From Cooking Channel’s Seafood Chef Ben Sargent, who hosts the show Hook, Line & Dinner.
It was only last week that we declared our love for lobster rolls. The decadent goodness of a brioche bun filled with fresh, delicious lobster is just too good to resist in the summertime! However, for those of you feeling like you want to change things up, we suggest indulging in seafood rolls with different kinds of fillings as well. Chef Ben Sargent of Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line & Dinner and the first ever live-action Periscope show The Hunt For Dr. Klaw (now on Kickstarter), has created six amazing seafood roll recipes (5 of which are of the non-lobster persuasion).
Ben is all about simplicity in his cooking. The star in all of these recipes is the seafood, so when creating the recipes below buy the best, freshest fish possible and serve it in a way that enhances its flavor and never masks it.
Again, so simple, so delicious.
4 Dutch brined herring, cleaned and headless (pickled herring work too)
4 white top-loading rolls
12 Chopped cornichon pickles
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
The traditionalists eat it straight up: simply split and lightly toast the rolls, lay a herring inside each and sprinkle with onions and pickles. Great served with a side of boiled baby potatoes with a splash of red-wine vinegar or a big plate of fries and mayo, Dutch style.
For some quasi-traditional variety try substituting the raw onion topping with thinly sliced bacon and onions fried together. Or add the following simple sour cream sauce:
Optional sour cream sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1/8 cup chopped chives
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a shallow bowl, combine ingredients. Spread generously on one side of the rolls before adding other ingredients.
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1 lime
½ habanero pepper, seeded and minced
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, dill, lime juice and habanero to make the remoulade sauce. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
24 medium-size shucked oysters
¼ cup fine cornmeal
2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
In a large saucepan heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 370 F. Have a large baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels covering one half of the sheet near the stove. Put the eggs with water in a shallow bowl. Put the cornmeal in another shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dip the oysters thoroughly in the egg mixture, and raise to allow excess to drip off. Dredge the oysters in the cornmeal until well coated and add to the hot oil. Fry the oysters, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, quickly drain the oysters on the paper towels, then place them on the bare side (this’ll keep ‘em crispy). Repeat with the rest of the oysters.
4 soft French rolls
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups shredded leaf lettuce
2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1/2 cup sliced dill pickles
Preheat your oven to a low broil. Split the rolls, generously butter them and lay them on a baking sheet. Broil until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, and remove.
Spread the remoulade sauce on both sides of all rolls. Put six oysters in each roll, layering in the lettuce, cherry tomatoes and sliced pickles. Serve in paper boats on the wharf beside your fishing boat!
3-4 medium filets of catfish
1 teaspoon vegetable oil for pan
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a glass or coated baking pan. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chopped cilantro, lime juice and chili powder. Set the catfish filets in the dish and pour the sauce evenly over top. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator to marinate for 30-45 minutes.
When ready, place the dish in the oven and bake just until the fish flakes with a fork, about 20 minutes, but start to check at about 15. When done, set aside to cool and finish preparing the rest of your ingredients!
3 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium daikon radish (or substitute a cucumber), julienned
1 chili pepper, sliced in rounds
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
Make these pickles at least three hours before eating (ideally the night before). In a wide-bottomed bowl sprinkle your vegetables with the salt, let sit for 30 minutes, then drain off any excess liquid. Combine the vinegar and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Now pour the mixture over the vegetables, cover and chill.
1 crusty baguette
1 cup cilantro leaves separated from stalks
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
2 limes quartered
In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha. Slice baguette lengthwise and coat one side with the mayo mixture. Lay catfish filets onto bread. Drain the pickle mixture and set evenly on top of catfish. Distribute cilantro leaves generously over top and squeeze lime section over top. Slice into 4 sections and serve with cilantro garnish and lime section.
For the rainy summer day, this recipe will make you happy to stay in-doors. It can be made with any small fish (like smelt or anchovies), but Klaw and Ben like fresh sardines.
4 large sardines, about 3 ounces each
2/1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ pound summer squash (big or small, your choice), cut into ¼ inch slices, lengthwise
1 cup fresh basil chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 (1/3 inch-thick) sliced Tuscan bread, about 9 in wide
Cut the heads off the sardines. Take a thin, sharp knife and cut down either side of the sardine ribs, cutting them from the spines without digging too deep into the flesh. Cut down either side of the remaining spines all the way to the tail. Tap the knife on the spine just before the tail and snap off the spine, leaving the tail intact. Run your fingers down the spine from the tail to the head end to loosen the meat from the bone. Starting at the tail, pull out the spine from the sardines while pressing the meat to keep it intact, then discard the spines. Hold the knife at the top of one of the side rib cages and glide the knife just under the rib bones, cutting them down and off, while leaving as much meat as possible on the sardines. Put the fish in the refrigerator.
In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until browned and soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer the onion to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil to the skillet and when hot, add the summer squash and turn them to coat both sides with oil. Season with salt and pepper and one half of the chopped basil. Cook over medium-low until translucent, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the summer squash to the bowl of onion. Reserve the skillet.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and remaining fresh basil. Season the sardines with salt and pepper, then spread the mayonnaise mixture on both sides. Put the panko crumbs in a small bowl and while holding the sardines by the tail, pat the crumbs on to the sardines. Heat 1/8-inch vegetable oil in the reserved skillet and when shimmering, add the sardines, boned side down. Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes, Turn the sardines and cook over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 1 minute longer. Drain on paper towels.
Pour off most of the oil, leaving just a shiny coating. Add ½ the tomatoes and cook, stirring a few times, until the tomatoes give off some juice. Put 4 of the bread slices in the skillet on medium heat. Put the fried onion on each slice, then place a fried sardine over, with the tail sticking out the rounded end of the bread. Next, place 2 slices of summer squash on each. Close the sandwiches and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 1-2 minutes per side. Lift one of the slices of bread, spread a little mayonnaise, close the sandwiches and serve with both the roasted and fresh cherry tomatoes.
This recipe is adapted from the book The Catch, by Ben Sargent, with Peter Kaminsky, Clarkson Potter Publishers.
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice – Old Bay is good, but don’t be afraid to get creative here.
1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 lobsters (1 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 entire stick of salted butter (yup!)
A splash of cheap white wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 top-loading buns (Klaw and I like Pepperidge Farm Classic Hot Dog Buns)
Dr. Klaw says: Make sure you use top-loading buns (i.e. not cut all the way through), not New England-style cut rolls.
Fill a stockpot with 1 to 2 inches of water and set over medium-high heat. Add the sea salt, peppercorns, seafood seasoning and onion. Once the water is boiling, add the lobsters. Cover the pot and steam the lobsters for 8 to 10 minutes. When they’re bright red and ready, pull those lobsters out and run them under a cold tap for a few seconds to cool them down.
Carefully remove the meat from the shell—make sure you save the juices!—and coarsely cut into large chunks (if you’re doing it right, the meat from 1 lobster is good for 1 roll). Mix the lobster juices with the mayonnaise until it has a wet, thin consistency, then lightly toss the lobster meat in the mixture.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter along with the garlic and that splash of cheap white wine.
Heat a large, flat grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Open the buns (being careful not to separate the halves), brush the butter mixture on the insides and toast, buttered-side down, until golden brown, about 1 minute.
Place the lobster meat on some foil and gently heat on the grill as the buns are toasting.
Evenly divide the lobster meat among the rolls, brush the meat with some butter mixture and serve in a paper boat, stuck in a brown paper bag in a dark alley.