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Mar 1, 2009 07:41 AM

**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

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  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

        And here's a link to the specific subdiscussion about accessing fresh fish:


      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 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, 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.