If there was ever anyone qualified to write a masterful cookbook on seafood, it is Eric Ripert.
After all, the renowned chef is co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York City, the absolute mecca of seafood that holds three Michelin stars and has held four stars from the New York Times for more than three decades.
What’s incredibly refreshing about his “Seafood Simple” (Random House, 2023), of which I received a review copy, is how easy and doable these recipes are.
These recipes are absolutely made for the home cook, with many of them calling for little more than a handful of ingredients and only one page of instruction. Try your hand at “Tuna Carpaccio with Ginger-Lime Mayonnaise” (made with store-bought mayo and ginger juice that only requires grating it, then squeezing out the juice); “Salmon Wrapped in Collard Greens with Beurre Rouge” (a sauce that’s simply red wine reduced, then swirled with butter); “Fish Fingers” (a favorite of his son’s that is breaded in panko and served with ketchup); and “Shrimp Skewers with Green Curry Sauce” (with the shrimp skewered with pineapple chunks and grilled).
There’s also expert advice, as well as detailed photos, on how to skin a fish, clean shrimp, split a lobster, shuck an oyster, and remove pin bones from salmon.
You should be — because “Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces” is one of those gifts of a dish.
It’s incredibly easy, made with a succulent fish that’s forgiving should you accidentally overcook it, and amped up with a compelling sauce that’s a whirlwind of ginger, honey, garlic, chili paste, hoisin and soy sauce.
In short, it eats like classic Chinese steamed fish with ginger and green onions — but has a much more powerfully tasting presence.
With more than 125 recipes, she shows off her flair for making delicious food a no-brainer in recipes that include”Chicken and Roasted Tomato Enchiladas,” “Pressed Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Sandwiches,” and “Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese and Honey Frosting.”
I always think that steaming is an under-appreciated and so often under-utilized cooking technique.
I think people fear that steamed foods will turn out bland, mushy, almost hospital-like sterile in nature.
But when done right, steaming is a gentle way of cooking that preserves moisture and flavor.
Case in point: fish.
I love grilling fish or sauteeing it, especially to get the skin crisp. But being Chinese-American, I also adore steamed fish. There’s nothing like a whole steamed fish brought to the table at a banquet meal. The flesh falls apart with impossible tenderness. Its texture is rendered beyond silky. And there’s just a lovely delicacy to it, no matter how small or large the fish.