Great Fish, Quick: Delicious Dinners from Fillets and Shellfish


Beginning with Bass with Caper Vinaigrette, Watercress, and Avocado, and ending with Seafood Stew, each of these more than one hundred tasty recipes is quick, simple, and made with readily available ingredients. And along with the recipes, Leslie Revsin offers comments about flavor, how to determine freshness, and health-related issues, as well as clever tips and seafood lore. There are lists of recipes that are "the quickest of the quick," created for the grill, and perfect for parties, as well as notes on ...
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Beginning with Bass with Caper Vinaigrette, Watercress, and Avocado, and ending with Seafood Stew, each of these more than one hundred tasty recipes is quick, simple, and made with readily available ingredients. And along with the recipes, Leslie Revsin offers comments about flavor, how to determine freshness, and health-related issues, as well as clever tips and seafood lore. There are lists of recipes that are "the quickest of the quick," created for the grill, and perfect for parties, as well as notes on essentials of the Great Fish Pantry and instruction in special techniques.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Fish is a terrific option when you've got little time for cooking -- most fillets and shellfish are cooked to perfection in five to ten minutes. But many home cooks have long been wary of cooking fish at home. This excellent book will go a long way toward changing that, proving that a piece of fish can be as versatile and simple to cook as a chicken breast but often a lot more interesting. Former Waldorf-Astoria chef Leslie Revsin offers a multitude of delicious ideas for turning that simple fillet, fish steak, or handful of shrimp into a quick and appealing dinner, and she provides buying and handling advice, fish lore, and timesaving tips to boot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385485388
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publication date: 10/13/1997
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Revsin began her career in the kitchen of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where she rose to become its first woman chef.

In 1977 she opened her own Restaurant Leslie, a now-legendary Greenwich Village bistro.  She has since served as executive chef for the Bridge CafÚ, One Fifth Avenue, and Argenteuil in New York City, as well as The Inn at Pound Ridge in Westchester, New York; and she has been featured in the PBS television series "Master Chefs of New York." She lives in Bronxville, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

SautÚed Red Snapper with Roasted Tomatoes

4 servings
Prep and cooking time 35-40 minutes

Even lackluster winter tomatoes take on good flavor when you roast them until they're soft and blistered, making them more intense and slightly smoky in taste. Adding chopped garlic, a little soy sauce, dried oregano, basil, and lemon juice turns them into a simple, refreshing, and slightly rich accompaniment for snapper--or bass, sole, grilled catfish, salmon, shark, monkfish, or trout--fillets. And you can fold the tomatoes into leftover pieces of cooked fish, room temperature or chilled, for a good first course or lunch. (Or dollop it onto open-faced melted cheddar cheese and sourdough sandwiches for lunch!)

3 ripe tomatoes, about 2 1/2" in diameter; or 5-6 large plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Four 7-ounce snapper fillets, each 1/2" thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for roasting the tomatoes
Flour for dredging

To prepare: Preheat the oven to 550         with the rack at the top.

Rinse and dry the tomatoes, cut out and discard the core, and cut each regular tomato into 4 to 6 wedges. If using plum tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise. Put the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and season them with salt, pepper, the oregano, and the basil. Lightly oil a large roasting pan and immediately pour the tomatoes with any juices into it, or place the plum tomatoes cut side downwith any juices. Roast the tomatoes on the top rack until they're soft and squishy and the skins are blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. If the skins haven't blistered by the time the tomatoes are soft, remove them from the oven anyway, reduce the oven temperature to 400        , and lower the rack to the middle.

Scrape the tomatoes out of the roasting pan onto a cutting board and chop them into medium-size pieces--you should have about 1 cup. (Some tomato skins are tough; if they haven't tenderized in the roasting, pick them out and discard them.) Put the chopped tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Pour the soy sauce into the roasting pan (if the pan hasn't burned) and scrape up any brown bits. Add the soy sauce and brown bits to the chopped tomatoes along with the garlic and lemon juice. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper and set it aside. (This can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.)*

Season the snapper fillets with salt and pepper. Place 1 or 2 large skillets over high heat with the vegetable oil. (If using 2 pans, divide the oil equally between them.) Meanwhile, dredge the fillets lightly in flour and pat off the excess. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the skillet(s), skin side up, for about 3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Turn the fillets over and place the skillet(s) in the oven.

Roast the snapper fillets until they are just cooked through and still very juicy, about 5 minutes. To check, place the end of your metal spatula or a paring knife in the thickest part of one fillet and gently push or cut the flesh open slightly to see if the fillet is white and opaque throughout.

To serve: Place the snapper fillets on warm dinner plates and spoon some of the room temperature roasted tomatoes next to each. Serve right away.

*Some tomatoes are juicier than others, so the sauce may be wetter or drier, depending on the tomatoes.

Baked Sole with Vegetable-Bread Crumb Stuffing

4 servings
Prep and cooking time 40-45 minutes

The first time I made this stuffing, I put my basic pantry vegetables and a few forsaken Portobello mushroom stems in it, and I liked it. If you've got sweet peppers dying to be used, or some summer squash, or a little bit of cabbage, or scallions, or herbs, or . . . use them. You can play around with this stuffing and clean out your vegetable crisper at the same time! Just remember, if you use watery veggies (like mushrooms or summer squash), cook off their excess liquid during the initial sautÚ to keep the stuffing from becoming too soggy. I like it best with gray sole--the fillets are pure white with a slight firmness that is particularly satisfying with the softness of the golden-colored stuffing. The stuffing is also good between very thin slices of salmon or crumbled over crab meat or scallops that have been seasoned, moistened with olive oil, and put in a casserole to bake.

3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind, or 1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel
Approximately 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chicken broth + a little more if necessary
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
Four 5- or 6-ounce gray or other sole fillets, or eight 3-ounce fillets
Optional: 2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf or curly parsley

To prepare: Preheat the oven to 425        .

Place the vegetables in the bowl of a food processor and chop them fine, 20 to 30 seconds. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat and add the chopped veggies. Season them with salt and pepper and sautÚ them, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp-tender and any excess mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat at any point if the veggies are starting to stick in the pan. (They can be made ahead to this point. But don't chop them without cooking them--the food processor makes the onion begin to smell and taste like "gasoline," but immediate cooking prevents that.) Turn off the heat, stir in the thyme, dill, and lemon rind and scrape the vegetables into a medium-size mixing bowl.

Lightly stir in the bread crumbs until well combined. The stuffing should be moist and hold together. If it's too dry, drizzle a little broth over it. If it seems wet, add another teaspoon or so of crumbs. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper and let it cool while you prepare the fillets. (Or you can make the stuffing 2 to 3 days ahead and refrigerate it, the flavor will improve.*)

Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and lightly season both sides with salt and fresh pepper. Lay the fillets out flat on the counter with their round side down. Evenly spread a quarter of the stuffing over each flat side, patting it on with dampened fingers. Fold the tails over the wide ends of the fillets to make 4 triangular-shape packets, each about 1" thick. Or divide the stuffing into 8 portions and prepare the small fillets in the same manner.

Turn the fillets over and place them, round side up, in a baking pan that's large enough to hold them in one layer with at least 1/2" of space around each fillet. Drizzle them with the 2 tablespoons of chicken broth and dot them with the 2 teaspoons of butter broken into little pieces. Bake the fillets until they're white and opaque throughout, 10 to 12 minutes (several minutes less if you're using small fillets). To check, make a slit in the thickest part of one folded edge. Remove the fillets to warm dinner plates, allowing 2 per person if they're small, and pour the pan juices into a small skillet. Boil the juices down over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they've thickened slightly and taste good.

To serve: Drizzle the fillets with the juices, sprinkle them with the chopped parsley, if using, and serve right away.

*You can stuff the fillets while the stuffing is still slightly warm if you bake them immediately. If you plan to refrigerate them, allow the stuffing to cool completely before using it.

Roasted Salmon with Honey Mustard Sauce

4 servings
Prep and cooking time 30 minutes

Most of the ingredients for this can be sitting around in your pantry for months--and it's a snap to make. The honey mustard sauce is also good with scallops and shrimp, not to mention chicken, if I dare speak of a nonswimmer!

6 tablespoons prepared Honeycup mustard (supermarket mustard shelf)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
Four 7-ounce salmon fillets, each 1 1/4" thick at the thickest part
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
Optional: fresh cilantro leaves, green and white parts of slivered scallions, or other fresh herbs

To prepare: Preheat the oven to 425        .

Place the mustard in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Set the sauce aside, or cover and refrigerate it for up to a month. (Yes, really!)

Lightly oil the bottom of a baking pan large enough to hold all the fillets comfortably. (This helps to prevent any dripping sauce from burning onto the bottom of the pan.) Place the fillets in the pan and season them lightly with salt and more heavily with pepper. Spoon a tablespoon of sauce over the top of each fillet. Roast the fillets until their sides are slightly springy when pressed, 10 to 12 minutes--they will be slightly underdone at this point. Or roast another minute or two for well done.

To serve: Place the fillets on warm dinner plates. (If the skin sticks to the pan, slide a metal spatula between the skin stuck to the pan and the bottom of the fillet to lift it out, leaving the skin in the pan.) Spoon a little more sauce over each fillet, or serve it on the side, and sprinkle each fillet with cilantro leaves, scallions, or other fresh herbs, if desired. Serve right away.

Tuna Grilled with Chinese Oyster-Ginger Sauce

4 servings
Prep time 25-30 minutes plus optional 30-60 minutes' marinating time

If you have time to marinate the tuna steaks in the sauce, all the better. But if not, the sauce is so flavorful from the Chinese oyster extracts, fresh ginger, and sesame oil, that you can just coat the steaks with it before grilling and spoon more on top when they're done. Substitute swordfish or shark steaks, or salmon, mahimahi, or bass fillets. Try it with grilled shrimp as an hors d'oeuvre, or drizzle it over soft-shell crabs as a first course.

2 1/2 tablespoons bottled Chinese oyster sauce (supermarket Oriental shelf)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
Four 7-ounce tuna steaks, each 3/4"-1" thick
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste

To prepare: Start a medium-hot fire in the grill (see Note below). Fifteen minutes before you're going to grill the tuna steaks, put the grill grate 4" or 5" above the glowing coals if it isn't already there. (I also like to brush the top of the grate with vegetable oil just before grilling to help prevent sticking.)

Place the oyster sauce in a small mixing bowl along with the minced onion and chopped ginger. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar, then gradually whisk in the sesame oil and set the sauce aside briefly, or cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place them in a shallow dish and pour 1/4 cup of the oyster-ginger marinade over them. Coat them all over with the marinade, and, if you have time, let them marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. (Refrigerate them if the kitchen is hot.) Otherwise, grill them right away.

Remove the steaks and reserve the remaining marinade. Place the steaks over the hot coals and grill the first side for 2 or 3 minutes, until browned. Turn the steaks and grill the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The steaks will be pink inside. Cook them for a few minutes longer on each side if you want them well done. To check, make a small slit with a paring knife in the middle of one steak to check for redness.

To serve: Place the tuna steaks on warm dinner plates, spoon the rest of the oyster-ginger sauce over them, and serve right away.

Note: A large bed of extremely hot coals will crust the tuna if it's a thick steak. While the crust is delicious, the intense heat also dries out the first 1/2" of meat on both sides. So I sacrifice a little crust by grilling it over fewer coals to keep them moist. It's your choice.

Spicy Pan-Roasted Shrimp

4 servings
Prep and cooking time 25-45 includes minutes optional shrimp cleaning time

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a Southern-style "barbecued shrimp," a dish made in a pan on the top of the stove--a type of barbecue that's altogether different from those that usually come to mind, but with its own charm. The shrimp are started off simmering in butter and chicken broth, then a mixture of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, ground cumin, and chili powder gets stirred in. Some cold butter added at the end emulsifies the broth and creates a spicy, thickened sauce that envelopes the shrimp. It's also good with sea scallops and pieces of lobster.

1 3/4 pounds large shrimp in the shell, or approximately 1 1/2 pounds frozen, cleaned shrimp, defrosted (about 50 pieces)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, preferably French
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts

To prepare: Peel the shrimp and save the shells for shrimp oil or shrimp broth, or discard them. Pick up a shrimp and make a shallow slit down the middle of the length of the back to expose the black intestine. Slit all the shrimp and lift out the black intestine with the point of your paring knife or flush it out under cold running water. If using defrosted, cleaned shrimp, skip this step. Either way, dry the shrimp well with paper towels and set them aside.

Put the mustard in a small bowl and gradually stir in the Worcestershire sauce until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, and thyme and set the mixture aside, or make it 2 or 3 days ahead, cover, and refrigerate it.

Place a large skillet over a medium-high flame and add the 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has almost completely melted, add the chicken broth and the shrimp, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp, stirring, until they're half cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard mixture and cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes more, until they're fully cooked. To check, cut a shrimp in half at the thickest part to see if it's white throughout. Take the skillet off the heat and remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a warm bowl or platter while you finish the sauce.

Put the skillet back over medium-high heat to bring it to a strong simmer, and scatter the cold butter over the bubbling liquid. Swirl the pan by the handle until the sauce has absorbed the butter and is nicely thickened. Turn off the heat, grind in a generous amount of fresh black pepper, and salt it if necessary. Stir in
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