Seafood, How to Buy, Prepare, and Cook the Best Sustainable Fish and Seafood from Around the World, editor, C.J. Jackson, DK Publishing 2011, $35.00 hardback, 400 pages

Do you freeze up at the fish counter and just settle for salmon—every time? Or perhaps you can’t remember whether it’s better for the planet to buy wild or farmed salmon. Or maybe one more microwaved slab of salmon with dill is going to make you swear of seafood forever.

You need this book. Its recipes, techniques, and illustrated gallery are educational and inspiring. All right, maybe the gallery is a bit off-putting. Who knew something as ugly as monkfish could be so delicious? But the techniques for cutting and boning large and small, flat and round fish will save you money and ensure you get the most out of every purchase.

Most of the book is recipes, divided into starters, soups, pastas, pies, one pot, curries, fried, baked, steamed, and broiled. They range across styles and cultures—a very proper Lobster Salad with Watercress or Yam Pla Fu, a Thai salad with mangos, lime, and chili. I have very strong opinions about New England Clam Chowder and this one is not floury and pasty, but rich with bacon and whole milk. But I’m ready to try Salmon Chowder with Whiskey, Keralan Prawn Soup, or Waterzooi.

Perhaps most helpful is the book’s section on Recipe Choosers. These quick picks summarize choices by fish. You can grab a deal at the market, confident that you will find something delicious to make with it. So for scallops, just some of the choices: skewered with Parma ham, with pesto on crostini, pan-fried with chile, ginger, and anchovy, saucing linguine, or as elegant Coquille St. Jacques.

And like all DK books, this one is fantastically illustrated with big color photos of fish, dishes, and step-by-steps for techniques. With all this information, it’s a book you’ll return to again and again.

But for all that, don’t abandon salmon. You’ll want to try jungle curry, coulibiac, and jerk salmon.

About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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