaps I’d have liked it better had the process gone more smoothly. (Did I mention the disaster?)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            Joan your scallops look spectacular. I'm glad they hit the spot "after butter-geddon" too! Nice job!

                                                          2. Halibut poached in milk with bok choy and coconut green sauce p.89

                                                            This definitely was comfort food as described though healthy unlike a big bowl of pasta. The halibut (I used a steak rather than fillet) is poached in a milk court bouillon so is moist. Served with simply cooked bok choy (blanched then sauteed in butter and salt) the dish is really made special by the sauce (p.431). Lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, coconut and green curry paste provide lovely Thai flavors and kick. If you made the sauce a day or two ahead as recommended this would be an incredibly fast dinner.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                              Sounds great Jane and I just may have to give this a try.

                                                              I have to admit I have a rather large aversion to milk-poached fish having grown up in home where every Friday my Mom would pull out the electric frying pan, pour in the milk and dried parsley flakes toss in some frozen fish filets and then leave them to cook away for what seems like hours. In most cases we'd end up w a pile of fish flakes in a pool of greenish grey milk on our plates with some boiled potatoes. The thought of this still turns my stomach!

                                                              This just may be the recipe that gets me past this!! We'll see! Thanks for sharing.

                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                Yes, my mum did something like that too. My dad had a stomach ulcer so always needed quite bland food - he would often have milk poached fish and mashed potatoes while the rest of us had more interesting fare. I suppose this fish could also seem a bit bland if eaten on its own but the sauce lifts it into something special. I think the milk bouillon creates a very moist fish though you blot it dry with kitchen paper before serving. It tasted great so give it a try.

                                                              2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                Halibut Poached in Milk with Bok Choy and Green Curry Sauce Pg. 89
                                                                I always find happenstance interesting, in this case it seems that Jane and I were on the same kick last night as we both made this dish, and we both enjoyed it.
                                                                I too thought that the sauce made for a very interesting accompaniment too everythng on the plate. In fact I had a little left over bok choy and rice with the remaining sauce for lunch today. In my case my curry paste was quite tame so I might either taste it next time, or add a bit of minced chili to the sauteed ginger and lemongrass to kick it up a bit.
                                                                This was my first attempt at milk poaching and it definitely yielded a beautiful milky white filet that was still very moist and tender. When you combine the snow white filet with the delicious light green sauce it makes for a very nice presentation indeed.
                                                                My only quibble with this dish is that while the milk poaching is very easy, and yields a nice piece of fish it doesn't do much in terms of flavouring. Since there is a very flavourful sauce in accompaniment I suppose this is fine, but to be honest I think I might pan roast the fish the next time. I am just picturing a lovely halibut filet with a beautiful brown crust with the tasty sauce drizzled all over it, and I can't help but think it would be tastier. Plus the poaching essentially washes the seasoning that you put on the halibut away, and I don't find that the seasoning of the broth did anything for the fish at all.
                                                                Finally, I may be quibbling but this dish is a little too wet. I know this seems like an odd comment, but I always look for balance, and this dish had a wet poached fish, with a sauce, resting a top of a vegetable that has a tendency to release a bit of water.
                                                                Don't get me wrong, I thought this was a very good dish, but I do think that with a pan roasting and a heavier saute on the vegetables the overall result would go from very good to great!

                                                                1. re: delys77

                                                                  Here is the picture I couldn't attach to the original post as I was typing from my iPad.

                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                    Did you blot the fish with paper towels as he suggested? i found the fish moist but not wet though I do agree the poaching method didn't add much flavor. But the taste of the fish itself and its texture with the flavorful sauce worked well for me. I wonder whether the stronger taste of roast fish might fight against the delicate Thai flavors in the sauce.

                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                      Hey Jane yes I did blot the fish before it went in. I definitely agree the dish is good as is, and it is possible the roasting might create competing flavours.
                                                                      My plan was to up the paste a touch and add some chili so the sauce and the roasted filet both had a little increased flavour.
                                                                      I must say however that the milk poaching makes for a very tender piece of fish and I'm going to keep my eyes open for some other applications of this technique.

                                                                2. Steamed Salmon Packets with Peanut and Red Curry Sauce p.114
                                                                  (Steamed in parchment, *not* cabbage leaves as in the book.)

                                                                  Certainly good, but not one I'd do again. I love peanut sauce on noodles and chicken and vegetables, not sure why this didn't excite me.
                                                                  Peanut butter is mixed with a lesser amount of Thai red curry paste, I used store-bought. This is a hot sauce--flavors, among others, are red chile, ginger, lemongrass. Along with that spicy red dab goes coconut milk (unsweetened Thai Kitchen brand) and fish sauce (tall bottle of Tra Chang golden liquid has been in fridge since...'90s? scary!) Also some chopped fresh basil and cilantro (calls for mint too, I didn't have.) Mix into a sauce, smear over and under a salt & peppered piece of salmon. The "drugstore wrap" (p. 39) for the packet was easy, and would have been easier with foil.
                                                                  I steamed the packet in a metal steamer in a 4 quart Dutch oven for about 11 minutes.
                                                                  This tasted like a good piece of salmon with a good sauce on top. But not a married dish, if you know what I mean.
                                                                  You steam seam-side down, (1st picture)

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                    I was just looking at my book today and wondering if this would be spicy enough for me, or interesting enough. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't one you loved (but I'm afraid I don't know what a "married dish" means).

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Well, a married dish would be a kosher pickle, -- an unmarried dish would be a cucumber slice with a slight drizzle / sprinkle of vinegar. salt, garlic and dill on it. Same flavors. but a different experience.
                                                                      I'm thinking now that the quick steaming doesn't give enough time for the flavors to meld.

                                                                    2. re: blue room

                                                                      Steamed Salmon Packets with Peanut and Red Curry Sauce, p. 114

                                                                      I was committed to making this recipe before I read blue room's report, and I had a better experience with it than she did, which may come down to what I did, or may just be a matter of taste. I pretty much followed the recipe as written, with a couple of deviations. I did make the leaf packets, but because I was serving it to a cabbage-averse guest, I substituted chard.

                                                                      In the head note, Moonen says, "Don't use 'natural' peanut butter for this dish. You need the sugar that you get in Jif or Skippy." Well, I only ever buy natural peanut butter, and don't like the other kind, so I went ahead and used it in the sauce, but added a bit of brown sugar as well. I, like blue room, used Thai Kitchen red curry paste, which is less hot than some other brands. I used the amount specified, which made the sauce only mildly spicy (to me) because the cabbage-averse guest is also heat averse. I mixed up the PB, curry paste, fish sauce, and coconut milk the night before, and added the basil and cilantro (I didn't have mint) before cooking. I also doubled the entire sauce recipe, figuring that at least two of the three of us might enjoy adding extra at the table.

                                                                      To make the packets, you very briefly steam the leaves, just to make them pliable. He calls for cutting the rib out of the cabbage leaves, but post-steam, the center ribs of my chard were pliable enough to fold. Because the chard leaves are tall and narrow (relatively speaking), and my wild sockeye fillets were wide, I ended up using three overlapped leaves for each. Smear a generous tablespoon of sauce on the leaves, plop salted salmon down, add sauce, fold up. The 10-minute steaming time cooked the salmon through, but it was perfectly moist and pleasant.

                                                                      My thoughts: Having the edible wrapper probably helped with the "marrying" factor. Chard has a more assertive flavor than cabbage, so the sauce on the fish wasn't a strong flavor, but I made the right call in making extra because the non-spice-averse among us dabbed more on top and liked the effect of the whole. I actually had been thinking of this as red curry sauce, not peanut sauce, and indeed find the peanut butter a background flavor. As for LulusMom's wondering if it would be spicy enough for them, I would guess no, not as written. But it would be easy to add more curry paste to taste. In conclusion, not a superb dish, but an enjoyable one.

                                                                      Moonen suggests serving the Carrot Slaw or Asian slaw alongside, but I served Melissa Clark's Southeast Asian Tomato (and Cucumber) Salad, from Cook This Now, which also uses fish sauce, basil, and cilantro and it worked well with the fish.

                                                                    3. Oil-Poached Halibut with Gribiche and Poached Eggs (p. 96)

                                                                      This was the first recipe I tried from the cookbook (and this is my first post since voting for it!).

                                                                      I used brill for the fish -- this is a lovely flatfish fairly widely available here in New Zealand -- it has delicate flavour and a beautiful pink color.

                                                                      Cooking the fish was very easy. Since there are just two of us at the moment, I used our cast-iron pan to minimise the amount of oil. I didn't have the timing quite right, so I held the fish for a few minutes in a warm oven, which didn't seem to harm it.

                                                                      I used fennel instead of tomatoes for the gribiche, as it is dead winter here and the tomatoes are not very good just now. I added a bit too much vinegar and had to add a teaspoon of brown sugar to balance the acidity.

                                                                      The spinach was easy to do, and the poached egg was absolutely delicious (I was fortunate to have very fresh eggs from our farmer's market). As the recipe said, the egg yolk blends into the gribiche to make a lovely sauce.

                                                                      The entire meal was very nice; it did not taste oily at all, and if fact felt very light. I saved the olive oil and used it the next day for the tuna preserved in oil recipe.

                                                                      This was a good start for me, and I'll certainly add this recipe to my repertoire. Tonight I'm going to try the brill broiled.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: grubstreet

                                                                        what clever substitutions that account forwe seasons and location. love the idea of reusing the oil for another fish dish. Welcome to FISH!

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          Thanks! I couldn't bear to throw out all that nice olive oil -- staples like that are much more expensive here than in the US, so I was happy to be able to re-used it. We are planning a modified salad Nicoise tonight with the tuna.