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Charlie Trotter's Seafood Hardcover – June 1, 1997
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The simplest of the 75 recipes in Charlie Trotter's Seafood are for dishes like Olive-Oil Roasted Swordfish with Oven-Roasted Tomato and Black Olives, and the Slow-Roasted Salmon with Red Wine Risotto, Wild Thyme and Tiny White Asparagus. His more typical, and even more breathtaking, creations are often based on Hawaiian fish, like Steamed Gindai and Mussels with Lemongrass Broth. On the plate these dishes are all as artistically arranged as they sound.
This is food pornography at its peak. Every dish, as exotic and complex as a lesson from the Kama Sutra, is shown in gloriously intimate, obscenely alluring, vinaigrette-dotted detail by photographer Tim Turner. Ambitious cooks will appreciate Trotter's recommended piscatorial substitutions. Finding other ingredients, like bleeding heart radishes and shallot blossoms, is up to you. Not to mention making time to produce the infused oils and deeply flavored stocks often called for. The recipes are grouped, unexpectedly, by the wines best for accompanying them. Trotter starts with champagne and proceeds through 16 other kinds of wine, from white Viognier to red Syrah and Barbera.
If complex, original cooking fascinates you, here is the chance to navigate an ocean of new seafood ideas and culinary combinations. --Dana Jacobi
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Top Customer Reviews
Trotter seems to be the kind ofcook who thinks that (1) the more ingredients, the better; (2) the more exotic or unusual the ingredients, the better; and (3) all those ingredients have to be listed in the title of the dish. Braised Sesame-Crusted Yearling Sweetbreads with 100-Year-Old Balsamic Glazed Shallots, Mango-Fenugreek Mayonnaise, Herbed Polenta, and Reduction of Norwegian Sea Urchin Juices. I'm just making this up, but this "recipe" could very well be in the book.
In the backof the book he has a number of recipes for "basics." This not only includes stock, vinaigrette, etc., but also Pickled Lamb's Tongues. Really. I have no problem with anybody cooking (or even pickling) lamb's tongues, but calling them a "basic" is absurd.
I actually had a Charlie Trotter-style dinner this weekend. Pan-Seared Galette of Calf Forcemeat "En Croute" with a Chiffonade of Cornichons and Spring Greens, a Triple Reduction of Spiced Tomato Concassee, and Oil-Poached Russet Potato Allumettes. It was tasty, but it would have been just as good if I called it a hamburger with French fries.
If you're thinking about buying this book, get Georges Perrier's "The Bec-Fin Recipes" instead. The food is at least as tasty (certainly more classic and harmonious), almost as beautiful, and vastly more feasible to prepare.
Still, some of the dishes are approachable by the home cook and the if you are inventive, many could inspire you to come up with your own creations.
An added bonus (or potentially a distraction depending on you point of view) is that the dishes are grouped by the wines that would be accompany them - a novel approach.
Interestingly, the book chapters are named from wines, the fish & seafood aren't even named in the TOC. They are dishes to go with those wines.
A couple of especially good points: every recipe has a note of Recommended Substitutions. Some of the fish will be hard to source for one who isn't a restauranteur.
And the Guide to Seasonal Seafood chart near the end is invaluable.
There are roughly 80ish recipes - if I start sourcing ingredients now & make one a week, it'll take me about a year & a half to cook my way through it (as I said, there are three of them I'm not going to try. Some will be more challenging than others, of course.
Have absolutely no idea whatsoever where I'll get live baby eels, but that's one I'm going to have to do. Guess I'll start looking for the frog legs. I'm having a big party in June where they'll make great hors d'oeuvres. The very first recipe is for Smelts...but they've stopped running for this season, so will have to just salivate over that while I wait for their next season.
Who should buy this book? Either you're willing and able to put a lot of time and effort into sourcing ingredients and preparing them (and are capable of doing it and willing to spend the money) - or you want an elegant coffee table book. This isn't for the casual cook
Most Recent Customer Reviews
gereat book I love the recipes thecookbook is one of my favorites I love great book great book great bookPublished on March 23, 2014 by tom lalonde
This is a superb well-explained & beautifully illustrated book . I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 only because I want to warn buyers that the recipes are mostly complicated,... Read morePublished on January 26, 2014 by canaletto