Salade Niçoise

ASTUCES: if you us tuna in the salade, use either canned albacore, or the quantity of fresh tuna you like. i suggest 12 ounces; 400g. Sear the whole fresh piece first on each side, season with salt and pepper and let cool. Then, thinly slice the seared tuna and arrange it atop the salad after you’ve tossed the other ingredients together. Don’t use anchovies if you’re using tuna.

Grilled Rabbit with Mustard and Crisp Bacon

Rabbit is easily found in most places in the U.S., though it will often be in the frozen food department. Try to find it. It’s beautiful meat – lean, subtle, tender, and it cooks so well, wrapped in bacon, over the coals. The by-word is slow, even cooking. Just be patient, turn it regularly and you’ll have a feast on your hands. And if you cannot find rabbit, use chicken….!

Tapenade (Garlicky Olive Paste)

** If using anchovy fillets in oil from Collioure, or other excellent quality anchovies, there is no need to soak the fillets in the white wine, which is done simply to remove some of their salt. If using anchovy fillets packed in salt, the soaking is necessary. Place the anchovies in a shallow bowl and cover them with the wine. Let them sit for 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry.


Grilled Monkfish with bay leaves

This recipe for bay-grilled monkfish involves fire and smoke, yet it’s done on your stove and it will not make your smoke detector whine (at least it didn’t mine). It’s an indoor grilling recipe, but your guests will be convinced that you somehow hung from the balcony with a grill and produced this amazing fish. I include it here precisely for those of you who have neither garden nor balcony but love the smoky grilled taste of foods. Try this, and your “grill envy” will disappear.

ASTUCE: monkfish has an outer and an inner skin. Usually the fish monger trims away the grey outer skin, but not always the inner skin which is very fine, almost more of a membrane. If this is still on the fish, simply trim it away, using a very sharp, preferably flexible bladed like a fish fillet knife, otherwise the membrane will shrink during cooking and your fish will be pulled every which way, into unrecognizable shapes. When searing the bay leaves, do take care that there is nothing flammable near your stove, that your hair is tied back and that you stand a good length away from the pan, tending to things in it with a pair of tongs, preferably extra-long. You may also want to put on a fan above the stove if you’ve got one. Once the fish is cooked, remember to let it sit for at least 5 minutes once you’ve taken it from the pan, to allow it’s juices to emerge. Lift it from the plate with a perforated spatula when you serve it, to leave the juices behind.

Special Equipment: Lightweight (such as a non-stick) skillet, tongs, perforated spatula for lifting fish from one plate to another, one plate or platter to receive the fish from the pan, which you won’t use for serving the fish.