THE COMPLETE BOOK OF AMERICAN FISH AND SHELLFISH COOKERY by Elizabeth Bjornskov

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF AMERICAN FISH AND SHELLFISH COOKERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is no really thorough, comprehensive book on fish cookery, and this indifferent effort does little to change the situation. It does somewhat better by West Coast species than most general guides to American seafood--but just enough better to make one wish that Alan Davidson, author of so many other excellent books on regional fish varieties, would turn his attention to the Northeastern Pacific. Altogether, Bjornskov does not so much as attempt to compare Atlantic to Pacific salmon varieties, or to tell you what a salmon trout is (or what other handles you might find it under) before offering recipes for it. And, the actual recipes represent the worst sort of tasteless ""cosmopolitan"" mishmash. Bjornskov's ""tilefish sushi"" involves pouring boiling water over the fish before chilling it in ice water and sprinkling it with lime juice; the final presentation is topped with dried Japanese mushrooms not simply reconstituted in water but simmered with sugar, sake, and soy sauce, and is seasoned with powdered wasabi (Japanese horseradish) that appears to he used dry, straight from the tin. Garlic powder is thrown around with abandon; frozen pike fillets, ""partially defrosted,"" are baked in a so-called pie with cheddar cheese and biscuit mix. Cheddar cheese also glorifies baked lobster stuffed with a mixture of crab meat and crushed saltines. There are a fair number of less objectionable recipes, but few that bear the hallmark of a gifted cook communicating insights. Most cooks would be better advised, for now, to stick to the not-too-bad James Beard's New Fish Cookery.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1984
Publisher: Knopf