THE NEW YORK TIMES SEAFOOD COOKBOOK: More than 250 Recipes Collected from the Pages of the New York Times

Florence Fabricant, Editor . St. Martin's $30 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-31231-2

As Fabricant, a longtime writer for the dining section of the New York Times, notes in her introduction, the way Americans buy, cook and eat seafood has changed drastically over the last 50 or so years. Indeed, the recipes in this collection make use of a wide range of fish types and suggest numerous useful preparation methods. It's a shame, though, that the recipes have not been dated, as that might have made the book more useful in terms of culinary history. The recipes themselves, however, are streamlined and reliable. Within each chapter (fish, shellfish, caviar and smoked fish and mixed seafood preparations), recipes are grouped by the type of fish they feature, which are arranged in alphabetical order, so that the largest chapter, the one on fin fish, begins with anchovies (including a recipe for Puntarelle with Anchovies) and ends with yellowtail (Grilled Yellowtail with Mexican Marinade). Most fish types are introduced with an overview of the various types and possible substitutes, as in the explanation of flounder nomenclature. Some of the recipes come from famous-name chefs, such as a Croque-Monsieur with Salmon and Caviar from Eric Ripert of New York's fish temple Le Bernardin, and a Bean and Calamari Soup from Cesare Casella of the Tuscan restaurant Beppe. Other recipes, such as Alaskan Halibut and Salmon Gefilte Fish Terrine, illustrate a melting-pot cuisine particular to New York. A solid introduction provides tips for purchasing seafood and judging doneness and makes this generally excellent volume even more useful. (July)

Forecast:This book has the range and expertise one would expect from a book culled from the New York Times. Like previous Times collections, this one is likely to become a mainstay.

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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