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Williams-Sonoma Collection: Fish Hardcover – June 5, 2002
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Cooks looking for a complex blend of flavors to set off the fish (especially in sauces) will find that many of these recipes depend instead on only one or two ingredients for their primary flavors--a red snapper recipe is flavored with rosemary and pernod, cod flavored with vegetables and basil, and skate with brown butter and lemon juice. Those who enjoy fruit with their fish may enjoy the halibut with oranges and molasses, salmon with fennel and apple salsa, and salmon with a sauce of mango juice.
Many of the recipes show elaborate presentations--oven-poached whole salmon covered with 1/16" slices of English cucumbers, and orange roughy with 1/8" zucchini slices, easy to do if you have a food processor but a bit fussy to assemble. The halibut fillet en papillote can be prepared ahead, so the "fuss" is done before the guests arrive. Those who plan to cook fish on the grill will need to plan for split-second timing of the grilling and the presentation, and to be sure to have the correct implements for turning the fish to avoid shredding it on the hot grill, a reason many people avoid grilling fish for guests.
Those on low fat diets need to be aware that several of these recipes call for high-fat cooking and sauces--fillets of sole meuniere calls for 6 T. of butter, trout amandine for 4 T. of butter and 4 T. olive oil, the skate with brown butter sauce for 8 T. butter, the striped bass in green curry for 14 oz. of coconut milk (very high in saturated fat), and the New England fish chowder for 1 c. half-and-half and 1 ½ c. of whole milk. Still the selection of forty-two recipes, both fish and shellfish, offers many new ideas for the cook who needs inspiration, and some recipes can be adapted to lower fat cooking.
Note: Williams Sonoma has an earlier Fish cookbook by Joyce Esersky Goldstein, available Used. The recipes in the Goldstein edition are heartier in flavor and less fussy in preparation and presentation. Mary Whipple