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Best Seafood Cookbooks

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35 replies to this topic

#1 Bonnie Ruth

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:52 AM

I need suggestions for a good (best) cookbook for someone wanting to do some serious fish cooking. If you were to have just one fish cookbook, what would it be?

#2 paulraphael

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:31 AM

Peterson's Fish and Shellfish is the only one I have ...
http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0688127371

Great book, though I haven't made any of the recipes, so I can't comment on those. I just use it as a comprehensive reference on selecting fish and cooking techniques. It lets me buy whatever fish at the market looks good (even if I've never heard of it), bring it home, and in a few seconds learn everything I need to know about cooking it.

#3 shellfishfiend

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:58 AM

I agree with Paulraphael-Peterson's book is fantastic. I have had it for about four years and use it often. All of the recipes I have tried have been great. I love the fact that he lists multiple substitutions for most recipes. So, if you go to the market and the called for fish looks a little dull, you can easily buy soemthing else and use it.
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#4 russ parsons

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:02 PM

jim's book is really good. there's also a new one coming out in the next couple of months by Paul Johnson, owner of Monterey Fish and supplier to most of the best restaurants in teh bay area. it does a good job of covering fish available on BOTH coasts (there are distinctly different varieties on the Pacific side).

Also, for left-coasters, there's an old book that is still findable written by Johnson and Jay Harlow called "West Coast Seafood". This is indispensable; my go-to reference.

#5 Bonnie Ruth

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:13 PM

Thanks to all of you!. I have ordered the Peterson book from Amazon.

#6 laurelm

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:20 PM

This book looks amazing, have added to my wish list!

#7 Winot

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 12:28 PM

Leith's Fish Bible

#8 Habeas Brulee

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 07:11 PM

I was hunting through my cookbooks for a ceviche recipe earlier, when I realized that (a) none of my cookbooks had one, and (b) I have no cookbooks which focus on seafood. (Unless you count 50 Chowders by Jasper White, which I absolutely adore.)

I want to add some good seafood resource(s) to my cookbook collection.

So, I ask you:

What is your favorite seafood cookbook, and why?

#9 foodie52

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 07:17 PM

Although there are no ceviche recipes in it, my "go to" fish book when I first began to cook fish was James Beard's New Fish Cookery, revised 1976. Very comprehensive and useful. I don't know if it's still in print.

#10 DerekW

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 11:46 PM

Peterson's Fish & Shellfish got several votes in a similar posting recently. I'd add my vote to those - Readable, comprehensive, useful.

cheers
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#11 Shinboners

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 09:23 PM

I've got Rick Stein's book "Seafood" to be a good starting point on different types of seafood and how to cook them. I haven't bought any other specialist seafood cookbooks as I tend to pick up bits and pieces of information from the seafood recipes in other cookbooks.
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#12 Morgan_Weber

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 06:35 AM

Not that it is everyday kind of cooking, but Charlie Trotter's "Seafood" book is quite inspiring and thought provoking. The pictures in his books are kinda like food porn...hehe...

#13 rlibkind

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 09:29 AM

Beard is a great place to start. My first seafood cookbook was his "Fish Cookery," an earlier version of the "New Fish Cookery," though the differences (other than the addition of the Canadian system) are not major.

The next fish cookbook I acquired was Howard Mitcham's "Provincetown Seafood Cookbook". Basic and good.

I frequently refer to my dog-eared copy of Alan Davidson's "North Atlantic Seafood". Though more a reference than a cookbook, with excellent guidance on the various species and fascinating history, the recipes from various European and North American cultures are fascinating. Try the Bergen Fish Soup.
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#14 memesuze

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 09:40 AM

count my vote for Peterson's Fish and Shellfish. I keep it in my car so that, when shopping, I can refer to the descriptions and suggestions about all types of seafood, popular and obscure, and then peruse the recipes which are often incredibly simple while terrific-tasting, again with many substitutions suggested.

#15 russ parsons

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 09:41 AM

it also depends on where you live. there is a terrific divide between east coast and west coast fish. for those of us out here, jay harlow and paul johnson's "west coast seafood" is an amazing guide. and paul, who is the fish purveyor for chez panisse and half the bay area elite, has a great new book out called "fish forever".

#16 RobertCollins

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:40 AM

I agree on Baird and Peterson, the others I haven't seen.

I tend to have few fish or seafood only cookbooks, however, where I have found the most inspiration in fish cookery is from Mark Bittman's books in which seafood is only a part {at least in the few I have}.

I agree with Russ Parsons on the difference in fisheries between coasts but find Bittman still gets me going even if I don't know what a Bluefish tastes like.

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#17 ray goud

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:41 PM

I have several seafood cookbooks, but my favorite is "The Seafood Cookbook, Classic to Contemporary", by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller. Mine says copyright 1986. I wouldn't be surprised if it was out of print. It is a no-nonsense straightforward collection of recipes, organized by style, such as: salads, baking, frying, etc. I have made many dishes from its recipes and every one came out perfectly! Cannot rate it any higher than wonderful. Too bad Pierre has passed away to the great French kitchen above.
This is worth looking around for, even at used markets.
Ray

#18 Sentiamo

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:27 PM

All of Rick Steins books for me! He is a Master when it comes to seafood.

#19 mikeycook

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:47 AM

I am especially devoted to Jasper White's cookbooks. 50 Chowders is the only one I don't own. Cooking From New England focuses heavily on shellfish and fish cookery, including several lobster recipes and interesting dishes for regionally available specialties like Maine Shrimp. I also love Lobster at Home, which is the definitive lobster book (I was born in Maine and was practically raised on lobster and am amazed at what I didn't know.)

I just saw he published a Summer Shack cookbook and will be ordering it shortly (have been to 2 of the locations and the would eat his Pan Roasted Lobster every day until I die.)
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#20 markabauman

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 04:40 AM

Peterson, Rick Stein.
Just read Jasper White's "Summer Shack"- lots of great basic recipes. As an aside, got to eat at his Summer Shack restaurant while at Mohegan Sun. Seems to be one of the few multi-location places that work- all his places are in relative close proximity in New England and he actually goes there a cooks at each of his restaurants. Hard to do when you've got places in NY, Las Vegas, etc.
Mark A. Bauman

#21 jmcgrath

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:45 PM

Although there are no ceviche recipes in it, my "go to" fish book when I first began to cook fish was James Beard's New Fish Cookery, revised 1976. Very comprehensive and useful. I don't know if it's still in print.

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I really like most of Beard's books, but New Fish Cookery and Beard on Bread are among my least favorite. Both seem padded with repetitious techniques

Jim

#22 dougal

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:15 AM

...
I frequently refer to my dog-eared copy of Alan Davidson's "North Atlantic Seafood". Though more a reference than a cookbook, with excellent guidance on the various species and fascinating history, the recipes from various European and North American cultures are fascinating. ...

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If its one book only, and its geographically appropriate, that is the one.
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#23 chrisp

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:21 AM

In the little Spanish town we go to on holiday (L'Escala, Catalonia if anyone's interested) there are loads of good fishmongers within walking distance. This year instead of doing fried prawns over and over again I thought I'd make the most of it and bring along a decent cook book to help me tackle the more exotic produce there without making a complete hash of it.

I remember one year I saw loads of little crabs for sale, about 1-2 inches across, and thought they looked interesting, and were dead cheap, so I bought a bag. Once home, I had no idea what to do with them so I just boiled them up and made an aioli. Out of a pound of crabs I think we had one mouthful of edible meat. I don't know what I was thinking.

Anyway, it doesn't have to necessarily be Spanish, just a seafood cookery book that will give me a few good ideas for what to do with the freshly landed squid or interesting whelks and clams that show up in the fishmongers occasionally.

Does anyone have any favourites? Something suitable for the keen amateur would be ideal. And based in the UK to save on Amazon's postage charges :)

Much appreciated,

Chris

P.S. Can anyone tell me what I should have done with those crabs?

#24 heidih

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

Anyway, it doesn't have to necessarily be Spanish, just a seafood cookery book that will give me a few good ideas for what to do with the freshly landed squid or interesting whelks and clams that show up in the fishmongers occasionally.

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Chris- I can't help with a cookbook, but I can tell you that I have had great success asking either the vendor or the shoppers around me how they prepare the item. Even with a language barrier I usually get pointed in the right direction with a few common words and some hand motions. Sounds like a lovely marketplace to play in.

#25 weinoo

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 06:37 AM

I have most of the books mentioned above - the one Russ writes about I acquired in 1988 while living in the Bay Area, but mine is called The California Seafood Cookbook - I'm pretty sure it's the same book.

The Peterson book and the Franey/Miller book are excellent choices.

To those I would add The Young Man & the Sea, by David Pasternack & Ed Levine. Pasternack, the chef at Esca, is quite passionate about seafood, an avid fisherman, a great cook - and this book reflects all of those qualities, with some excellent, simple recipes.
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#26 Harry

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:58 PM

it does a good job of covering fish available on BOTH coasts . . .

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There are more than two coasts.

#27 dougal

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:46 PM

In the little Spanish town we go to on holiday (L'Escala, Catalonia if anyone's interested) there are loads of good fishmongers within walking distance. This year instead of doing fried prawns over and over again I thought I'd make the most of it and bring along a decent cook book to help me tackle the more exotic produce there without making a complete hash of it.

I remember one year I saw loads of little crabs for sale, about 1-2 inches across, and thought they looked interesting, and were dead cheap, so I bought a bag. Once home, I had no idea what to do with them so I just boiled them up and made an aioli. Out of a pound of crabs I think we had one mouthful of edible meat. I don't know what I was thinking.

Anyway, it doesn't have to necessarily be Spanish, just a seafood cookery book that will give me a few good ideas for what to do with the freshly landed squid or interesting whelks and clams that show up in the fishmongers occasionally.

Does anyone have any favourites? Something suitable for the keen amateur would be ideal. And based in the UK to save on Amazon's postage charges :)

Much appreciated,

Chris

P.S. Can anyone tell me what I should have done with those crabs?

View Post

I reckon Davidson's "Mediterranean Seafood" is the book for you.
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/1903018218/
Botanical illustrations, names in many languages, cross referenced to appropriate recipes...
... and its an inexpensive paperback!


PS - Probably swimming crabs, (Spanish "nécora", Catalan "cranc", Davidson says) which he suggests using to flavour fish soup... :smile:
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#28 Ndy

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 03:14 PM

I've gotten some great inspiration from Charlie Trotter's Seafood.
At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

#29 pickledgarlic

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 01:22 PM

Hey gang,

I'm on the hunt for a new cookbook. I live surrounded by amazing seafood here in Vancouver and though I eat a lot of it (mostly in raw form) I do actually love fish. I just never seem to cook it very often in my house. I do own a whack of cookbooks that have fish in them but I like things that go a lot more into technique and theory than 'just' a recipe. For example, River Cottage MEAT and Les Halles have changed the way I deal with meat and leftovers in my kitchen, for the better. Lean on recipes, heavy on theory is always more helpful.

Any suggestions?

I was eyeballing river cottage fish, but there has to be others (and possibly betters) out there. Preferably not too tied to one places fish (or at least, has a good substitution section!)

- pg.

#30 Dave the Cook

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:14 PM

I don't own it, and therefore haven't cooked from it, but I've browsed (heavily) James Peterson's Fish & Shellfish: The Definitive Cook's Companion. It seems like just what you're after.

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