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Chesapeake Bay Cooking: The Companion Cookbook to the Public Television Series Hardcover – April 6, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you think Chesapeake Bay cooking is all about the hard- or soft-shelled blue crab--about crab cakes, deviled crab, crab soufflés, crab-stuffed mushroom caps, ham and crab imperial, crabmeat curry, crab fluffs, crab and artichoke dip, crab loaf, crab quiche, and soft-shell crab sandwiches--you have another think coming. This isn't to say that the first 60 or so pages of Chesapeake Bay Cooking aren't dedicated to the blue crab. They are. But then John Shields moves right into oysters, then seafood, soups and stews, chicken and game birds, meat and game, and on all the way to desserts, pickles, and preserves.

Companion to a public television series, Chesapeake Bay Cooking is part travelogue, part history of a region's cooking, part call to environmentalist arms, part paean to childhood past, and part plain old cookbook devoted to the food products and cooking styles indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay.

In one sense, this is what has become of American cooking from the earliest times (Jamestown) to the most recent. Everyone passing through has had an impact on what the Native Americans started. Recipes range from Baltimore Polish and Italian influences to Virginia African American. While some professional chefs of the region are represented, the food for the most part is what's to be found at home, in the back yard, in the church basement. John Shields, Chesapeake Bay homeboy, gives this valuable piece of American real estate both a face and a flavor. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

This PBS-TV series companion gives a spirited look at the down-home food favored by folks living along the coastline and on nearby farmlands of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Expectedly, seafood grabs the spotlight. The blue crab is a local icon, and Shields provides seven recipes for crab cakes, from Senator Barb's Spicy Bay Crab Cakes (courtesy of Maryland's Sen. Mikulski), using soft white bread for binding instead of cracker crumbs, to Faidley's World Famous Crab Cakes served up in Baltimore's Lexington Market. Eight recipes for soft-shelled crabs range from Soft-Shell Crab Moutarde to the savory Pecan-Coated Soft-Shells with Whiskey-Lemon Butter. Eight oyster recipes are capped by the celebratory Oysters Poached in Champagne. Moving off the water, a full complement of other dishes includes Maryland Panfried Chicken, coated with a buttermilk-based marinade and dipped in Chesapeake seasonings, an ultra rich Smoked Country Ham and Roquefort Pie, and appealingly simple Succotash, beans and corn kernels sparked with butter and lemon juice. Salads, vegetables, sturdy breakfasts and desserts, the last ranging from Lady Baltimore Cake to Sweet Potato Pie, round out the banquet. Shields, who grew up in Baltimore, provides stories and anecdotes in homey sidebars, along with guidelines for cleaning soft-shelled crabs and cooking a muskrat. He's an infectiously enthusiastic guide to this appealing fare. Pictures not seen by PW. $25,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (April 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a native Marylander (born and raised)currently living in Texas, I bought this book at a Texas bookstore, sat down and browsed through it and almost cried for the Chesapeake regions cuisine. The book made me feel like I was home again. When I tried some of the recipes, I was even more homesick. You begin to yearn for the smell of crabs steaming in the Bay Seasonings and a pitcher of beer while sitting in a loud crabhouse. My favorite aspect of the book is it takes you through all regions of the bay and lets you experiment with not only crabs, oysters and shrimp but other treasures you might not expect to find like Southern Maryland Stuffed ham. If you haven't tried this gem, you haven't lived! Congratulations to John Shields on capturing every aspect of cuisine in the Chesapeake Bay area. I own several other cookbooks of this variety and this one is by far the BEST!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a Christmas gift from my husband, and it has to be one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I thought I knew a lot about this region's cooking, but I learned a great deal from this book. The recipes for Baked Squash & Tomatoes and Oyster Stew have become standbys in my kitchen. Not only is this book full of fabulous recipes, but the stories woven through the book are worth reading just on their own. John Shields is truly a "Bawlamor boy" and one of the state's greatest assets. Highly recommended!
Kathleen
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Format: Hardcover
I watched the PBS show that this book originated from and immediately ordered the book. I already own over fifty cookbooks and this has become my favorite. As a native "Baltimoron", I've thoroughly enjoyed the stories and info about Baltimore. The recipes are fabulous. You must try a "Dirty Gertie". Fantastic. These recipes are the best that Maryland has to offer. John, hats off to you! Living in Ocean City, we can sample the best seafood in the world. Now, my kitchen is the best in town. Thanks.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, did I over estimate my "knowledge" of this area's cuisine and natural resources! This book is an excellent primer for cooks of all levels who feel the need to know about C-bay cuisine. Terrific recipes and a great insight into the quality of life in the area.
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Format: Hardcover
This treatment of the region's classic ingredients makes you want to put down the book and go right to the grocery store. In fact, upon reading the recipe for Chesapeake Bay Crab Salad, I did just that! The tomato tart - divine! Peaches in vanilla cream? Yum! You don't need to live here or to watch the TV series to love this cookbook -- a captivating addition to your collection. It might even make you want to invite people over for dinner just to have the fun of preparing these dishes. Highly recommended!
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By A Customer on November 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I ended my search for the perfect crabcake recipe with this cookbook! His crabcakes are wonderful, the best ever. And the rest of the recipes and narratives in this book are delicious and entertaining, Shields provides an inviting glimpse into the Chesapeake culture and cuisine. Makes me want to visit the area someday.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the recipes and the side stories. You can tell that this book came from the heart of someone that grew up on the Chesapeake Bay. The recipes are easy to follow, and taste delicious. This cookbook would make a great gift for a cook, new bride, or like me, buy it for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This essential to the excellent dishes of the Bay and its style is celebrating its 25th anniversary, but for those of us who've owned the original, it IS a classic, and the basis of Shields' PBS series.

He's a legend, this is a legend, you seriously need it in among a well-stocked foodie's library.
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