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Fish & Shellfish [Hardcover]

James Peterson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 2 1996
Every few decades a chef or a teacher writes a cookbook that is so comprehensive and offers such depth of subject matter and cooking inspiration that it becomes a virtual bible for amateur and professional alike. Author James Peterson, who wrote the book Sauces, a James Beard Cookbook of the Year winner, and the incomparable Splendid Soups, once again demonstrates his connoisseurship with Fish & Shellfish, a monumental cookbook that will take its rightful place as the first and last word on seafood preparation and cooking.

Fish & Shellfish demonstrates every conceivable method for preparing sumptuous meals of fish and shellfish, from baking, braising, deep-frying, grilling and broiling to poaching, panfrying, marinating, curing and smoking, steaming, and microwaving. Whether your taste runs strictly to shellfish or to everything seafood, Fish & Shellfish offers the equivalent of a complete cookbook on each subject. Within the chapters on finfish you'll learn how to prepare enticing recipes remarkable for their ease of preparation, their versatility, and their originality Here Peterson offers such splendid flavors and textures as succulent Stuffed Striped Bass with Spinach, Shrimp, and Mushrooms; crunchy Halibut Fillets with Curry, Herbs, and Almond Crust; delicate Salmon Fillets A la Nage with Julienned Vegetables; savory Braised Tuna with Vegetables; and fiery Thai-Style Swordfish Satay.

If it's shellfish you prefer, there are pages and pages of recipes for baking, frying, steaming, or serving raw everything in a shell, including mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, lobster, shrimp, crab, and crayfish. Peterson explains how to judge freshness and how to prepare shellfish delights, including lemony-flavored Steamed Mussels with Thai Green Curry; aromatic Littleneck Clams in Black BeanScented Broth; a simple and comforting Linguine with Clam Sauce; elegant Hot Oysters with Leeks and White Wine Sauce; rich and savory Braised Scallops with Tomatoes and Fresh Basil; Steamed Lobster with Coconut Milk and Thai Spices; Shrimp with Tomato Sauce, Saffron Aioli, and Pesto; hit-the-spot Sautéed Crab Cakes; and Japanese Style Grilled Squid, to name but a few of the brilliant and vast array of wonderful seafood selections.Fish & Shellfishalso offers techniques for preparing raw, marinated, cured, and smoked fish.

As you exploreFish & Shellfish, you'll learn not only the essentials of seafood preparation but everything in between, including how to make a curry sauce, which red wines to cook with, how to fry parsley, and how to make Vietnamese dipping sauces. You'll learn the secrets of a variety of coatings, how to blacken fish, add stuffings, and deglaze the pan for sauces, as well as discover the delights of salsas, chutneys, relishes, mayonnaises, and butters.

Here is seafood in every incarnation, from soups, stews, and pastas to mousses, soufflés, and salads. Try everything from pureed Marseilles-Style Fish Soup and Moroccan Swordfish Tagine with Olives and Saffron to Homemade Cuttlefish-Ink Linguine, and Crayfish Stew with Tomatoes, Sorrel, and Vegetables.

Jim Peterson has traveled the world and brought back the best international seafood flavors, textures, and techniques. Now you can improvise on your own with Thai marinades, Indian spices and condiments, and Japanese grilling methods, all of which play off more familiar ingredients to produce memorable dishes.

At the end of Fish & Shellfish you'll find a complete Finfish Dictionary, where you'll learn all you need to know about more than sixty species of saltwater and freshwater fish. There's also a 32-page section of color photographs that pictures many of the mouthwatering recipes in the book. And the step-by-step pictorials in the color section will show you how to prepare fish and shellfish for cooking.

James Peterson's books have been hailed as the most companionable and dependable of cooking guides. Replete with tables, timing charts, advice about equipment, safety preparations, a glossary of foreign ingredients, and an exhaustive index, Fish & Shellfish will give you the power of flexibility and spontaneity as it transforms you into an accomplished seafood cook. Here is a fundamental cookbook that you will come to depend on every time you think seafood-and now you'll be thinking seafood all the time.

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From Publishers Weekly

Peterson (Sauces and Splendid Soups) has compiled a comprehensive, deftly organized guide to the preparation of seafood. The volume's four easily cross-referenced parts begin with cooking techniques and recipes in "Finfish" and "Shellfish." "Seafood in Other Guises" contains recipes for salads, soups, stews and such dishes as Ricotta and Sage Agnolini in Tomato Shrimp Broth and Salmon and Smoked Salmon Mousse Napoleons. "Finfish Dictionary" includes tips for identifying and cooking more than 200 species. The impressive range of Peterson's 150-plus recipes moves from the simple (Baked Mackerel with Mustard and Bread Crumbs) to the more challenging (Curry-Flavored Monkfish Croquettes with Pear Chutney) and includes the unusual (Arctic Char Baked in Salt; Indian-Style Sweet-and-Hot Seafood Chowder with Coconut Milk). Sidebars and boxes include tips for such things as taking the meat from lobster shells and buying scallops or seasoned vinegar for sushi. Charts for traditional ethnic dishes offer at-a-glance guides to ingredients, flavors, enrichers and garnishes. Peterson's authoritative, informal prose style blends well with the book's organization to make this volume a reference sure to please amateur and professional cooks. Also included are a glossary, source list and color photos. Homestyle Book Club selection; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

There is an incredible amount of information presented here, in headnotes preceding each of the more than 150 recipes, in the sidebars, and in the step-by-step photographs. The dishes represent innovative approaches to old and new cuisines; information on necessary equipment and notes from Peterson's own experience round out this outstanding cookbook. Barbara Jacobs

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best seafood book out there Aug. 4 2002
This is a great book for anyone who loves seafood and has reasonable access to it. Unlike some other cookbooks (charlie trotter's seafood cookbook comes to mind), this book delivers excellent recipes with ingredients that for the most part can be found in your local grocery store. This is a cookbook for food lovers of all skill levels as it has an array of recipies with differing levels of difficulty, but, luckilly, explicit directions are given on everything from making the actual dish to selecting the seafood in the supermarket. If you are looking for a great cookbook to explore wonderful seafood dishes usually not found in restaurants, look no further. A personal favorite of mine in this book is the striped bass stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and shrimp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By mirope
This is the most comprehensive guide to seafood you will ever find. James Peterson has compiled great recipes and an amazing amount of information in this one volume. He very systematically describes every edible variety of seafood you're likely to find. He tells you what to look for when you are shopping, how to handle it and gives you a variety of options on how to cook it. I was particularly impressed with the "how to" photographs that demonstrate everything from how to fillet a variety of fish to how to shuck oysters and peel shrimp. The novice home cook will certainly benefit from this wealth of practical advice, and the more experienced chef will find all sorts of inspiring ideas for preparing favorite seafood. Peterson artfully combines recipes and serving suggestions from a variety of culinary traditions. He's equally adept at contemporary Thai-inspired soups and traditional French preparations. He also gives you the information you need to branch out and experiment on your own. For example, there are great charts suggesting pairings of shrimp and possible soup ingredients and a thorough offering of traditional sauces to mix and match with your own seafood preparations. This is truly an amazing resource that anyone who loves seafood should have in their kitchen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love to eat seafood! My problem was that I just didn't know to identify, clean or cook any of it. The very idea of going into a fish store gave me apoplexy. I needed professional help, and it arrived in the form of this excellent, and informative book. This book has it all! From the opening pages, author James Peterson takes the reader from the market to the table and answers every possible question that the reader may have about the buying, storing, and preparation of seafood. He discusses the various ways of preparing seafood such as braising, grilling & broiling, poaching & steaming. Finfish and shellfish are both identified in an excellent directory. Peterson also gives us ideas about other ways that we can prepare seafood from the simple soups & salades to the elaborate mousses and souffles. There is a glossery of foreign ingredients and a list of sources so that you can get everything needed for your receipes. If you want a definitive book on seafood preparation, this is the only one you'll ever need!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continually pleasing, instructful, and AMAZING. Jan. 9 2001
This wonderful cookbook has yet to disappoint. It tells you what to look for when purchasing, what fish can be substituted in recipes; it has clear descriptions of various cooking methods, and pulls in a wide variety of recipes from all around the world. You'll be pleased with its detail on such basics as steaming lobsters and mussels, as well as some stunning off-the-beaten path recipes like a Brazilian shrimp stew. We have made several of the dishes in this book, and have found them simple enough for a family Sunday dinner or elegant enough for a Saturday dinner party. Many recipes are also quick enough for a weeknight. A favorite in our household, and worth giving to your friends.
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