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Rick Stein's Complete Seafood Hardcover – March 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews Review

The encyclopedic Rick Stein's Complete Seafood is particularly welcome. Not only does the British chef's book offer 150 attractive recipes and step-by-step instructional color photographs--it classifies the world's seafood in a thorough, approachable, and up-to-date way. This is no small accomplishment. Fish classification is notoriously vexed; local usage can result in multiple names for the same fish--one person's dolphinfish is, for example, another's mahi mahi--or dozens of different fish with the same name. Grouping seafood by anatomical distinctions, such as billfish (which includes swordfish and marlin), as well as by family, helps create a clearer picture; and color illustrations, plus a valuable chart that delineates common, Latin, and family names, as well as home-region, further elucidates what's what and where.

In addition, the oversize book's technical illustration, which delves far beyond the usual guide to filleting, skinning, and the like, is an informative trove. Preparing flatfish for broiling and for deep frying are two examples of this thoroughness that also covers baking whole fish in foil; butterflying raw shrimp for broiling; and preparing raw, smoked, and, cured fish, among other key methods. The central section of the book is devoted to Stein's recipes, which range from the simple and direct, like Baked Sea Bass with Roasted Red Pepper, Tomatoes and Anchovies, and Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs with Garlic Butter, to the more dressy, such as Fillet of Bass with Vanilla Butter Vinaigrette and Mussels en Croustade with Leeks and White Wine. Offered with suggestions for using alternative fish types, the formulas also help readers make sense of seafood’s bounty--and to find recipes based on market availability. This book, designed for all cooks with more than a passing interest in seafood, is among today's best kitchen resources. --Arthur Boehm

From the Publisher

* The most comprehensive full-color instructional available, with global recipes and advice from British cooking show and school authority Rick Stein.

* All text has been carefully vetted and adjusted to correspond with North American fish and shellfish availability and sustainability.

* Rick Stein’s Seafood Lovers’ Guide has sold more than 170,000 copies.

* Includes more than 575 step-by-step, instructional photographs and illustrations.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580085687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580085687
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`rick stein's complete seafood' by, you guessed it, English restauranteur and culinary teacher, Rick Stein is the kind of book which promises great things and thereby simply invites criticism for its presumptuous title. I think I can safely say that no book that claims to be a `Bible' or `Complete' really does give either a total or fully authoritative treatment of its subject. But the fact that this book happens to be just a bit less than `complete' is no reason not to buy it, because it does give a full treatment of some very important aspects of cooking seafood.

The book is divided into three great parts containing thirteen chapters. These parts and chapters are:

Part 1 - Techniques


Chapter 1 - Preparing Fish

Chapter 2 - Cooking Fish

Chapter 3 - Preparing raw, smoked, and cured fish

Chapter 4 - Preparing and cooking seafood

Part 2 - Recipes

Chapter 5 - Soups, stews, and mixed seafood

Chapter 6 - Large meaty fish, skate, and eels

Chapter 7 - Large Round fish

Chapter 8 - Small round fish

Chapter 9 - Flatfish

Chapter 10 - Crustaceans

Chapter 11 - Mollusks and other seafood

Chapter 12 - Stocks, Sauces, and Basic Recipes

Part 3 - Information

Chapter 13 - Seafood Families

Identifying Seafood - Pictures of seafood animal groups

Classifying Seafood - Species which may be substituted for one another

Index of Recipes

The easiest way to see where this book falls short of `completeness' is to look at Alan Davidson's three excellent volumes on seafood of the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and southeast Asia.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dan Fendel on August 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I own over 1,000 cookbooks, am a trained chef, and a food/wine/travel writer and editor. I must say without fear of contradiction that this book is the ULTIMATE guide to all things that swim and how to cook them. Not only recipes, techniques, and guides, but insight and understanding, all written with Rick's great sincerity and true love of his field. Moreover, unlike some other books, the recipes are sorted by FISH, not by region or type of dish, so you get to basically buy what's fresh then wander through ideas for it that range from asia to europe to latin america and that are ALL spectacularly appetizing. YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK if you ever plan to cook fish. It really is that good.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Along with Bittman's opus, this is the one that I turn to when cooking fish. I love the way that he describes the types of fish -- it allows one to go beyond the actual text and thing of ways to prepare. But if you are a "by the list" cook, you will not at all be let down. The receipts in this book are fantastic and well worth the cover charge. I have had it since it came out in its American edition and am most glad that I bought it. This book was recently reviewed as one of the top ten cookbooks ever in the UK's Waitrose magazine -- and they know that of which they write.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mcclean on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The cookbook, 'Rick Stein's Complete Seafood', demystifies the preparation of fish by presenting photo's of excellent quality with detailed instructions. He demonstrates the techniques of preparing fish in part 1, Recipes in part 2, and information on the various types in part 3.
All 3 parts of the book are very helpful, but the section that won me over completly is part 1 The Techniques, this section is beautifully designed and presented, a landmark in book creation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Stein has created a timeless masterpiece with his "Complete Seafood"! This juggernaut compilation has been written in such a simple format yet it covers every aspect of seafood prep that any North American would need. The pictorials for the dismantling of the various crustaceans was so clear, simple and detailed that if Rick were a general surgeon you would not have had any problem executing an appendectomy!

So many young people I have worked with have had such "aversions" to seafood and with so many of Ricks techniques/recipes we have been able to bring the fresh seafood product back to the kitchen and let the "seafood phobics" work their way through the basics of braise/saute/bake and its been so gratifying watching the transformation.

This book very much reminds me of Jacques Pepin's "Complete Techniques" and is definitely geared towards the VISUAL learner. Ricks ingredients listing in the recipe also include the much needed metric measurements that are so critical to those of us that utilize digital scales. The execution of the wording on the recipe will also be quite intuitive and not full of a compendium of Chef snobish terms and assumptions.

Most home cooks have limited space and I always approach my reviews from the stand point that its quality versus quantity and for those looking for a single source on seafood this is your book.

I am always glad to see the Saveur year end issue where the readers of the magazine share in the "Best" of what they have to offer, and every year I am able to pluck at least 2-3 cook book references that I may have never found with out these choice recommendations. This great seafood reference was plucked out of Saveur's 2008 year end edition. Enjoy!
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