Ben Sargent shares his love of the open waters with adventure stories and simple seafood recipes that will entice you with their fresh flavors.
An avid fisherman, home cook, and veteran surfer, Ben has been mesmerized by fishing since childhood. He catches almost everything he eats, but even if you don’t, The Catch is the perfect book for cooking simple, delicious fish and shellfish.
These 100 recipes will teach you how to stuff, grill, sauté, fry, roast, smoke, bake, and fillet to perfection, from classic preparations for salmon, shrimp, and clams to chowders using snakehead and blackfish.
Showcasing Ben’s signature lobster rolls (for which people journey many oceans), The Catch also features recipes such as Catfish Sandwich with Dill Rémoulade & Sliced Jalapeños (a recipe Ben made from his first catch); Mahi Ceviche with Grapefruit, Toasted Coconut & Roasted Peanuts (inspired by the flavors of Central America); Striped Bass Chowder with Broccoli Rabe Pesto (which makes enough to share with friends); Oyster Pan Roast with Garlic Butter Toasts (the perfect dish for two); and Flounder in Grape Leaves (grilled whole over an open fire).
With stunning photos from the bountiful waters of Brooklyn to the Caribbean coast, The Catch is Ben’s take on sustainable seafood and will become your go-to resource when you want to savor fish and seafood in your home kitchen.
Rockaway Beach Stuffies
Males 16 clams; serves 6 to 8
This is one of my signature recipes. The stuffies are brimming with flavor and are packed so full that they look like little golden balls of goodness! They’re fun and you can get your guests involved in making them. Even for non-cooks, it’s hard to mess this one up. When they are all cooked and ready to serve, they look like irresistible cookies on a plate. I use every last bit of the clam—shell, meat, and juice—to really pump up the clam flavor. People ask me why they’re called stuffies. Because I’m from Massachusetts, and when we stuff a clam shell it isn’t a stretch to call the finished product a stuffy. I have made this with my surf buddies in the Rockaways using Long Island clams.
16 large clam shells, about 4 inches across
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the shells
4 hot Italian sausages (about
12 ounces), casings removed
2 medium onions, finely diced
8 (5-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained, 1 cup of juices reserved
2 (10-ounce) cans whole baby clams, drained
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning, plus more for dusting
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan
8 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1. Clean the shells under hot water and dry with paper towels. Lightly oil the insides of the shells.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add the sausage. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking it up, for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, continuing to break up the sausage, until no pink remains, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add the onions to the bowl with the sausage.
3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped and whole drained clams, the reserved clam juice, bread crumbs, garlic, Old Bay, and cilantro. Season with black pepper. With a wooden spoon, mix the stuffing well until very tight. Pack the stuffing neatly into the clam shells.
4. Preheat the broiler. Set the oven rack 10 inches from the broiler heat source. Put half the clams on a cookie sheet and dust thickly with half the Parmesan. Sprinkle with some Old Bay and scatter half the scallions on top. Broil the clams until hot throughout and nicely glazed, about 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining clams. Let rest for about 5 minutes and serve.
The stuffies can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw, dust with the Parmesan and Old Bay, and top with the scallions before broiling.