Seafood lovers can all agree that the catch of the day never fails to make for the perfect dish. If fresh sea bass ceviche, succulent scallops, or baked crab have you salivating, we've found your new favorite book. Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw just released a new cookbook that's a treasure trove of delicious dishes straight from the sea. Everyday Seafood covers everything from small bites and appetizers to seafood feasts. Baked, broiled, or barbecued, each dish in his cookbook teases the palate and can be cooked quickly and simply at home.
Calling seafood "the best convenience food ever," Outlaw delivers the perfect guide for the adventurous cook and proves that seafood doesn't have to be tricky. Though it was almost impossible to choose, we've pulled four of our favorite dishes that highlight Outlaw's simple and healthful approach to cooking seafood and promise to please.
Keep scrolling to discover our favorite dishes from Nathan Outlaw's gorgeous cookbook.
Octopus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad, Lime and Cilantro Dressing
"I love the texture of octopus, when it is cooked perfectly. In this salad, the char from broiling it, combined with the smooth softness of the avocado, adds to the excitement. The double sucker species of octopus is the best one to use, as it cooks really well. Most of the time, octopus comes frozen, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, the freezing process helps to tenderize the meat. You could also make this salad with squid."
Serves 4 as an appetizer or light lunch.
1 octopus (double sucker species), about 2 1/4 lb (defrosted if frozen)
Olive oil for cooking
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 rosemary sprigs
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Scant 1/2 cup white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
2 ripe avocados
20 cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
4 packed cups arugula leaves
For the lime and cilantro dressing
2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Heat a pan large enough to hold the octopus and add a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and lime zest. Sweat for 3 minutes, then add the octopus, wine, and lime juice. Put the lid on the pan, and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until the octopus is tender. To check, insert a knife into one of the tentacles; it should cut through with ease. If not, continue to cook, checking every 10 minutes, until it is ready.
When the octopus is cooked, lift it out onto a tray, and leave until cool enough to handle. Cut off and reserve the tentacles. Slit open the main body, and remove the ink sac, stomach, and eyes carefully. Cut the meat into strips, thread onto a skewer, and set aside.
Heat up a grill pan or barbecue. Meanwhile, halve, pit, and peel the avocados, then cut into slices, and place in a bowl with the tomatoes, and mix gently.
Oil the octopus pieces and tentacles, and season with salt and pepper. Place both the skewered meat and tentacles on the grill pan or barbecue, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the outside is caramelized and golden.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the octopus from the skewers, and add to the tomato and avocado with the tentacles. Add a few spoonfuls of dressing, and toss gently, then add the arugula leaves and a pinch of salt. Share the salad equally between 4 plates, and finish with another drizzle of dressing.
A Simple Bass Ceviche
"It doesn’t get much simpler than this Peruvian-style dish. It’s such a great, healthy way to eat seafood, and makes a lovely appetizer for a dinner party. All you need is really fresh fish. Here I’ve used bass, but I’ve also made it successfully with salmon, mackerel, brill, and scallops. Just be sure to taste it as you go: it’s important to get the balance of the heat from the chiles, the acidity from the lime, and the level of saltiness right."
Serves 4 as an appetizer.
14 oz very fresh bass fillet, skinned, pin-boned, and trimmed
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
2 green chiles, seeded and minced
12 good quality baby plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
A handful of cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
2 ripe avocados
7⁄8 cup sour cream
Olive oil to drizzle
1 lime, cut into wedges
Cut the bass into dice and place in a bowl with the red onion, chiles, tomatoes, lime zest, and juice. Season with salt, and add the chopped cilantro. Toss well to mix, then cover, and leave to cure in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Just before serving, halve, peel, and pit the avocados, then cut into dice, the same size as the bass pieces. Toss the avocado through the bass mixture. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if needed.
Divide the ceviche between 4 plates. Top with a dollop of sour cream, and add a drizzle of olive oil to each plate. Serve with lime wedges.
Red Mullet and Mushroom Miso Broth with Shiso Oil
"This Japanese-style broth may not be authentic, but I can whip it up in minutes at home and it tastes so good. The combination of red mullet (goatfish) and East Asian ushrooms is amazing. If not available, you can make this with bream or sea bass. You should be able to buy dashi flakes quite easily, but shiso might be a little more difficult to find. Shiso is like a Japanese basil, so you could use basil in its place. If you don’t have time to make the shiso oil, add a splash of toasted sesame oil instead."
Serves 4 as a hearty appetizer or light lunch.
2 red mullet (goatfish), bream, or sea bass, about 18 oz each, scaled, filleted and pin-boned
3 1/2 Tbsp light canola oil, plus extra for oiling
4 1/2 cups [1 L] water
1 Tbsp instant dashi flakes
2 Tbsp white miso paste
2 cups dried porcini mushrooms
6 scallions, finely sliced (white and green parts separated)
1 cluster shimeji mushrooms
1/2 cup eryngii (or oyster) mushrooms
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Juice of 1 lime
10 1/2 oz dried udon noodles
7 oz tofu, cut into cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the shiso oil
2 handfuls of shiso leaves
2 large handfuls spinach leaves
Heaping 1⁄3 cup fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
2 tsp superfine sugar
7⁄8 cup light canola oil
First make the shiso oil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the shiso and spinach leaves, and cook for 1 minute. Remove immediately, and plunge into the ice water to cool quickly. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.
Put the shiso and spinach into a blender and add the ginger, sugar, canola oil, and some salt and pepper. Blitz for 2 minutes, then pour into a pitcher or bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Preheat your broiler to high. Oil a broiler pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice each red mullet fillet into 2 equal pieces, lay on the broiler pan and turn to coat in the oil and seasoning, then place skin side up. Set aside.
Put the water and dashi flakes into a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a simmer, then whisk in the miso paste and dried porcini. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat, and add the canola oil. When hot, add the white scallions and all of the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the lime juice, stirring to deglaze. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
Strain the miso liquor through a fine strainer into a clean pan, discarding the porcini, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes until they are just tender.
Cook the fish under the broiler for 2 minutes. Add the green scallions and tofu to the broth, and heat for 1 minute.
Ladle the broth, noodles, and mushrooms into 4 warmed bowls, sharing them equally. Add 2 pieces of red mullet to each bowl and finish with a drizzle of shiso oil. Serve immediately.
For more healthy seafood recipes, shop Nathan Outlaw's new book Everyday Seafood, below.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Everyday Seafood by Nathan Outlaw, published by Quadrille Publishing.