Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fish without a doubt-a new cookbook from super chef Rick Moonen

This is my new favorite cookbook. Seriously. I'm a seafood lover and ocean guy and I thought I was pretty good with seafood. But now, just been a couple of weeks after picking up Fish Without a Doubt, I'm already branching out to new ideas with increasing confidence.

And, as you'd expect from super chef and sustainable seafood advocate Rick Moonen, the seafood in Fish Without a Doubt is chosen with sustainability as an essential ingredient. Some unsustainable choices are left out entirely, and for fish where there might be doubt, there is good advice on choosing the most sustainable sources.

But sustainability, while important, is only part of the picture here. Fish Without a Doubt inspires even this seafood-loving veteran to try some new and different things.

Thanks to Rick Moonen and coauthor Roy Finamore, I'm now hot on slow roasting. That's cooking fish in an ordinary oven at temperatures as low as 170 F. The slow roast recipe in the cookbook says 250 F, but I asked pushy questions after eating slow roasted wild Nunavut Arctic char from CleanFish at Rick's restaurant RM Seafood in Las Vegas last week, and I was told they used 170 F for the char.

Fish Without a Doubt has detailed and comprehensive sections on all aspects of preparing and loving seafood, from equipping your kitchen, shopping for and preparing your fish and shellfish (e.g. shelling and deveining shrimp), and how to tell when it's done (a very important and sometimes overlooked part of cooking seafood). Then there are the recipes and enticing pictures. Enough to spend years digging exploring.

I'm now resolved to go through Fish Without a Doubt and try new fish and shellfish prepared in new ways. I had planned to review this cookbook after I'd done a bit more sampling, but this blog post just popped out of my head and I couldn't stop it. It's going to take a year to do what I had hoped, really get a feel for what's inside Fish Without a Doubt. Meanwhile, I already this cookbook is a success and I want to tell you. Thanks to Fish Without a Doubt I'm opening up to new possibilities, and I'm loving it.

Fish Without a Doubt is a winner, and the first place I'm going to turn when I want to enliven my dinners. Thanks to Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore for a great cookbook! Let's I think I'll try the oil poached salmon, and there's some great Washington wild coho on special for only 7.99 per pound at Town & Country Market in Bainbridge.

Photo, left to right: Mark Powell, Rick Moonen, Polly Legendre (CleanFish), and Tim Thornhill (Mendocino Wine Co.), after a CleanFish/Mendocino Wine/RM Seafood/Ocean Conservancy benefit dinner at RM Seafood, Rick Moonen's fabulous restaurant in Las Vegas.


Anonymous said...

If slow-roasting makes you queasy... you'd best stay away from slow-smoked fish.

Mark Powell said...

I'm excited to work with slow roasting, and slow smoked fish is great too.

David J. Hirsh said...

Thanks for the pointer, Mark. We're in Westport for the last two weeks of the month at the new crib and I'll pick up a copy ofthe book before we head down.