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March 2009/July 2012 COTM Fish Without a Doubt: Salsas & Relishes and Sauces, Vinaigrettes, Spice Mixes

**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 salsas & relishes and sauces, vinaigrettes, and spice mixes 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!

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  1. I want to make the Asian slaw, which LulusMom raved about, but I don't have the recipe for the Asian vinaigrette on p432. Can somebody who owns the book help me out please?

    5 Replies
    1. re: greedygirl

      1/3 c. vegetable oil
      1/3 c. fish sauce (book sugg. Vietnamese Golden Boy brand)
      1/4 c. fresh lime juice
      1/4 c. rice vinegar
      2 Tbsp. sugar
      1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
      1 tsp. chopped hot pepper, w/ seeds (book sugg. thai chile peppers, but any hot pepper will work)

      Combine all ingredients in a jar and give a good shake. Use as needed in a salad and keep leftovers in fridge.

      Makes 1 1/4 cups.

      1. re: greedygirl

        Aargh, sorry greedygirl. I still owe you a huge batch of the book. We're headed out of town yet again early sunday morning, but after that I will get it to you. Promise.

        1. re: greedygirl

          Asian Slaw.

          Made this tonight to accompany our grilled hand-ground burgers. I used napa cabbage, carrots and scallions. I may have used too much of the dressing. Husband found it too "fish saucy" while I loved it. He found the smell in the kitchen overwhelming and couldn't quite get over it.

          I will try to serve it with regular cabbage. Maybe if the dressing just appears from the fridge, he will do better!

          And now, if I can get him to enjoy one of the cucumber salads.....

          1. re: greedygirl

            Asian "Vinaigrette", Pg. 432

            I made this dressing last night to use on the Asian Cucumber Salad on page 458, It's the kind of vinaigrette that can be used with just about any salad: tangy, slightly sweet, a tiny bit salty, and just a touch of heat from the chili. Soypower above listed the ingredients. I loved it with the salad and will definitely use it again. RM says it keeps forever in the fridge...

          2. Question! I am going through the sauce chapter now, and when the ingredient list says Mayonnaise, do we think he is calling for something like Hellman's or home-made? I ask because commercial mayonnaise has its own set of spices, which would be in addition to those in the recipes, right?

            1 Reply
            1. re: smtucker

              I made the Harissa Mayonnaise and used Hellman's. In fact, truth to tell, I used Hellman's Light. Since he does not include a recipe specifically for mayonnaise, I'm quite certain he's using a store-bought product.

            2. Coconut and green curry sauce (p. 431)

              Two thumbs up!
              Saute chopped lemongrass and ginger, add kaffir lime leaves and green curry paste (I used canned from the Asian store). Recipe says to add wine and reduce; I substituted chicken stock. Add coconut milk, cook for 25 mins, and then strain; add lime juice and sugar.

              Best made a day or two ahead, but I didn't read that until it was dinner prep time, and it came out fine. Great in fact. And it really wasn't much effort. To save time, I chopped lemongrass and ginger in my mini chopper. Nice balance of flavors, and unlike many Thai sauces, lacking fresh hot peppers, it wasn't tear-inducing for the heat averse.

              Served with steamed halibut. I will definitely make this again.

              4 Replies
              1. re: NYchowcook

                Coconut and green curry sauce (p.431)

                I liked this a lot. It is easy to prep. I also didn't notice until too late the advice to make it a day or two ahead but I still thought it was great. I couldn't find fresh kaffir lime leaves so I used dried. I did find it very spicy so next time I will use half the green curry paste. I served it with the halibut poached in milk with bok choy on p.89 - a great meal.

                1. re: NYchowcook

                  Coconut and Green Curry Sauce Pg 431

                  I too made the halibut with this green curry sauce last night, and I really liked the sauce. I was out of dry white wine so I used a bit of dry vermouth instead, and it doesn't seem to have affected the sauce negatively at all. The result was creamy and tangy, with a touch of sweetness and an aromatic base that is very tasty. I also didn't note that it was meant to sit for a few days but I found the sauce very tasty even freshly made.
                  I think all curry pastes aren't created equal, as I actually found the sauce a little too tame. Mr. Delys actually asked for some minced chilies which I think I will need to add to the sauce next time if I am using the same chili paste.
                  The only other thing ot note is that there are three ingredients that contribute a sour note to this recipe, the lemon grass, lime juice, and kaffir lime leaves. All of which add their own characteristic note, just remember to follow the suggested proportions so that your sauce doesn't end up too astringent.
                  Glad to hear you also enjoyed it Jane.

                  1. re: delys77

                    Looking back through my book I noticed that there were a few places where I had marked things like "needs more spice/heat" so it may well be that the recipe as written just isn't spicy enough for you. I tend to have this problem a lot.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      That is entirely possible, I do enjoy a bit of spice, most especially to offset the richness of the coconut milk.

                2. p 407 Red wine butter sauce
                  exactly as advertised, a savory jammy sauce -- red wine reduction, shallots, lots of butter
                  It was "just us" so I didn't strain to make a smoother sauce...
                  Very interesting to have this with fish and leeks -- I've always been a straightup white wine fish cook.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pitu

                    What kind of fish is suggested for the red wine butter sauce?
                    What kind did you use?

                    1. re: pitu

                      Red Wine Butter Sauce, Pg. 407

                      1 cup sliced shallots, 3 sprigs thyme, and 1 1/2 cups dry red wine are brought to boil in a small saucepan. The heat is lowered and the wine is simmered till reduced to about 2 Ts. 1/2 cup ruby port is added and reduced to 1/3 cup. Thyme is removed, heat is turned to very low and the shallots are pureed with an immersion blender. As the shallots are being pureed 2 sticks of unsalted butter ( I used only 1 !), cut into tablespoons, are added bit by bit till all is incorporated. The sauce is strained, returned to the pan and Kosher salt & ground white pepper are whisked in then 1 T balsamic vinegar. A very sassy sauce this and v. yummy.

                      To use with Sautéed Turbot with Leeks and Red Wine Butter Sauce, Pg. 233
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001...

                      1. re: pitu

                        Red Wine Butter Sauce p. 407
                        I don't usually make things like "Red Wine Butter Sauce", it was an education and an honestly tasty way to serve salmon. I used a dark red wine from Chile made with Carmenere grapes, recommended by the fellow at the Utah State Liquor Store (not the cashier, the *wine* guy!) Also needed some ruby port -- learned that ruby port is younger (& cheaper) than tawny port.
                        Anyhow, both Gio and pitu have recounted the recipe -- my picture is right after the immersion blending, before the balsamic and straining. I was very skeptical that this should be put on fish, but wow with the salmon I was impressed. I do have a problem with the color, though -- it just doesn't look good with the orange of the fish -- silly, maybe. It'd be beautiful with steak.
                        I would make it again, probably only on occasion though. Would like to find a white wine butter sauce too.

                         
                      2. Butter Sauce, Mustard Variation

                        Could have sworn I had reviewed this the first time I made it, months ago. Tonight I only halved the recipe in celebration of our first fish CSA shipment.

                        This time I knew to use a taller saucepan so that the immersion blender didn't throw the butter throughout the entire room. Simmer shallots, water and thyme until the water is reduced by half. Over the heat, add the butter a little at a time while continuing to blend with the mixture, only adding the butter after the last bit has been completely incorporated. Strain the mixture.

                        Whisk in dijon and country mustard, some salt and a bit of lemon. Sauce can sit for up to an hour over a very low heat. If the sauce becomes too thick, a little water can be added.

                        I served over a simple sauteéd cod and it was delicious. I will use the remaining sauce to dress the cod cakes I made with fish scraps.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: smtucker

                          I remember loving this sauce ... except when I was in the midst of cleaning up the mess it made. Like you, I'll use a taller pot next time. Using it over cod cakes sounds great.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            Just made the Butter Garlic Sauce in prep for dinner later. I used the tallest pot I've got. What a mess! Butter sauce all over the stove, the cabinets, the countertops, the appliances, me, my glasses, the floor. Now I have to go clean the kitchen top to bottom before I do anything else. And I doubt I'll ever get the grease stains out of this shirt. Wouldn't be at all surprised if I lost nearly a quarter of the sauce. At least part of the problem is that there is so little liquid in the pot, it doesn't cover enough of the bottom of the immersion blender (at least not mine) to keep it from splattering. I ended up finishing the sauce in a blender and if there is a next time, I think I'll go directly to the blender even if the recipe does say to keep it over low heat while you're adding the butter. I'm making the Butter-Poached Bay Scallops with Rice and Peas later. It damned well better be good!

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Sheesh Joan, what a mess! I completely empathize with you and will keep my fingers crossed that the Scallops knock your butter-stained socks off!! Actually, it might be better if you hate the sauce then you'll never feel the urge to make this again!

                              btw, in my experience, Dawn (kitchen) detergent works best at removing stubborn grease stains from clothing. I work it into tougher and older stains and it seems to do a pretty good job . . . jic you feel like tackling laundry today vs pouring a glass of wine and forgetting you'd ever made butter sauce!

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                Hah! Just back from putting the shirt in a sink with about an eighth of a cup of Dawn. We'll see. And I must say, I don't care if it's barely past 11:00 a.m. right now. A glass of wine sounds like a very good idea indeed.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Well cheers to that Joan, well-deserved indeed! Looking forward to hearing about those scallops.

                            2. re: smtucker

                              Butter sauce (wasabi version), page 404
                              I neglected to report on this in this separate thread. Wish I had read the reports because I also had the issue of flying butter. After losing a huge chunk my first go-round, I started from scratch with the same small pot but cut very small chunks of butter. I also used one hand to tip the pot on it's side so that the pool of liquid would be deeper. A pot with a rounded bottom would have been a better fit - but I don't own one.
                              I initially thought the problem was due to the size of my immersion blender and my relative lack
                              of experience using it. In any event I just loved the sauce all by itself, and plan to use it for other things as well - perhaps with a squeeze of lemon on some fresh asparagus.
                              It was tasty with the wasabi as well.