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Roy's Fish and Seafood - Cookbook Review

Recipes from the Pacific Rim

By Roy Yamaguchi with John Harrisson

Roy's Fish and Seafood: Recipes from the Pacific Rim focuses on Hawaiian-fusion seafood

Roy Yamaguchi, TV host and renowned owner of Roy's restaurants, shares the Hawaiian-fusion seafood and fish recipes that have contributed to his success.  Chef Yamaguchi’s approach of combining bold, Asian spices with European-inspired sauces and techniques is expressed in a selection of appetizers, salads and entrées using fresh fish and seafood from the Pacific islands.

But there’s more to the tome than recipes. For first-time fish market patrons, Yamaguchi begins with a brief guide to buying, storing and preparing fresh market fish.  He offers descriptions for determining freshness, such as eye color, aroma, scales and natural coloration.

The recipes are separated into sections by type of fish or seafood. There are sixteen types of fish, along with their substitutes, and eight types of seafood.  For each fish, Yamaguchi gives a general description, as well as the uses, flavor and cooking qualities.

Tranquil island scenery accompanies vibrant images of fish and seafood throughout this cookbook to visually transport readers as they scan the mouth-watering creations by chef Yamaguchi.  Featured dishes include Roy’s signature blackened ahi with soy-mustard sauce, braised soy-glazed Pacific salmon with green tea somen noodles and wasabi-ponzu sauce, grilled spiny lobster with bean thread noodles and macadamia nuts, and seared day-boat scallops with edamame mash and lobster-truffle kabayaki.


Seared Black-Peppercorn-and-Herb-Crusted Ahi with Maui Onion-Cognac Sauce

Maui Onion-Cognac Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely sliced Maui or other sweet white onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup cognac
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup demi-glace
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Black Peppercorn and Herb Crust
1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 (7-ounce) ahi tuna steaks

To prepare the sauce, melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Carefully add the cognac without igniting it and stir to deglaze the pan.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by half and then add the cream.  Cook to reduce by half again and add the demi-glace.  Continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside and keep warm.

Combine salt and pepper to taste, basil, thyme and butter in a bowl and stir to blend.  Spread one-fourth of the mixture on one side of each tuna steak to coat evenly.  Heat a dry stainless-steel sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the ahi, crust side down.  Sauté for about 2 minutes on each side for rare to medium-rare, or to the desired doneness.

Spoon the sauce onto warmed plates and serve the ahi on the sauce.

Reviewed by Cara Trump


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