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Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking Paperback – January 26, 1999
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From anchovy to wolffish, Mark Bittman, the executive editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine, presents fish and shellfish by name, offering discussions on preparation and presentation along with sumptuous recipes. Bittman proposes everything from traditional fare--Dungeness crab salad and marinated grilled salmon--to more complex dishes like curried mussels and raw sea bass salad. The more than 500 recipes are tried-and-true, and any cook with access to a decent fish market is advised to take full advantage of Bittman's expert and substantial overview. The book won the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award in the Single Subject Category. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Bittman organizes this more than ample book into short sections devoted to individual fish: technical information on how to handle a lobster, for instance, is combined with consumer buying tips, then followed by nine recipes. Usefully, the author, executive editor of Cook's Illustrated , holds his commentary down to a sober minimum--he doesn't often opt for chat or reader entertainment. Instead, unveiling the basics about 70 fish, he provides tried-and-true fare for the table--Dungeness crab salad, marinated grilled salmon--interspersed with more unusual offerings: raw sea bass salad; curried mussels; salmon scallops with garlic confit. Anyone with decent access to a fish market will appreciate (and come to rely on) this substantial overview. Photos not seen by PW . BOMC HomeStyle Book Club alternate; Food and Wine Books selection; first serial to Self magazine.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Mark Bittman tends towards light and healthy cooking, which is much more to my taste, and he offers incredible variety from cuisines all over the world. My very favorite salmon recipe is on p. 235, Salmon Roasted with Cilantro "Pesto". Even those not crazy about cilantro may like this one - it's light, delicious, fast and easy to make in a toaster oven, and likely very *different* from any style of salmon you've had before.
Fish cookbooks occupy a crucial niche for me - I don't eat meat and general cookbooks tend to concentrate very heavily on meat and sweets, neither of which interests me. And vegetarian cookbooks by definition include no animal food, but I eat and like fish. So the easiest way to bridge this gap is to get a fish cookbook. The problem was finding a good one. Well, this is definitely the best one I've found. I recommend it highly.
Bittman must be one of the most impatient cooks around. He fries and sautees his fish like my wife fries an egg -- on High. Before I got a handle on it and turned down the heat some, I had scorched my salmon and had whiting jumping around in my skillet like pop corn. There was smoke all over the kitchen. So, my advise is to turn down the heat a little. About 8 on a scale of 1-10 works well with my stove.
Also, he's prejudiced against talapia -- just saying it's not a fish worth writing about. I guess because it's cheap. I've used talapia in stews and found it very satisfactory.
Otherwise, I've already used this book several times for good fish recipes.
My copy is almost 20 years old and is in need of some updating. As more people come to appreciate the local Hawaiian Fish it, would be helpful to know that Opah can be prepared in the same way as Rockfish, Monchong like Monkfish. Ahi, Mahimahi, Ono, and Tombo all have equivalent culinary interpretations in the fish world but correlating them with this edition is difficult at best.