Recipes, Chef Rick Moonen, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, New England Steamed Dinner, Fish Recipes, How To Cook Fish, Fish Without A Doubt


Chef Rick Moonen

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New England Steamed Dinner

Courtesy of chef Rick Moonen from “Fish Without a Doubt”

Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Like the classic New England boiled dinner, this dish is so simple. But there’s no corned beef here. The flavors are of the potatoes, turnips, cabbage, and halibut, pure, almost innocent, and the dish satisfies just like chicken soup.


Serves 4

Accept Substitutes

Fillets of thick-fleshed fish are what you want here; other possibilities are cod, scrod, tilefish, sea bass, and turbot (delicious, but expensive; fold the fillets in thirds).


- 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 carrots, cut into 1/3-inch chunks

- 2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

- 1/2 pound creamer potatoes, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and halved (quartered

  if large)

- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

- 1 bay leaf

- Coarse salt and freshly ground white


- 1 pound cabbage, cut into 1-inch chunks

- 2 cups water

- 4 (5-ounce) skinless pieces halibut fillet

For Serving

- Horseradish Cream (see recipe below)

- Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt

- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


1) You’ll need a wide deep pot that your steamer will fit into snugly.

2) Drop the bacon, onion, carrots, turnips, and potatoes into the pot and add the thyme and bay leaf.

3) Season with salt and white pepper and give the ingredients a stir.

4) Scatter the cabbage on top and season with salt and pepper.

5) Pour in the water, cover the pot, and bring to an active simmer over medium-high heat.

6) Cook the vegetables for 8 minutes.

7) Meanwhile, spray the bottom of the steamer basket with pan spray.

8) Season the halibut on both sides with salt and put it into the steamer.

9) Set the steamer over the vegetables and steam for about 8 minutes.

10) Check the fish: the sides of the fillets should feel firm when you squeeze them, but the tops should still be slightly mushy.

11) Halibut can be very dry if it’s overcooked, so you are aiming for something slightly underdone—the fish will finish cooking with residual heat.

12) Thicker fillets—about 1 inch thick—will take 9 or 10 minutes to steam.

13) To serve, divide the vegetables and broth among four wide soup plates.

14) Set a piece of halibut on top of each. Plop a spoonful of horseradish cream on the fish and sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch of fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt.

15) If you feel the need for color, shower the dish with chopped parsley.

16) Pass the rest of the horseradish cream at the table.



Photo courtesy of Rick Moonen


Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Courtesy of chef Rick Moonen from “Fish Without a Doubt”

Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

I like Lobster Fra Diavolo so much that I had to adapt the recipe for shrimp. The sauce is enriched with shrimp stock to compensate for all the flavor you would otherwise get from the lobster shells.


Serves 4


- 1 1/2 pounds extra-large (16-20 count) shrimp in the shell

- 5 tablespoons olive oil

- 1/2 cup dry white wine

- 2 cups water

- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper

- 1/2 cups chopped onions

- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic

- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

- 1 x 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes (or one 26-ounce box Pomì Chopped Tomatoes)

- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

- 3/4 pound linguine


1) Shell the shrimp - leave the tails on - and refrigerate them.

2) You want the shells for the stock.

3) Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

4) When the pan’s hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the shrimp shells and sauté until the shells turn red, about 1 minute.

5) Add the wine and water and bring to a boil.

6) Reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 30 minutes.

7) Turn off the heat and let the stock sit for 30 minutes for the flavor to deepen.

8) Line a strainer with cheesecloth, set the strainer over a bowl, and pour in the stock. Lift up the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze to make sure you extract all the liquid from the solids.

9) Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat.

10) When the pan’s hot, spoon in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

11) Season the shrimp with salt and white pepper and add to the pan.

12) Sauté, stirring, until the shrimp are curled and pink but not quite cooked through, about 2 minutes.

13) Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

14) Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions to the skillet, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

15) Sauté until the onions start to soften, about 2 minutes.

16) Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, and crushed red pepper and sauté for 1 minute.

17) Pour in the shrimp stock and bring it to a boil.

18) Reduce to about 1/2 cup, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve any browned bits that may be there.

19) Add the tomatoes, season with salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil.

20) Reduce the heat so the sauce is at an active simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

21) Add the parsley, basil, and shrimp (with any juices in the bowl), cover, and turn off the heat.

22) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

23) Cook the pasta to al dente.

24) Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.

25) Toss well.

26) Divide the pasta and shrimp among four large plates and serve right away.


Horseradish Cream

Courtesy of chef Rick Moonen from “Fish Without a Doubt”

Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

This is the sauce I want with anything smoked or with a cod boiled dinner, which has the smokiness of bacon. Making it the day before gives the flavors time to ripen.


1.5 cups


- 1 cup creme fraiche

- 1/2 cup grated horseradish (fresh or prepared), drained

- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper


1) Whisk the crème fraîche, horseradish, mustard, dill, and lemon juice together in a bowl.

2) Season with salt and white pepper and whisk again.

3) Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight, if you have time, or for at least 30 minutes.


RM Seafood

Las Vegas Strip


Mandalay Bay Resort

3930 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Las Vegas, NV 89119 (view map)

T: 702.632.9300 (make a reservation)



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Daily: 11:30am - 11pm

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Tue - Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm



Chef and owner of RM Seafood in Las Vegas.


Chef Moonen is an important advocate for sustainable fishing and seafood, and a true practitioner of what he preaches.


Fish Without A Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion (buy it)


Rick Moonen’s recommendations for restaurants, bars, and markets in Las Vegas and New York as well as resource and kitchen tools.