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The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America's Shorelines Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Food writer and editor Epstein and chef Jackson set out to document the flavors found along Americas coastlines but they ended up with much more: a state-of-the-nation snapshot, displaying all of the U.S.'s culinary peculiarities. Profiling 47 different lighthouses ringing the coast, many more than a hundred years old, the duo offer menus from all eras, showcasing local produce and regional favorites. Many are expected: Clam Chowder, Baked Beans and Crab Cakes from the Atlantic coast, Pulled Pork from the Carolinas, Conch Fritters from the Virgin Islands, traditional beanless Texas Chili, and Vegetarian Spring Rolls from California are included among nearly 300 recipes. Surprises include everything from Alligator Gumbo to Poached Peaches with Puff Pastry Biscuits and Lavender Cream. Menu diversions include a hunt club dinner menu from the 1930s (including oyster stew, roasted venison loin and shrimp paste with toast points) and a menu that salutes the Portugese fishermen of New England (Johnny Cakes, Kale and Chorizo soup, Grilled Bluefish topped with salsa). Those with a connection to the lighthouses profiled will get the most out of the book, but even landlubbers will find new favorites among this surprisingly rich haul of Americana cooking.
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Review

"Those with a connection to the lighthouses profiled will get the most out of the book, but even landlubbers will find new favorites among this surprisingly rich haul of Americana cooking." - Publishers Weekly

"Whether you are a collector, lover of lighthouses, or really want to get into the history of regional foods, this book will make a nice addition to your library. I encourage you to take the time to read it through, the historical information is wonderful and there are many references that will cause you to pause and think differently about dishes that have been around for over a century." - Gourmet Girl

"A cookbook organized around an appealing concept that boasts a diverse assortment of 300 easy-to-follow recipes." - Insatiable

"It is clear that The American Lighthouse Cookbook is a labor of love by Epstein and Jackson, and it will become an indispensible resource for anyone who has even a casual interest in cooking." - San Antonio Book Review

"Beach lovers will treasure this charming book...Traditional recipes from each coastal region have been adapted by Jackson for easy home use." - Raleigh Metro Magazine

"A delicious trip around the nation's shorelines...Epstein and Jackson offer an historic perspective along with great regional menus including nearly 300 recipes." - Intermezzo

"The book is actually a primer on some of our more historic beacons-in this regard it is certainly one of a kind. The recipes are easy to follow, and truly are a compendium of regional dishes." - Falmouth Enterprise

" The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America's Shorelines was fun, grabbing recipes and inspiration from America's peninsulas and shores, tiny islands and various coastal regions of our country. It is bursting with the bounty of the sea-not a bad idea if you want to insert more Omega-3's into your diet. Or perhaps... as a cool coffee table book for those of you with island cabins..." - Talk of Tomatoes

"The book as a whole is nice blend of history, personal stories on the lighthouse keepers and regional recipes. There are over 300 recipes in the book, and as always the taste-testing process was the most time consuming but entirely enjoyable." - Kelly's Kitchen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581826761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581826760
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Welytok on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Every time I look at a lighthouse in America, I get seriously hungry, and so when this book came along, I was torn between spending my time in the kitchen reading and cooking, or driving along the coast eating and looking at lighthouses.

These recipes are fabulous, and although I haven't tries all of the recipes, the simple ones are really good!!! Just ask the scruffy lighthousekeeper! There's a special, really special place in my cookbook collection for this book, but I can't put it there now because I'm cooking from it right now.

Look for my video review of this book soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cicely Hall on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a really cool cookbook. Drawn in by the beautiful cover, I was instantly impressed by the interesting and fresh format of regional menus. If you don't like seafood (and the "recipes...from America's Shorlines" or "lover of costal cuisine" references concern you) don't worry - this book contains plenty of dishes made with chicken and pork (and and other meats), as well as countless vegetarian possibilities (like Spicy Snap Beans with Butter, Garlic, and Jalapeno Pepper from the Southeast). I've already tried a few of the recipes: The Shrimp Etouffee is delicious and easy to prepare. I also love the Pork Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings, the Chicken, Peanut and Sweet Potato Stew, the Grilled Summer Vegetables, the Watermelon Salad, and the entire "Hollywood Meal". Most of the recipes are pretty simple but so tasty. It's wonderful to be able to choose a region and recreate a typical menu; so many opportunities for great theme parties. And you can impress your friends with local and regional lighthouse facts, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenni M. Parks on August 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A couple of summers ago, my husband's parents came for a visit and we took a weekend road trip through the Outer Banks, stopping at the interesting lighthouses along the way. At one of the lighthouse gift shops I was delighted to find The American Lighthouse Cookbook by Beck Sue Epstein and Ed Jackson. The cookbook is arranged by geographic region (Northeast Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest, etc) and accompanying the recipes are over 40 detailed entries on different lighthouses and their history as well as beautiful sketch drawings.

I've been cooking exclusively from this cookbook for the past week and the recipes have been very good - well written, easy to follow, and great tasting. So far my favorite recipes have been:

Grilled Pizza with Basil, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
This was the first time we made pizza on the grill and it came out fantastic. I did find that we needed to cook the pizza for longer than the recipe specified, but well worth the wait. I also added grilled vegetables to the pizza - yellow squash and zucchini - to really take advantage of our garden bounty.

Chicken Under a Brick
I've read many variations on this recipe, but this was my first attempt at preparing the dish. It was really really good and a breeze to prepare.

Green Beans with Toasted Pecans
This simple side dish is really classy and takes an ordinary dinner to the next level.

Fried Potatoes with Cheddar and Scallions
The perfect breakfast side dish.

Scrambled Eggs
I cook every day, and I enjoy adventurous recipes. That said, mastering the basics is important and I'm a bit ashamed to admit I had never been able to turn out perfect scrambled eggs (always find they stick to the pan a bit) until I followed this recipe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OC Food Diva on April 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
* Asian Rice recipe - This is not a rice side for a meal. This recipe is closer to sushi rice which should be eaten with sushi. The one you want to make for a plate lunch is plain Calrose rice. You don't want any overpowering flavor when eating it with salty and sauced meats. The plain rice helps balance the palate.

* Kalua Pork recipe is a keeper. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find tea leaves in California. There are great Asian markets here in Orange County. Taro leaves are a great alternative, which is normally used for Lau Lau, to wrap the pork and it adds a nice flavor to the pork as well. The changes to this recipe are more Hawaiian Sea Salt (up it from 1 tablespoon to 4 tablespoons for a 5 pound pork butt) and liquid smoke (from 3 tablespoons to 5 tablespoons). The taro leaves are edible and will taste sort of like spinach, but a little different. It matches perfectly with pork. The roasting time is 5 hours, but it will be so worth the wait. The pork is juicy, tender and just melts in your mouth.

* Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy recipe is a keeper. Mainstream makets (like Ralphs, Sprouts, etc.) carry bok choy, but you'll probably need to go to an Asian market (like 99 Ranch Market) to find the baby bok choy. Baby bok choy is not as bitter as the larger one and can be more on the sweet side. The only change on this recipe would be to add more salt or shoyu (soy sauce).

* Pignoli (pine nut) Flan recipe is a keeper. The flan has the perfection consistency, not too soft and not to gelatin like. The caramel sauce comes out like a golden syrup and just sweet enough to pair well with the creamy custard. The pignoli added a nutty, toasty flavor and crunchy texture.

* Asparagus with Soy Sauce and Orange Juice Dressing recipe is a keeper.
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The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America's Shorelines
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