Fish the Dish

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Fish the Dish is a playful and delicious half hour of television that follows Chef Spencer Watts as he cooks up some of his favourite seafood dishes in preparation for his new cookbook all about fish. His animated, high-energy personality shines through as he makes accessible, tasty recipes with sustainable fish and shellfish. Showing us just how fast, easy and fun fish recipes are to make, Spencer enthusiastically plates up four unique seafood dishes in each episode.

With a focus on beautiful, mouth-watering food and photography, Fish the Dish covers recipes for any occasion, using a wide assortment of ingredients, cooking techniques and themes. Each episode features one fish (such as salmon, halibut or trout) and one shellfish (such as lobster, scallops or oysters) done two ways each while focusing on a specific theme such as butter, citrus, or spice. The result? Meals that taste and look gourmet but that are actually quick, easy, and fun to make!

With Spencer, you won’t have to travel to the coast to get good seafood, you’ll be able to make it at home and enjoy every delicious bite.

Episode 1 – Crusted/Coated

Fish has amazing texture on its own, but it’s even better with a crust or coating. Join chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts as he develops accessible, tasty fish recipes for his new sustainable seafood cookbook. Today he has fun in the kitchen with crispy crusts and coatings, with a focus on rich, meaty tuna and tangy, fresh oysters. First, he dresses up sustainable ahi tuna with an olive and rice cracker crust, and shows how to cook it to a perfect rare. Next, Spencer continues to show just how much tuna loves a crust by making black sesame and almond crusted ahi tuna with ginger miso dressing. Now it’s onto oysters, the little gems that live in cool, salty sea water. After a lesson in shucking, Spencer starts with one his favorite ways to eat oysters: baked motoyaki style with a beautiful coating. To finish, he packs a flavor punch with beer battered oysters and pickled jalapeno tartar sauce. It’s a kitchen party as Spencer’s friends try all his mouth-watering dishes!
High-energy chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts shows how crusts and coatings add tantalizing texture to rich tuna and fresh, tangy oysters.


Episode 2 – Hidden

Chef Spencer Watts loves a good surprise so he is adding some of his favourite “hidden” seafood recipes to his cookbook. Sea perch is that brilliant and beautiful red fish you see on display at the fish monger. Its delicate white meat is sweet and flakey – perfect in a tamale with a vibrant corn salsa on the side. Perch, or any other mild white fish, is incredibly moist and delicious in Spencer’s fish and golden caramelized onion dumplings. Crab is a favourite for many because of its sweet and slightly salty taste. Spencer combines crab meat with soft artichokes and an explosive roasted red pepper sauce in a crispy pastry strudel that makes for a perfect appetizer. Then, inspired by game day, who doesn’t love a jalapeno popper à la Spencer Watts? He stuffs spicy jalapenos with sweet crab meat and cream cheese, then wraps it all up in bacon.
Who doesn’t love a surprise? Seafood loving Chef Spencer Watts makes perch and crab the hidden star in tamales, dumplings, spring rolls and poppers.


Episode 3 – Salty

High-energy chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts loves cooking with seafood, which is why he’s making a cookbook featuring delicious sustainable seafood recipes. Today he reveals how the many faces of salt, like soya and miso, add incredible flavor to cod and prawns. Spencer starts with sweet, sustainable Pacific Coast black cod, which is also known as butterfish because it melts in the mouth. First, he brines the cod in maple and soy, then he caramelizes it in sizzling butter, and finally he rests it on top of a creamy butternut squash puree. Next he transforms Atlantic salt cod into decadent fluffy-on-the inside, crispy-on-the-outside salt cod potato cakes. In act three he makes sweet, succulent prawn dumplings and introduces them to his favorite miso soup. He finishes by showing how to cook prawns with a light salt crust and a decadent béarnaise sauce perfect for dunking.
Meaty prawns and melt-in-your-mouth cod are on the menu as trendy chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts gets a little “salty” with seafood.


Episode 4 – Citrus

Fish loves to dance with sweet, juicy citrus fruit – it makes the fish happy, and it makes chef and seafood expert Spencer Watts happy, too. In this chapter of developing his new sustainable seafood cookbook, Spencer shows how the bright burst of acidity from lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit adds tantalizing flavor to mild mahi-mahi and sweet scallops. He starts by steaming mahi-mahi filets in flavor pouches so they become infused with sweet and tangy lime coconut rice, zesty ginger, and edamame. Talk about a flavor explosion. For his next dish Spencer turns up the heat and grills mahi-mahi, pours a charred orange beurre blanc sauce over top and serves it with a zesty citrus slaw. Now it’s onto buttery sea scallops, which are just delicious when covered in a light lemon crumb and served with a creamy lemon, parmesan and white bean puree. Finally, Spencer uses plump bay scallops to make a zesty, fruity ceviche with avocado salsa.
Chef Spencer Watts shows how the burst of acidity from lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit adds enticing flavor to mild mahi-mahi and sweet scallops.


Episode 5 – Beer and wine

Spencer Watts is a fish loving chef, who is having the time of his life cooking up a storm of great recipes for his sustainable seafood cookbook. All the recipes in this chapter bring a little wine or beer to the party. Spencer starts with some pub grub – sweet monkfish morsels coated in a crispy beer batter with a side of tart lemon-garlic mayo. Next he transforms monkfish from “poor man’s lobster” to luxe by poaching it in champagne and serving it with a silky cauliflower puree, all drizzled in a prosciutto vinaigrette. Spencer then brings out the littleneck clams and does his favorite broiled clams on top of a white wine, clam and bacon risotto. He closes the party with a garlic, white beer and butter bath for his clams and some fast and easy fried gozleme bread for dunking.
Seafood loving chef Spencer Watts gets casual and formal with monkfish and clam recipes that feature some of his favorite libations – beer and wine.


Episode 6 – Nutty

Chef Spencer Watts is a seafood loving nut. Here he embraces his nuttiness and is bringing some of his favorite nuts and favorite fish together. He begins with a simple, colorful, mouthwatering recipe for buttery macadamia nut coated swordfish and a bright mango salsa on the side. Next he grills up a sustainable swordfish steak and lets sweet orange herbed almond butter melt into a pool over the fish and beautifully roasted yam coins. For his next dish, Spencer introduces pan seared, buttery scallops to his go-to peanut sauce over a bed of soba noodles. Last, he gets nutty with a pine nut and basil pesto sauce bed for some golden pan seared scallops topped with a tart apple and celery slaw.
Chef Spencer Watts is making a cookbook all about fish. Here he cooks up some swordfish and scallop recipes that feature some of his favorite nuts.


Episode 7 – Spice

Spices add texture, color and glorious taste to seafood. Chef Spencer Watts loves to spice things up in his kitchen and in his cookbook so he is bringing the heat to some halibut and lobster. First he gives plump, meaty halibut a long bath in a spicy piri piri marinade, then he blasts it with heat to give it a crust and cooks it through and nestles it on top of a cooling, creamy mint pea puree. Next Spencer goes Moroccan by flavoring a heap of slowly melting butter with just the right blend of spices. Then he submerges sustainable halibut fillets into the deep golden liquid to slowly poach and soak up all the warm flavors dancing in the pot. He plates the fish with a black currant and olive couscous and drizzles it all with the decadent spicy butter. Then Spencer introduces Canadian
Atlantic Lobster to the exotic spices of Thailand with a gorgeous, deep, flavorful curry. To wrap it all up, Spencer grills up juicy Pacific lobster tails with a five alarm jerk sauce crowned with piles of sweet grilled pineapple salsa.
Fish loves spice and Chef Spencer Watts loves fish so he brings the delicious world of spice to halibut and lobster along with some cooling sides.


Episode 8 – Herb

All chefs love fresh herbs and Chef Spencer Watts is no exception – he has an arsenal of great recipes that marry seafood and aromatic, vibrant and fresh herbs. He starts with an old world Spanish dish, escabeche mackerel, which is a pan-fried mackerel fillet marinated in a cumin-infused vinegar. He tops it with an herb salad and serves it with warm roasted vegetables. He then blankets fresh mackerel fillets in a beautiful and fragrant pistachio herb pesto, adds a light dusting of breadcrumb and cheese and broils the fillets before serving them with a garlic and lemon yogurt sauce and fresh pita bread. Next Spencer highlights delicate and aromatic lemongrass by infusing its perfume into a pot of sake and lemongrass steamed mussels. He then combines them with rice noodles, carrots, peanuts and cilantro for an Asian-inspired salad. He then knocks it out of the park with a family friendly pot of creamy dill mussels with sour cream and chive fries.
Chef Spencer Watts shares some of his favorite mackerel and mussel recipes that highlight aromatic, vibrant and fresh herbs.


Episode 9 – Boozy

Where there is food there are often pints of frothy beer, fragrant wine or inventive cocktails – so why not bring food and drink together in one delicious culinary concoction? Seafood loving Chef Spencer Watts brings prawns and sturgeon to this boozy party. He starts with portions of glorious, meaty dinosaur fish – Atlantic Sturgeon. Spencer pan sears the steak-like fish to perfection before setting it onto a smear of decadent Pernod cream sauce and topping it with a vibrant fennel and grapefruit salad. He then whips up his party go-to dish – succulent Cajun Prawns in a white wine, honey and lime butter sauce. Next Spencer combines prawns with a full bodied red wine in an intoxicating prawn shell infused tomato sauce tossed with fresh linguine pasta and basil. Then Spencer pops the cork on some sparkling Rosé and makes a creamy and elegant pale pink dessert sabayon topped with Atlantic Sturgeon Caviar and fresh mint.
Sturgeon and prawns meet wines and liqueurs in Chef Spencer Watts’ kitchen as he brings seafood and booze together in delicious culinary concoctions.


Episode 10 – Stuffed

Turkeys are not the only food worth stuffing. Chef Spencer Watts loves all things fish and rainbow trout and oysters are two of his favorite foods to stuff. First he goes back to his “campin’n’fishin” days and works with a whole, fresh rainbow trout. He makes a simple, mouthwatering, BLT – bacon, leek and tomato stuffing in a creamy sauce and show us how to glam up food for the campfire. Then Spencer makes a delicious fresh rainbow trout tartare and shows how to wrap it up in a sliced avocado for a fun and beautiful presentation. Being a West Coast boy with a fisherman father, Spencer has had a lifelong love affair with oysters. So he goes traditional with oyster Rockefeller and his go-to romesco sauce. Last, he whips up an epic deep fried oyster po-boy sandwich with a chipotle mayo slaw inspired by New Orleans street food.
Chef Spencer Watts dishes on delicious ways to stuff rainbow trout and oysters and how to use them to stuff in a sandwich or even an avocado parcel.


Episode 11 – Mixed

Seafood is great on its own, but when you bring them together – it makes for some great eating. Seafood loving chef Spencer Watts brings sustainable halibut, scallops and shrimp together to make a fish burger that would make a cow weep. It is that good! Coated in a light panko topping and pan fried, the burger is crispy on the outside and lathered in a horseradish tartar sauce then served with fresh tomatoes and lettuce on a golden toasted bun. Then, inspired by his mother’s seafood crêpes, Spencer puts the trifecta of seafood together – scallops, crab and lobster – into a soft buttery crepe, coats it in a decadent hollandaise and gruyere cheese and broils it until it’s golden and delicious. In the third act, it’s all about the chowder – but this one is inspired by Spencer’s time in Asia. Mussels, clams and prawns swim with sweet potatoes in a deep red coconut curry broth bound to warm you up from head to toe. Last, he whips together a bright, simple, mouthwatering mixed seafood salad with prawns, squid, chorizo sausage and chickpeas.
Chef Spencer Watts show us that seafood may be great on its own, but when you bring different kinds together – it makes for some great eating.


Episode 12 – Saucy

What’s not to love about a warm, delicious sauce that brings an extra layer of fun and taste to a dish – especially when eating fish. Chef Spencer Watts gets saucy with two kinds of salmon and some crab. First he demonstrates how to make the perfect pan fried fillet of rich and tasty Atlantic
salmon and then he serves it with a creamy mascarpone sauce that takes the dish from every day to extraordinary in minutes. There are several different kinds of salmon, so this time he grabs some lean, vibrant salmon and show us how to turn it into a roulade. Then he makes a mouth-watering crab sauce and drapes it over pretty and perfect little parcels, making a beautiful and luscious dish. The sweet meat from rock crab can be bought already cooked and out of the shell, just ready for eating. Spencer uses it to make his family recipe for crab cakes. Then he makes a creamy, bright orange aioli – perfect for crab cake dunking. Finally he show us the real deal – the Dungeness crab – and demonstrates how to crack the shell and eat one like a pro. With some clarified butter and some Mediterranean sauce, crab is a fun, beautiful and tasty mess.
Chef Spencer Watts gets saucy with seafood, making a mascarpone sauce and crab sauce for salmon and orange aioli and clarified butter for crab.


Episode 13 – Butter

If there is one thing chefs love, it’s butter, and Spencer Watts is no different. Fish and butter are best friends whether acting as an oil for a pan, a dipping sauce or pot full of golden poaching liquid. It adds a rich and luxurious taste to almost any dish. Starting with a whole walleye (or in Canada we call it a pickerel) Spencer lathers this lake fish with a rich bacon butter and gives it a simple bread and bacon butter stuffing. Perfect for a campfire or home – you can’t go wrong with bacon and butter and fish. Then he takes a walleye fillet and pan sears it to perfection in butter to get a gloriously crispy skin. He serves it with a spätzle and a simple but delicious brown butter caper sauce. Next it’s all about the mighty Atlantic lobster. Spencer show us how to extract the claw meat from cold steamed lobster and then gently poaches the sweet meat in maple butter before placing it on top of a bed of creamy parmesan polenta. Last it’s all about the lobster tail. Spencer coats the tails in a roasted garlic South American inspired chimichurri butter and broils it for mere minutes to get a stunning, delectable dish.
Butter and fish are best friends. Chef Spencer Watts brings bacon butter, brown butter, maple butter and chimichurri butter to this fishy party.


Episode 14 – Bread and Pastry

In this episode, seafood loving chef Spencer Watts breaks bread and pastry with Canadian cod and squid. First he works with his favorite fish of all time, Black Cod, otherwise known as butter fish or sable fish. His fish today is sustainably farmed in British Columbia. Spencer takes this buttery, soft
fish and cooks it in a fragrant and simple Portuguese bread soup to make a belly-warming dish. Then he rolls out the puff pastry and stuffs the buttery and flaky dough with salt cod and ricotta to make a delicious calzone. Spencer then reveals the secret to perfect, tender, buttermilk-marinated deep fried calamari. The crisp golden rings are plated with red chilies, pea shoots and a tart apple and celeriac remoulade. Then he makes the best tempura batter of his life for some light and airy tempura calamari strips served with ginger and chives and a simple Asian dipping sauce.
Seafood loving chef Spencer Watts breaks bread and pastry with Canadian cod and squid to make soup, calzones, and two versions of fried calamari.


Episode 15 – Oil

If you want a chef to list his must haves in the kitchen, oil will be right there at the top. Chef Spencer Watts makes fish and shellfish dishes with intense flavor pops by using different kinds of oil. First he demonstrates how to slowly poach Atlantic Salmon in glorious olive oil to give it a texture that is mouthwatering and luxurious. Plated on top of a vibrant spinach salad with ripe raspberries and a pancetta vinaigrette, it’s a dish fit for a king. Then he roasts a fillet of pacific salmon on a bed of roasted garlic and onions and punches the flavor up with a bright green chive oil. Next he whips together the perfect simple and delightfully tasty Monday night dish: grilled prawns with pasta and a garlic chili oil. Last, he uses the shells from his shrimp to make a deep red prawn oil for a tartare sauce that will knock your socks off. It’s the perfect side to his golden brown, deep fried party prawns.
Chef Spencer Watts makes salmon and prawns pop with flavor as he works with any seafood kitchen’s must-have ingredient: delicious flavored oils.