The One With All The Seafood!

Countless reruns and weekend viewing binges have made most of us the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fanatics we are. The last episode may have been aired in May 2004, but our strongest TV show memories are mint-fresh thanks to the multiple episodes beamed ceaselessly on the telly. Trivia, quizzes, “friendly facts” keep us looped into the lives of our beloved characters. Some of the bits coined by the show writers have made it into daily parlance. It’s really no wonder that the first actors to be paid a million dollars each for every episode they made, still earn millions in syndication.

As for us, we had to combine our two obsessions and bring up all things seafood from our favourite show. We steered clear of the clichéd (“Ooonagi”, “he’s her lobster”), and put together dishes which you probably didn’t even notice. Or did you?

Could you BE more obsessed?

1. Monica’s Salmon Mousse 
(“The One With the Stoned Guy”)

Salmon mousse could be an amuse bouche or an appetizer, but never boring.

Jon Lovitz, aka Stoned Guy Steve, is invited to Monica and Rachel’s to sample Monica’s expert cooking. Monica, in-house pro chef and cleaning lady extraordinaire, is trying to bring out the courses in the order planned, amuse bouche et al while Rachel waitresses. What neither of them have accounted for is Steve showing up high and fidgety. He gobbles up the salmon mousse, the shrimp etc, but can’t keep still until the onion tartlet is served.

Salmon mousse is more than “whipped fish”, regardless of what Joey may say. Need proof? Here’s a super recipe for Salmon Mousse with Cucumber Sauce from Cooking Channel.

Recipe: Salmon Mousse with Cucumber Sauce

2. Ross’s free Crab Cakes
(“The One With the Blind Dates”)

These crab cakes may not be on the house, unlike Ross’s, but they’re sure to bring the house down by way of compliments.

Ross gets stood up on a blind date set up by Joey, thanks to Joey himself who calls it off, but doesn’t let Ross know. At the restaurant where Ross waits, looking out for his no-show dining companion, while the waiters start a pool betting on how long it’ll take for Ross to give up and leave. The server at Ross’s table offers to bring him complementary crab cakes to “show him a good time”. Ross being Ross, gets them to go, however outraged and “insulted” he claims he is.

Gratis or not, crab cakes are most gratifying when done right. Try this recipe; start with ordering your crabmeat here

Recipe: Crab Cakes

3. Rachel’s dad’s Lobster
(“The One with the Race Car Bed”)

Brown Butter Lobster Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce may not have been what Dr. Green ordered, but it’s sure to cheer up the grumpiest of diners.

At a meet-the-parent dinner, Rachel is trying to get the two men in her life to bond; her dad and Ross, however, keep sniping at each other. Her dad even tries to order “the lobster” for all three, but is told that Ross is allergic to lobster.

You’d want to agree with Dr. Green when he glares at Ross and says, “What kind of person is allergic to lobster?”. But for those of you lucky enough to be able to enjoy shellfish of all kinds, there’s “a very special lobster ravioli” that gets a mention in “The One With All The Cheesecakes”, when Joey and Phoebe go out to dinner.

Turns out eventually, Rachel is indeed Ross’s lobster.

Get the recipe here.

Recipe: Brown Butter Lobster Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce

4. Monica’s Grilled Prawns
(“The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant”)

Grilled shrimp with lemon and oregano is a hit for every celebration, whether you’re on a budget or going all out.

The friends all go out to dinner “someplace nice” to celebrate Monica’s promotion. Half of the group are not too happy with what they’ve been shelling out to keep up with birthday celebrations, gifts etc., and so are trying to order the cheapest items on the menu. Joey tries to ask if his Thai pizza would be cheaper if he skips some of the standard toppings, Rachel orders a side salad and Phoebe a soup.

Monica, Chandler and Ross, on the other hand, don’t hold back; Monica calls for a carpaccio and the grilled prawns.

Make them yourself and these grilled prawns won’t cost you “a kidney” (like Joey wonders) we promise.

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Lemon and Oregano

5. Chandler’s Cajun Catfish
(“The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant”),

The Cajun Catfish is as good if made with tilapia fillets.

At the aforementioned dinner (“The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant”), Chandler, happy with his afternoon tryst with an unknown woman, reaches the restaurant late and heads straight for the mains, ordering a Cajun Catfish. Which is what we would do if we couldn’t wait to get the celebrations started.

Looks like both Chandler and Monica love their seafood, so we’re not surprised when they end up together. Seafood does bring people together.

This Louisiana-style crispy fish is great served with a spicy remoulade and salad or rice. No catfish? No problem, use tilapia fillets instead.

Recipe: Cajun Catfish

6. Monica’s Swordfish
(“The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie”)

The Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa is something even persnickety Chef Geller would give a thumbs-up to.

Monica is being bullied at her new workplace, and instances of this include her chef’s hat being baked, her getting locked in the walk-in freezer etc. Enter her saviour Joey, who she hires solely for the purpose of firing, for her colleagues to take her seriously. Joey, dazzled by the fat server tips in holiday season, tries to avoid getting sacked at first; but later, seeing how hapless his otherwise assertive friend gets, gets himself fired and the rest of the staff run scared, as planned.

Someone rushes to get the salads to a waiting table, somebody else gets her the swordfish she asks for, and another one has to go get a haircut, as she instructs.

Earlier in the episode, she plans a ‘Chilean Sea Bass prepared with a mango relish’ for the specials. We decided to combine the two and present to you a Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa. In off-mango season, feel free to sub pineapple.

Recipe: Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa

7. Rachel’s Pizza with Anchovies
(“The One With The Morning After”)

Anchovies amp up the umami of the tomato sauce in the pizza, and are an awesome addition

Rachel and Ross, of Rachel and Ross, were on a break when Ross found solace in a stranger’s arms. Or maybe they weren’t. Either way, Rachel is mad enough at Ross to ask for extra anchovies on their pizza, and even put some “right there in the sauce”, when Ross specifically asks for no anchovies.

What is Dr. Geller’s problem with seafood, some of us would like to ask. Anyways, we’re on Team Rachel on this; pizza with anchovies is the best way to settle an argument, with or without breaks.

Recipe: Pizza Napoli (Pizza With Anchovies)

8. Monica’s bouillabaisse 
(The One With The Cooking Class)

This seafood stew is sure to win you lots of stars—silver, gold and platinum.

Monica Geller, on the other hand, loves her seafood. She cooks with it a lot, plans menus around it, even orders it when they go out for a meal. Her restaurant gets an “abysmal” review, and in an effort to question the critic, takes a cooking class for beginners with Joey who comes along. She wins the teacher over with her rendition of a bouillabaisse, and even folds foil into a star, asking the teacher to award her if her dish deserves it.

If only Monica could make seafood Ross’s favourite too. Meanwhile, here’s a bouillabaisse recipe sure to win your heart (and silver stars).

Recipe: Bouillabaisse

Why not plan a menu for the next time you have Friends-crazy company over? In the words of Phoebe Buffay (“Princess Consuela Bananahammock”), “now it’s a party!”

About the Author
An incorrigible gastronome, Rupika V is on a perpetual quest to find the best food around, and will happily travel far to find it.

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