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Bonnie Ruth

Best Seafood Cookbooks

36 posts in this topic

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?

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Peterson's Fish and Shellfish is the only one I have ...

http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Shellfish-Defin...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.

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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.


Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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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.

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

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

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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?

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

cheers

Derek

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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.


Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"

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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...

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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.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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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.

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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".

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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.


Robert

Seattle

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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

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

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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.)


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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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

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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.

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

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...

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. ...

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

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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?

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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.

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.

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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.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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