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Seafood Book Reviews

 The Modern Seafood Cook
by Edward Brown and Arthur Boehm

Even to experienced cooks, there's something fishy about seafood cooking. Sure we know a good seafood meal when we taste it: it's delicate in flavor, moist and perfumed with the salty goodness of the sea. Yet we're mystified as to how it got that way. Thus, through culinary attrition, seafood becomes the sole purview of restaurants, never to be truly appreciated in the familiar surroundings of home and hearth. Convinced that seafood enjoys an overly exalted status, chef Edward Brown and food writer and editor Arthur Boehm are intent on making this kind of cooking as approachable as roasting a chicken, while still preserving its glamour and gourmet appeal. In the first 100 pages of The Modern Seafood Cook: New Tastes, New Techniques, New Ease the authors reveal all you need to know about how to get that shimmering piece of fish from the market to the dinner table. They include instruction on selection, cleaning, kitchen tools and, the most troubling issue of all, ways to avoid over- and undercooking. More than 250 recipes are presented in a broad range of categories. Here's your chance to learn about some exotic techniques such as making sushi and sashimi or cooking in wrappers. Yet, strangely enough, I find the section on sandwiches to be the most tantalizing. Clam Rolls on Toasted Garlic Buns, Real Tuna Salad on Black Bread, Soft-Shell Club -- all of them give me the urge to make a bee-line to the fishmonger. Why? Because it is from the simplest dishes that we learn about the greatness of seafood. With only bread and a few slices of crisp vegetables to enhance the flavor, that beautiful pink fillet of salmon or that sweet and salty mussel has nothing to hide, nor should it.

West Coast Seafood
by Jay Harlow

Veteran seafood chef, cookbook author and cooking teacher Jay Harlow offers a trustworthy, up-to-the-minute cook's guide to fresh seafood. You'll enjoy this book if you want to know how to approach seafood with confidence--both in the market and in the kitchen. Jay Harlow leaves no fin unturned in this newly published volume. While there are quite a few excellent books on fish and seafood cooking on the market, most are for East Coast catches, while Harlow is West Coast specific. Want to know how tuna is graded and why you don't need to buy grade one sashimi-grade fish unless you intend to eat it raw? West Coast Seafood explains all. The recipes are clar, concise and consumer-friendly. Even seafood novices should have no problem preparing great meals from this book.

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