Chef Emeril Lagasse Dishes Out His Favorite Fresh Fish Recipes.

Chef Emeril Lagasse’s passion for food was ignited as a young boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, where he spent time in the kitchen with his mother, Hilda. As a teenager, he worked at a Portuguese bakery, where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. Upon high school graduation, Lagasse turned down a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. He earned a degree from the respected culinary fortress, Johnson & Wales University, and later received an honorary doctorate degree from the university. Wanting to broaden his culinary horizons, Lagasse then traveled to Paris and Lyon, France, where he honed his skills and learned the art of classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Lagasse practiced his art in fine restaurants in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia until a job offer from Dick and Ella Brennan lured the young chef to New Orleans, where Lagasse helmed the kitchen for nearly eight years at their legendary restaurant, Commander’s Palace.

In 1990, Lagasse set out on his own, opening his first restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Thirty years later, the recognition and awards he has garnered have made him known to food-loving Americans everywhere. Families warmly welcome him into their homes with open arms (and watering mouths) – whether it is a simple bottle of his signature blend of spices (Essence of Emeril), in their cabinet just in hopes that their food tastes like his, a late-night infomercial featuring his famous Air Fryer 360, or a past episode of Emeril Live to learn from the master himself. His face and voice are synonymous with great food. Now, he has cooked up a few of his favorite recipes exclusively for Hook & Barrel.

Here are two ways to serve up your fresh fish catches this summer. After you fill up on these amazing dishes, make sure to read this issue’s cover story on page XXXX featuring a day fishing with Emeril on his boat, Aldente

Tuna Tartare with Spicy Mayonnaise, Mizuna and Soy Wasabi Vinaigrette

SOY-WASABI VINAIGRETTE:

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. wasabi

1 Tbsp. mirin

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil

SPICY TUNA TARTARE:

1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. spicy chili paste

1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. wasabi paste

1 lb. sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 Haas avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 cups mizuna or other bitter greens

2 Tbsp. finely sliced green onion tops

2 tsp. black or white sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, wasabi, mirin, rice wine vinegar and canola oil. Set aside while you prepare the tuna tartare.

In a medium bowl, combine shallots, mayonnaise, honey, chili paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, and wasabi, and stir well to combine. Gently fold in tuna, the avocado cubes, and cucumber and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate while you prepare the plates.

In a medium bowl, toss the mizuna with the vinaigrette to coat. Divide the tuna tartare between the four plates and top with the mizuna greens. Garnish each plate with green onions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Grilled Marinated Fish with Tropical Salsa and Coconut Rice

1/2 cup sliced yellow onions

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice

2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

4 (6- to 8-oz.) troll-caught mahi-mahi fillets, skin on

Coconut Rice (see recipe)

Tropical Salsa (see recipe)

Toasted coconut flakes, garnish

Chopped cilantro, garnish

In a bowl, combine the onions, oil, orange and lime juices, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Place the fish in a large, non-reactive baking dish. Pour the marinade over the fish, cover, and refrigerate for up to one hour.

Preheat a grill and lightly oil the grill rack with vegetable oil. Remove the fish from the marinade. Place on the oiled grill and cook, skin side up, until marked, 45 seconds to a minute. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook, skin side down, until the fish is just cooked through, about six minutes, depending upon thickness. Remove from the grill.

Spoon the coconut rice into the center of four large plates. Arrange one fillet onto each serving of rice and top with the Tropical Salsa. Garnish with toasted coconut and cilantro, and serve.

Coconut Rice 

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. sugar

1 cup long-grain white rice

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without stirring for 10 minutes. 

Fluff with a fork and add the cilantro. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.

Tropical Salsa

1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

1/4 cup minced red onions

1/4 cup minced red bell peppers

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon minced jalapen͂o

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Pinch salt

Combine the mango, avocado, pineapple, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice, jalapen͂o, garlic, and salt in a bowl and gently fold to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.

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