My guest for this show is Jasper White, a long time friend from Boston. Although he and I have never worked together, we have many connections. One of his early chef partners was Lydia Shire, my first chef on my first job at the Harvest Restaurant in Boston. Jasper worked at many restaurants in the Boston area including the dining rooms of the Copley Plaza, The Parker House, and The Bostonian. His fine dining restaurant, Jasper’s, which featured elegant New England Fare, was located in the same spot on the waterfront where I had been the chef at a restaurant called “Cybele’s” in the early 80′s. After running this elegant place for many years, Jasper switched gears to open a more casual place, in effect a loud energetic clam shack, called Summer Shack, in Cambridge in May 2002. It was one of Julia Child’s favorite places to eat. (She had a huge crush on Jasper). The success of the Cambridge restaurant spawned two more “Summer Shacks,” one at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut and another in Boston’s Back Bay. Jasper is the author of many cookbooks, including Lobster at Home, Scribner 1998, Fifty Chowders, Scribner 2000 and The Summer Shack Cookbook, Norton 2007 which is where you’ll find the recipes we made on my show. Jasper has been a frequent guest on my shows throughout the years. It is always a pleasure to have him on.
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Tips. The general rule for cooking fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness in a 375 to 400 degree F oven. To check for doneness, insert the tip of a paring knife in the thickest part of the fish; if it goes through easily it is done.
If you cook fish on the bone you will get more flavor out of the finished dish.
To figure out how much whole fish to buy estimate 1 pound per person.
Tools. Poultry shears are the right tool for cutting off fish fins. You can find them at most kitchen supply stores.
Bamboo steamers are very affordable. If you live in a big city you will find them in your local Chinatown. Otherwise google “bamboo steamers” and you will find many sources including amazon.com and surlatable.com.
You can find a cataplana at Sur la table.