Preparing Seafood Beyond "The Big Three"

Seafood recipes, fish CBS/The Early Show

David Pasternack knows plenty about seafood.

He's executive chef of the famed seafood restaurant Esca in Manhattan, which just got three-stars from The New York Times.

His first cookbook, "The Young Man and the Sea," is full of seafood cooking secrets and recipes.

Pasternack shared some of them on The Early Show Tuesday.

His love of seafood shines through the book's pages.

He writes that his father took him fishing "shortly after I learned to walk," and his love of fishing and seafood only grew from there.

Pasternack is passionate about cooking, and doesn't come off as some stuffy chef. His co-author, Ed Levin, writes that Pasternack's chef coat is often dirty, as if he's gone to battle in the kitchen; he doesn't look pristine and crisp. Rather, he looks as if he's really gone to work for that meal on your plate.

Pasternack knows many people are afraid to cook with fish, and seeks to show there's nothing to it, saying just a few tips will help the home cook prepare seafood. Pasternack adds that fear is the reason most people only cook a few times a year with "the big three": tuna, salmon and swordfish.

Pasternack doesn't understand it because, he says, there's so much more available, with amazing flavors and textures.

He wants you to think as he does, "that cooking and eating all kinds of fish are two of life's greatest pleasures."

RECIPES

CORN SALAD WITH WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE


6 ears corn, husked
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup Rosemary Oil (recipe follows)
1/2 cup Braised Mushrooms, preferably chanterelle
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces dry aged goat cheese finely grated using the small holes of a box grater
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula, rinsed and spun-dry

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Prepare a charcoal fire. Grill the corn over the fire until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Cut off the narrow end of the cob. Hold the ear with one hand, the flat end resting on a cutting board, and cut the kernels from the cob. Place the kernels in a bowl. Repeat with each ear of corn. Set the corn kernels aside.

Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 minutes, or until they begin to give off an aroma. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the Rosemary Oil. Slightly crush the toasted walnuts in your hand and add to the pan along with the Braised Mushrooms. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the corn kernels, stir to combine, and sauté for 3 minutes, until the corn is hot. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the grated goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the arugula leaves in a mixing bowl. Dress them with most of the Rosemary Oil and season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the corn mixture into the center of four serving plates and sprinkle with half the remaining goat cheese. Top with arugula and the rest of the goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the remaining Rosemary oil.

FLUKE WITH SEA BEANS AND RADISHES

4 ounces sea beans
4 ounces radishes, cut into matchsticks
Coarse sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
One 8 ounce fluke fillet
High-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sea beans, radishes, a pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Using a knife with a thin sharp blade, begin cutting the fluke into thin slices on the diagonal. Transfer the slices to four serving plates as they are cut, forming a fan pattern, about four slices per plate.

Place a small mound of the sea bean salad on top of the fanned fluke in the center of each plate. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Serve immediately.

MARINATED SARDINES WITH ROASTED EGGPLANT

16 fresh sardine fillets
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 medium cloves garlic, sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 loaf of rustic country bread, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
Oven-Roasted Eggplant (recipe follows)
1 heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Line a Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper. Place the sardine fillets, skin side down, on the paper, making sure they're not touching one another. Pour the vinegar over the fillets and sprinkle with the garlic, lemon zest, and sea salt. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the broiler. Bring the sardines to room temperature. Brush away the garlic and lemon zest. On a broiler pan, lightly toast the bread.

To serve, put one slice of toast in the center of each of four serving plates. Top with an heirloom tomato slice and then spoon some roasted eggplant on top of one half of each slice. Lay four marinated sardine fillets, skin side up, on the other half. Garnish the plate with cherry tomatoes. (Alternatively, you may serve as an antipasti.)

  • Brian Dakss

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