Truly a westcoast fishermen's seafood cookbook down-to-earth and practical, yet full of surprises
What do you do when you have a cardboard box overflowing with seafood recipes? You publish a seafood cookbook called "The Westcoaster Seafood Cookbook," of course! or at least this is what Jean and Phil Hood of Abbotsford have done.
Even though Jean and Phil now live in Abbotsford, they have roots that go back to the village of Ucluelet, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
"I used to brag that Jean had 100 different ways to cook Salmon" says Phil.
Their love affair with west coast seafood cooking began one summer when Phil worked on a Ucluelet fuel dock. "I served commercial fishermen and often received fresh seafood as a tip. Our freezer quickly filled-up with salmon, cod, halibut, shrimp or almost any type of eatable seafood from the ocean. We soon bored of ordinary stand-by seafood recipes. Jean called all her west coast friends and started what became a huge collection of seafood specialties."
Today, Phil and his son Richard are the primary seafood cooks of the family. "Our barbecue salmon is great, but after poached, baked and smoked salmon, battered deep-fried red snapper has to be a family favourite. Our most famous specialty is "smoked salmon cheese cake spread" and our most fun recipe is a tomato-based Cioppino (soup) that we call our BYOF party soup".
"Our BYOF party soup is somewhat reminiscent of a fondue party. We make this incredible Italian soup base and invite all of our friends to bring a pound of their favourite seafood. Whatever comes along - salmon, crab, cod, shrimp, clams - goes into the soup. The aroma and anticipation while the soup simmers heightens conversation and makes for a fun evening".
"Of course you really should try one of our great chowder recipes"."I think cooking our catch is as much fun as catching it in the first place", says Phil, "but we really don't have any hang-ups about using market, frozen or canned seafood".
The Westcoaster Seafood cookbook is truly a west coast fisherman's cookbook down-to-earth, practical, but full of great surprises.
The "Westcoaster" name comes from a community newspaper that Jean and Phil owned and published for 8 years in the Ucluelet-Tofino area.
The Westcoaster Seafood cookbook includes more than 230 recipes. From marinades, sauces, dips & brines; soups & chowders; batters & stuffings to an incredible selection of recipes for clams, cod, crab, halibut, mussels, oysters, salmon, scallops, shrimp, smelt, snapper, sole, sturgeon and tuna. The cookbook also includes many tips on cooking seafood, as well.
The Westcoaster Seafood Cookbook is fully indexed and includes metric equivalents as well as recommended can sizes for most recipes. Return to: Maple Lane Home Page
Smoked Salmon Cheesecake
cheesecake or just plain spread?
by Phil Hood
Every time I talk about smoked salmon cheesecake, my wife Jean interrupts me and argues we should be calling this recipe smoked salmon cream cheese spread. Jean has a hard time relating 'smoked salmon' together with 'cheesecake'.
My experience and I admit I do this for dramatic effect is that I get a great reaction from my guests when I tell them I'm serving smoked salmon cheesecake.
The difference is that my wife cooks food to eat, I cook food for reaction preferably praise, upon praise I love the look of amazement from my friends and the inevitable "you did this?."
The truth is that this is a cheesecake recipe, but you serve it as a spread over crackers! This recipe takes time, but it's easy to make, looks great, tastes incredible and will go a long way. We often serve a 1/6 wedge as an appetizer and save the balance for another time. It freezes well.
Combine bread crumbs, melted butter and dill in a bowl. In a spring-form pan, press mixture and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small frypan and sauté onion until just turning brown. Set aside to cool. Beat cream cheese, eggs, cream and salt in a bowl until creamy. Chop salmon into coarse chunks together with Swiss cheese and onion; beat into cream mixture. Pour over the cooked base in the spring-form pan. Bake in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 75 minutes. Turn heat off and slightly open oven door. Let cheesecake cool in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before removing from spring-form pan. Serve at room temperature with crackers. Delicious!
This recipe has been reprinted from the Westcoaster Seafood Cookbook, ©1995, Maple Lane Publishing, Jean & Phil Hood. Return to: Maple Lane Home Page
Seafood chowder, a west coast treat
by Phil Hood
Gray skys threatening rain, cedar tops swaying with a southwester and you'd rather sit in front of a warm fire then worry about preparing a big dinner.
Friends coming from out-of-town and you really want to do something memorable?
Why not prepare a large pot of clam chowder!
Bread, butter and a steaming bowl of clam chowder you have just created a simple west coast tradition your friend sre sure to talk about .
I like to double this basic New England (white) chowder and then divide my stock before adding the milk. With two pots, I then add the milk into one and the tomato base into the other, creating an interesting choice.
As a preference, I will remove the crisp bacon from the base before adding the water and boiling the potatoes, then return the bacon back into the stock with the milk, thus retaining its crisp flavor burst.
Experiment with half-and-half cream instead of the milk or adding fresh-crushed garlic.
Vancouver Island Clam Chowder*
*alias New England Clam Chowder
In a deep kettle, brown bacon until crisp. Add onions, cook until tender. Add cold water with reserved clam juice to make 5 cups. Stir in clams, potatoes, salt and pepper. Heat to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in milk, do not boil, heat gently, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8. Return to: Maple Lane Home Page
James Bay Clam Chowder*
*alias Manhattan Clam Chowder
*Same as New England
Clam Chowder plus:
Brown green pepper, celery and onion. *Substitute tomato juice for milk, season. Serves 6-8.
These recipes have been reprinted from the Westcoaster Seafood Cookbook, ©1995, Maple Lane Publishing, Jean & Phil Hood.
Traditional Fish & Chips
If using frozen fish, thaw until easily separated. Rinse fish under running water and pat dry. Fill a deep-fat fryer or deep heavy saucepan 1/3 full with oil. Heat to 375°F (190°C). Cut fish into serving size pieces. Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice. In a medium-size mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and paprika, gradually add the beer, beating until batter is well blended and smooth. Put a little flour into a flat dish and coat fish evenly on both sides. Coat with batter and gently drop into hot oil. Fry until batter is a deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. For a traditional dinner serve with chips (french fries) and malt vinegar. Serves 4-6. Return to: Maple Lane Home Page
Shrimp, Crab and Mushroom Rolls
Drain shrimp and crab. Break into bowl. Heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter in heavy saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook gently for 3 minutes. Lift out mushrooms with slotted spoon and add to shrimp and crab. Sprinkle flour into butter remaining in pan, cook one minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chicken or fish stock all at once. Return to moderate heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Beat cream, sherry, egg yolks, salt, pepper and nutmeg together with a fork. Stir into hot mixture gradually. Cook, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove from heat. Measure out 1 cup (250 ml) of mixture and combine with crab, shrimp and mushrooms. Heat 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) butter in small skillet. Add onion and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add to remaining sauce with thyme. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a baking dish (12" x 8" 2"/30 x 21 x 5 cm). Top 12 pancakes with some of shrimp/crab/mushroom mixture and roll each one up. Put them in baking dish. Pour sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake sauce until bubbling. Serve immediately.