THE NEW LEGAL SEA FOODS COOKBOOK

Roger Berkowitz, Author, Jane Doerfer, Author, Jane Doerfer, Joint Author . Broadway $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0691-3

Proprietor of the hugely popular family-owned chain that first hooked Bostonians 50 years ago and has now grown to more than two dozen fish restaurants along the East Coast, Berkowitz and co-author Doerfer update the 1988 Legal Sea Foods Cookbook. The first 60 pages are packed with information on selecting and storing seafood, descriptions of various fish and shellfish, as well as basic cooking techniques. The emphasis throughout is on simplicity, which Berkowitz insists is what brings out the best in seafood meals. Indeed, the ease with which most recipes can be made tends to belie just how successful the dishes are. They range from such appetizers as Crab Cakes and Stuffed Grape Leaves (filled with rice, shrimp and feta) to entrees like Bluefish with Almond Tomato Sauce, Swordfish in a Rosemary Lime Sauce and Haddock Escabeche with Carrots, in which the fish is briefly fried. Other sections include Leftovers (Fish Latkes), Salads (Crab Louis), and Pasta and Rice Dishes (Pasta with Pancetta and Shrimp). Vegetables and Side Dishes include the palate-pleasing Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash and Rhode Island Johnny Cakes. Among the 20 Sauces and Coatings is a sure-fire Tartar Sauce, and one of the desserts is the unusual Mango and Strawberry Shortcake. Illustrations are by Edward Koren. (May)

Forecast:This book has a lot going for it: the public's heightened awareness of fish's health benefits; the chain's sterling reputation; and the inclusion of innovative recipes added to the restaurants' menus over the last 15 years. A whimsical Koren fish wearing a toque adorns the cover. Solid sales are certain, particularly in the East.

Reviewed on: 02/17/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
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