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Turning Into A Fish Gourmet

Aug 17, 2007
If you think you do not like fish, you will never qualify as a gourmet. Gourmets eat and enjoy everything - when properly prepared. Your dislike may come from the way in which fish is cooked. Try it baked or broiled - both of which minimize cooking odors.

Fish is low in calories, thus good for diets. It is also extremely versatile in presentation...for instance:

1. Any fish fillet can be broiled, baked or sauted in plenty of butter.

2. Any fish fillet can be spread with a bit of anchovy paste - or rolled about chopped shrimps, oysters or clams before baking.

3. Any fish fillet can be baked in a sauce of melted butter, white wine, parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon, onion, minced scallions or shallots, with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and some slivered blanched nuts.

4. Any creamed fish will respond to a dash of nutmeg in the sauce.

5. Any creamed fish will taste richer with a few table spoons of white wine added to the sauce. If you add sherry, the creamed fish automatically becomes "a la Newburg" and what's wrong with that?

6. Adding a cup of mixed pickling spice to the water in which you prepare any fish or shellfish will make a considerable difference in flavor! Try some of these traditional fish recipes.

Clams Casino, Oysters Rockefeller, Coquilles St. Jacques

Three traditional recipes, capable of many variations, which are basically the same: shellfish, combined with a simple sauce, replaced in the shell and baked until bubbly.

Clams Casino

Allow eight to 12 Cherrystones per portion for a main dish; 4 clams for each appetizer service. Have the clams opened at the fish market and packed on the half-shells.

For the sauce you'll need:
1/4 cup butter

1 tsp anchovy paste

1/4 cup minced green pepper

1/4 cup grate onion

2 tsp fine-chopped pimiento

4 slices raw bacon, cut in tiny pieces

salt, pepper, lemon juice

Heat the oven to 450. Remove clams from shells and discard the juice. Bed the shells firmly in a baking pan, surrounded by crumpled aluminum foil to keep them upright (rock salt is fancier, if you have it).

Cream butter and anchovy paste, distribute evenly among the shells. Insert a clam in each shell and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Combine chopped pepper, pimiento, onion, salt and pepper, and distribute among the clam shells. Top with bacon bits, and bake until top browns: about 20 minutes.

Oysters Rockefeller

For this delicious meal you'll need:

Oysters, highly seasoned, baked on a bed of spinach.

3 dozen oysters, opened on the half-shell at the fish market

1 package cooked frozen chopped spinach

2 cups white sauce, made from condensed cream soup(celery)

1 egg

2 T butter

1 T each minced onion and parsley

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Monosodium Glutamate(Accent Powder)

6 drops Tabasco

a dash of nutmeg, and of Nepal pepper

Heat the oven to 375. Bed oysters in their shells upright in crumpled aluminum foil in a baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with sherry.

Cook spinach till slightly underdone, and drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, combine condensed soup with 1/2 cup milk and heat gently. Add a beaten egg, blend thoroughly and place over hot water.

In a separate skillet, melt the butter and saute onion for three minutes. Add drained spinach and 1/4 cup of the soup, plus all seasonings, and blend. Saute for three minutes, distribute over the waiting oysters. Top with the rest of "the soup-sauce, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes until light brown.

The two smashing recipes will have you on your way to becoming a gourmet cook!
About the Author
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