HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


**March 2009 COTM** Fish Without a Doubt

Good morning! Welcome to the links thread for the **March 2009 Cookbook of the Month** -- Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore. You may wish to bookmark this thread for future reference, as it contains links to all the other threads for this book.

We will use this thread for general discussion, recipe planning, links, and any other goodies related to this COTM. If you would like to comment on techniques or anything else discussed in "The Basics" chapter (no actual recipes), feel free to do so here, too.

Happy Cooking! Looking forward to my first official month serving as your moderator, COTM hounds!

Here are the links for the threads for the full length recipe reviews:

Poaching, Steaming, & Boiling:

Broiling, Grilling, & Smoking

Baking & Roasting, Searing & Sautéing, Frying

Shellfish Appetizers & First Courses and Chowders, Soups, Stews

Salads, Ceviches, & Gravlax

Fish Cakes & Burgers and Pasta and Rice

Salsas & Relishes and Sauces, Vinaigrettes, Spice Mixes

Essential Sides

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'll also include the link to our voting thread, where hounds have posted ideas on accessing fresh fish (look toward the bottom of the thread). Here's that link:


    2 Replies
    1. re: foxy fairy

      Thank you, Foxy Fairy! Everything looks very well organized and as if you've been doing it forever. It's snowing here today.... a perfect day to curl up by the fire and go through the book to see which recipes I want to make. As JoanN says like Jacque,
      " Ahpeee Coo-King!"

      1. re: foxy fairy

        Agree, thank you foxy fairy.

        Here's a link to JoanN's specific post in the voting thread where she mentions the recipes from the book that are available online http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5973...

        And here's a link to the specific subdiscussion about accessing fresh fish: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5973...


      2. And here is a link to the Fish Without a Doubt thread started by JoanN:


        1. Thank you foxy fairy!

          I have been reading through the book and planning to make crispy calamari tonight (page 258) as squid is all I have in the freezer.

          I am excited to learn to cook more fish dishes (my weak point).

          1. Book arrived today and I have read about half of it so far. Surprised that half the recipes are crustacians/shellfish, but I think I will find many recipes to try this month.

            12 Replies
            1. re: smtucker

              I am going to take this back. Would love a fish soup today... but no, all but one of the soup recipes have shellfish in them. And the remaining one is a fennel soup with some fish. Fennel is not a favorite in this house. For a book with FISH as the title, too many of the recipes are using shellfish.

              Just feeling frustrated that I finally bought a COTM book and am not having any success actually using it.

              1. re: smtucker

                I'm so sorry that you're disappointed. Maybe try one of the soups that sounds good to you, minus the shellfish and just add extra fish?

                1. re: smtucker

                  smtucker -- great timing regarding your quest for a FISH-fish (not shellfish) soup), as I noticed a smoked haddock chowder in yesterday's food section of the Boston Globe, and thought I would mention it here as it seemed apropos and right on with our theme this month for COTM. The recipe is straightforward -- finnan haddie, water, butter, onion, potatoes, whole milk. I have never made fish chowder so I was interested to read the preparation. Apparently, you simmer the smoked fish briefly in water to create a broth, set fish aside and flake with fork, then add the rest of the goodies to the pot, simmer, then re-add the fish with milk. I can email you the exact recipe if you would like. :)

                  1. re: foxy fairy

                    SHEESH! Why don't you just kill me! I've been looking all over the place out here in the SFBayArea and nobody has finnan haddie. Nobody can order it unless one orders large amounts. Sigh. I just love the stuff and my mother used to make it often when I was growing up in Los Angeles.

                    Maybe there's a bigger Brit/Scandinavian population down south.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      :) The recipe indicates that you can also use another smoked white fish, including trout :) I have never tried finnan haddie, but every time I hear/see it, I think it sounds cute (cutely named, I mean).

                      1. re: foxy fairy

                        Thanks for pointing that recipe out Foxy Fairy. Growing up, dad loved finnan haddie, and now so do I. It's such a classic New England dish, but it's hard to even find in Boston area restaurants now. I think Turner's still has it, Lydia had it on the menu at Locke-Ober, at least when it first opened, and l saw it on the menu at Jimmy's Harborside a couple of years ago.

                        Link to recipe in the Boston Globe:

                        1. re: Rubee

                          It's also really good with eggs for breakfast. My mother used to poach it in milk. Sigh and yum.

                      2. re: oakjoan

                        During Hopkinson month last year I got Whole Foods to order me just enough smoked haddock for one of his dishes (which was WONDERFUL). You might see if they'd be willing to do the same for you. Surely Berkeley has to have this over Chapel Hill!

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Hmm, I never tried Whole Foods. I've tried several fish places, including the amazing Monterey Fish in Berkeley...no success. I did find one place that would order it but only in pretty large quantities.

                          I'm going to have to try online.

                      3. re: foxy fairy

                        That sounds so close to Cullen Skink which is what I am preparing tonight. [Husband has already recycled yesterday's Globe. No moss grows under OUR recycling pile! How I wish pick up was on a Monday!]

                        If you are interested in how it turns out, I will post.

                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          Yes its Cullen Skink. Husband and I love it (made it in Scotland, in Cullen, actually)
                          Easy and good, if you like smoked fish and creamy soups.

                    2. Has anyone noticed any catfish recipes in this books? I picked up some lovely filets at my co-op assuming that SURELY the book would have a recipe, but, alas, I didn't see catfish listed anywhere in the index. Has anyone encountered catfish, perhaps, as a substitution or something?


                      12 Replies
                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I haven't noticed any catfish recipes or substitutions, but I have to go through the book again, and when I do I'll look more closely.

                        I'm having such a difficult time finding the fish I want to cook. For instance, Wednesday I was all prepared to cook the scallops poached in butter but our fish monger said that in our neck of the woods - er ocean - scallops are out of season. The diver scallops are only available through Feb. He "could" get us some scallops but those are caught by trawling so he does not buy them.....

                        1. re: Gio

                          I just had a thought:
                          You could probably make the substitution on your own. Catfish is a mild, white, fleshy fish..... so cod, haddock, etc.

                          1. re: Gio

                            How incredibly frustrating that must be!I guess maybe that's one of the things we're learning about cooking with seafood is that you have to let what's fresh and looks great guide your recipe choices, rather than the other way around. That's why I thought I'd be fine if I picked up the catfish...

                            Silly me.


                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                            How funny. Just came here to find out where to post about Broiled Flounder with Arugula Pesto (page 125). Catfish is one of the acceptable substitutes for that recipe. It was also one of the fish listed for the Broiled Fish Fillets with Compound Butter (page 124). Don't know for sure, but I'll bet you'd be able to substitute catsfish for nearly any of the flat fillet recipes such as sole or tilapia.

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Uh . . . I just turned to the index. I see eleven recipes listed under "catfish." Are you sure you weren't looking at the index for "Baking from My Home to Yours"?

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Seriously? The index in the back? HAHAHA! Well, I guess I should try to do these things in less of a hurry. I was just trying to choose a recipe as I was leaving the house so I could swing by the market later and pick up the ingredients. Trying to be efficient, but, clearly, in too much of a hurry.

                                I'm pretty sure it wasn't the index to a baking book, but I did have Washoku Recipes from a Japanese kitchen in that same pile of library books, so, I suppose I consulted the wrong book!

                                Thanks JoanN!

                                Any catfish recipe in there on the "light" side you recommend for which you can rattle off the ingredients without going to a lot of trouble?


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Well, the Broiled Fish Fillets with Compound Butter, which I reported on here, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5848... use only a couple of teaspoons of butter per fillet (and probably half of that slides off). Lots of different choices for the compound butter: porcini, black olive and anchove, chile cilantro, ginger soy, and sun-dried tomato.

                                  The Pecan-Crusted Turbot uses little oil, but 2 cups of pecans (for 4 fillets), 2 egg whites, orange supremes, and an optional soy-orange sauce (which calls for the juice of six oranges and 4 tablespoons of butter, but I'm sure that could be cut in half if not more.

                                  Haven't made the pecan-crusted fish, but I did make the Almond-Crusted Barrammudi and that was marvelous.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    Thank you, Joan. I'll bet I can pull one of those compound butter variations off by looking at your report.

                                    EDIT: oh yeah, I don't even have to stop at the grocery store to rustle up what I need for the porcini butter! Thank you again!


                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Tons of catfish recipes! I'm not the world's hugest catfish fan, but the picture of the catfish sloppy joe looked good to me. I think whoever did the pictures in this book deserves a huge share of the profits. Almost everything I see I want to try, even if I just thought "eh" when I read the recipe.

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I've actually found many (well, three) catfish recipes. Likely you have now as well. I believe one is catfish tacos?

                                  1. re: jeanmt

                                    Yes, I'm pretty sure there is a catfish tacos recipe. Also, a catfish sloppy joe!


                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    TDQ, I know it's 3 year later but I have a good catfish recipe, if you still want one. Will post after I hear back from you and/or read through the end of this thread. Or I can email it to you.

                                  3. JoanN, I hope you don't mind, but I cut and pasted your recipe links from another discussion to make it easier to find them. I'm planning to make the Jalapeno Salmon Burgers or Citrus Broiled Shrimp this week.

                                    Courtesy of JoanN:

                                    · Grilled Dorade with Hoisin Glaze
                                    · Key West Ceviche with Grouper

                                    · Catfish Sloppy Joes
                                    · Citrus broiled shrimp
                                    · Linguine with clams

                                    · Trout Amandine

                                    · Steamed Jumbo Shrimp
                                    · Linguine with Tuna Sauce

                                    · Tuna Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise
                                    · Mom’s Cucumber Salad

                                    · Jerk Tuna with Mango Sauce
                                    · Shrimp Boil
                                    · Steamed Salmon with Fennel

                                    · Oil-Poached Halibut with Gribiche and Poached Eggs

                                    · Trout Amandine

                                    · Halibut Poached in Milk, with Bok Choy and Coconut Green Curry Sauce

                                    · "Everything" Tuna

                                    · Jalapeno Salmon Burgers

                                    · cioppino

                                    1. Thanks to everyone for choosing this cookbook! I got it from the library and I'm loving it so much I broke down and ordered it on Amazon. Now I'll have to find room for it. But I find it a very useful book. Clear instructions, appealing recipes. A winner.

                                      1. Gio - how have you got on with finding sustainable fish for these recipes? I've just got back from the Pelepponese (lovely!) but it was somewhat of a wake-up call about how important sustainable fishing is. Basically the Greeks have almost completely emptied their seas, to the extent that it's incredibly hard to get fish in restaurants. Despite being near the coast most of the time, the only fish available were small fish like anchovies and whitebait, and red mullet. Even the squid was usually frozen. It was also very expensive.

                                        So the upshot is that I've vowed to be more careful in the fish that I eat.....

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                          Interesting to read about the fisheries in Greece. It must be odd for them as they used to rely on fishing for sustenance. But, I'm surprised that chefs here still have seafood on their menus which are on the endangered list.

                                          I'm not doing too badly substituting fish in the recipes I've made. For one of this month's meals, for instance I gave our fish monger a choice of 5 - FIVE - different fish that were acceptable alternatives and he only had 1 which I could use and still be compliant: Wild caught Alaska Salmon! I'll only use the salmon once in a while, though, as much as I like it. I must say though I love shrimp and am sad not to eat it but I've made a pledge with myself.. So far the only shrimp on the acceptable list are the little Northern cold water ones which have not shown up in my local markets ....and the season is just about over.

                                          There is a wide selection of those smaller fish you mentioned and they are lovely grilled with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of S & P.

                                          I really believe we can make a difference if we continue to be aware of what's happening to the world around us....and make a concerted effort to be more responsible in our own little corner.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Gio, I thought the fish recommendations in FWAD were supposed to be "substainable" choices. Have you found information to the contrary? Or, is the issue you've having is that you are unable to actually secure the fish you'd like to cook with?


                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Trawling is now banned for six months of the year, from May to October, I think. The situation is really bad - I've never been to coastal restaurants anywhere with such a poor selection of fish, and you're talking forty to fifty euros a kilo at least for anything half decent.

                                              What about crayfish as a substitute for prawns? Aren't we all overrun with crayfish these days - I know the pesky North American crayfish is decimating our native species over here?

                                            2. re: greedygirl

                                              At the recommendation of someone on this board (was it you, Gio?), I've begun reading "Bottomfeeder." It's a very readable explanation of what's happening to fisheries around the world as well as a guide to what we should and should not be eating for health as well as sustainability. I'm a scuba diver so have seen first-hand the results of ocean warming, runoff, and overfishing from the Caribbean to Asia and consider myself pretty au courant on this subject. But even though I'm only about a third of the way into the book so far, I'm learning a lot.


                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                I've seen Gio recommend that book before. I'm almost scared to read it!

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  Yes T'was I, Joan. A friend recommended Bottomfeeders to me last year. Both DH & I have read it and we are not buying anything not sustainably and ethically caught nor anything on the endangered list.

                                                  TDQ: I don't have the book in front of me but there are some recommended fish for many of the recipes which are not on the acceptable list. Moonen does have alternatives though, but most of the time they are not available to me in my area. I rely on the list I printed out from Bottomfeeders and carry the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch booklet to the market.

                                                  BTW: here's the link to Taras Grescoe's web site:

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    I carry that Monterey Bay Seafood booklet to the market with me, too.

                                                    Thanks for the info. Maybe I'll check that book out of the library!


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I keep the booklet in my purse. Here's a link for those who don't have it.


                                              2. I saw this just recently, another pageful of "scary".
                                                I believe it is very very important to stick with ethically caught, not endangered, sustainable. The seafood world is changing.
                                                From the article:
                                                "Between 1950 and 2006, the WWF report notes, the world’s annual fishing haul more than quadrupled, from 19 million tons to 87 million tons. New technology — from deep-sea trawling to long-lining — has helped the fishing industry harvest areas that were once inaccessible. But the growth of intensive fishing also means that larger swaths of the ocean are in danger of being depleted."

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  I think this month's COTM is going to be an eye opener in more ways than one...

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    I had not thought of it in those terms -- but you're right, and it's a good thing, too.