Before we left for France, I was sent a copy of Alexis deBoschnek’s cookbook, To the Last Bite and was told it was coming out in April. It’s now April and you can and should take a good look at this book.
One of the things l really like about this cookbook is that Alexis connects recipes that share an ingredient that you might not use a lot of or might be a bit unusual, with other recipes in the book using the same ingredients. The idea is to cut down on food waste and use everything. Great idea, right?
In February, before our trip, I tried the recipe for Black Garlic Butter Salmon with Scallions. There were two reasons for starting with the salmon recipe: one, my ongoing hope that I can get Frank to like salmon, and second, there was black garlic that had been lurking in my kitchen for a while. As it turns out, too long a while and it was mostly petrified. Not to worry, courtesy of Rockerbox Garlic, there was black garlic powder, which seemed like a fine substitute. Making the salmon was easy and it was good, if a little rich, but the scallions that accompany it cut some of the richness and add a bright note to the dish.
The second recipe I tried from the book also turned out to be fish because I dared myself to make a whole fish, a goal I’ve had for a long time. The recipe was for Whole Red Snapper with Cilantro and Lime. So, I’m at one of the world’s great fish markets and who knows what red snapper is in French, but there are beautiful dorade, so that’s what I chose. The recipe also calls for ginger, lime, cilantro and a jalapeno, all of which are fairly easily found except for the jalapeno. I had some red pepper flakes at home, so figured they could stand in for the jalapeno.
The fish was easy to prepare, quick and delicious, and would have been beautiful had my rental kitchen had a decent spatula. Sadly, due to an unwieldy spatula, the fillets, plated, were more like chunks (thus no photo of the plated dish), but they tasted great, and I’d like to give a big shout out to Alexis for getting me over my fear of whole fish. While I will miss having the choice of so many beautiful fish in Nice, I do have a freezer full of jalapenos, a good if not great fishmonger and a fish spatula back home.
There are a lot more recipes I’m looking forward to trying, especially the veggie ones as we start to get into the season. One that was just picked up by the Washington Post, Butter Basted Lamb Chops, and the recipe that follows in the book, Lamb Phyllo Pie, look good too.
There’s a lot of good advice in the book, from key pantry ingredients to interesting uses for part of vegetables we might tend to toss. And while I knew you could regrow scallions in water, I didn’t realize you could do the same with lettuce, did you? Check out To the Last Bite, it’s a great addition to your cookbook collection.