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Fish Without a Doubt - Cookbook Review

The Cook's Essential Companion

by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)

Fish Without a Doubt

Renowned chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las Vegas and celebrated cookbook author Roy Finamore have developed a culinary treasure in their new book, Fish Without a Doubt. This authoritative tome covers all the basics of seafood cookery and preparations, from purchasing the freshest ingredients to gutting and filleting a fish. In addition, the book offers more than 250 quality recipes, which feature almost every type of seafood prepared with nearly every type of cooking method, from poaching to frying. There are classics, such as Shrimp Scampi, as well as more modern preparations, such as Catfish Tacos and Jerk Tuna with Mango Sauce. Each recipe offers appropriate substitutes in case a particular fish is not available at the market.

Moonen and Finamore provide tips on how to avoid the dreaded "fishy" smell that turns off most cooks to seafood, as well as a guide to the many different types of fish and how to buy and cook them. An ardent supporter of sustainability, Moonen also advises readers on which types of fish should be purchased or avoided due to overfishing — though it should be noted that the specific list is dated and will change as fishery practices change as well. 

But perhaps the best part of the book is its accessibility: Moonen is undyingly passionate about his craft, and his enthusiasm can convince even the most tepid home cooks that preparing seafood is not only deceptively simpler than it looks, but is also one of the most rewarding culinary experiences.


Trout Amandine

Serves 2

Substitutes: Any trout will be delicious, but you might also want to try this with sole or with tilefish.

2 white trout filets, skin on
coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
all-purpose flour
vegetable oil
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
juice of ½ lemon

Season the trout on both sides with salt and white pepper. Dust the skin side lightly with flour and pat off any excess. 

Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in a slick of vegetable oil. Add the trout, floured side down, and press down on the fish with a spatula to set the skin. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Saute until the skin is crispy and browned, about 2 minutes. Turn over and sauté for 30 seconds. Transfer to two dinner plates.

Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add the almonds and sauté, stirring, until they're lightly browned. Add the parsley. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

Reviewed by Sophie Gayot


(Updated: 09/20/12 DL)

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