In its three decades at the top of New York City’s restaurant scene, Le Bernardin has been celebrated as one of the finest seafood restaurants in the world and its iconic chef Eric Ripert as the expert in fish cookery. Now, in Seafood Simple, Ripert demystifies his signature cuisine, making delectable fish dishes achievable for home cooks of all skill levels—yet still with elegance and panache.
Breaking down cooking techniques into their building blocks, along with images to illustrate each step in the process, Seafood Simple teaches readers how to master core skills, from poaching and deep frying to filleting a fish and shucking an oyster. These techniques are then applied to eighty-five straightforward, delicious recipes, many of which include substitutions for maximum ease. Dishes like Tuna Carpaccio, Crispy Fish Tacos, Shrimp Tempura, Miso Cod, and Spaghetti Vongole show us how to bring out the vibrant flavor and incredible versatility of seafood. Each recipe is accompanied by a gorgeous image by renowned photographer Nigel Parry, as well as step-by-step photos for each of the twenty techniques taught in the book.
Stunning, delectable, and above all, actually doable, Seafood Simple is a master class from one of the world’s greatest chefs, created especially for the home cook.
Eric Ripert is the chef and co-owner of New York’s internationally acclaimed seafood restaurant Le Bernardin, which has held three stars from the Michelin Guide since 2005 and has maintained a four-star rating from The New York Times for over 20 years. He is Vice Chairman of the board at City Harvest, the world’s first and New York City’s largest food rescue organization dedicated to feeding New Yorkers in need, as well as a recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. He previously served as a regular guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and hosted his own TV series from 2009 to 2015, Avec Eric, which has won Emmy and James Beard awards. Ripert is the author of six cookbooks, including The New York Times bestseller Vegetable Simple, as well as My Best: Eric Ripert, Avec Eric, On the Line, A Return to Cooking, and Le Bernardin: Four Star Simplicity, and a New York Times bestselling memoir, 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line.
Seafood Simple: A Cookbook by
This dish is a timeless classic. Even though it’s already quite rich, I like it slightly spicier than normal, so I try to use the spiciest mustard I can find, or cayenne pepper. As with any other type of seafood, always take care not to overcook the lobster, as it will become chewy and flavourless.
4 live Maine lobsters (1¾ pounds each)
Fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup Cognac or other brandy
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1½ tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
½ teaspoon spicy dry mustard (optional)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Freshly ground white pepper 1½ tablespoons bread crumbs Paprika
- Preheat the broiler to high (500°F).Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Place a lobster belly down on a cutting board, then place the tip of a sharp knife in the center of the head with the blade pointing toward the front of the head. Press down, splitting the head in two; this will kill the lobster quickly. (See How to Split a Lobster, page 12, for photos.)
- Remove the rubber bands from the lobster’s claws with the tip of your knife. Turn the lobster over and remove the front knuckles and claws by twisting them off the base of the body. Set aside.
- Return the lobster to the cutting board, belly side facing up. Starting from where the head meets the tail, cut 90 percent of the way through the body, leaving the outer shell intact, and continuing through the tail. Turn the lobster 180 degrees and continue cutting through the head. Repeat with the remaining lobsters.
- When the water reaches a boil, season it with sea salt, then add the claws, lower the heat, and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Holding each lobster in your hands, open it like a book to expose the flesh and tomalley, the green substance found near the head. Gently clean the inside of the head section into a bowl.
Excerpted from Seafood Simple by Eric Ripert. Copyright © 2023 by Eric Ripert. Photographs by Nigel Parry. Published by Appetite, by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.