When a chef writes a cookbook, he or she must make often complex restaurant dishes accessible to home cooks without sacrificing the things that make them great. This is precisely what David Pasternack, chef at New York's Esca, has done in The Young Man and the Sea, a collection of 100-plus simple yet remarkable seafood recipes that cooks at all skill levels will want to try.
Featuring salads, including a delicious one of grilled tuna and artichokes; raw dishes such as Black Sea Bas with Pine Nuts; and pastas like Fettuccine with Rock Shrimp, Corn, and Jalapeño, the book also offers grilled and pan-fried favorites, like Grilled Snapper with Almond-Oregano Pesto, and "crispy" dishes, including a superlative Fritto Misto Amalfitano, among other course standouts. Throughout, Pasternack shares sage advice and cooking insights (for example, use a relatively low-temperature for frying to maintain fish moistness), that will broaden any cook's knowledge. Interspersed with stories of fisherman and local seafood markets, and with color photographs throughout, the book offers a singular, passionate understanding that will translate into great home cooking. --Arthur Boehm
"Dave Pasternack is a fisherman, and his reverence for seafood shows in everything that comes from his kitchen. On occasion, the food actually makes me vibrate with pleasure."—Ruth Reichl, in Gourmet
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