cover image Sky Juice and Flying Fish: Tastes of a Continent

Sky Juice and Flying Fish: Tastes of a Continent

Jessica B. Harris. Fireside Books, $19.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-671-68165-4

Harris ( Hot Stuff: A Cookbook in Praise of the Piquant ) offers an enthusiastic and enticing introduction to the lively array of cuisines found in the Caribbean islands. Combining research with observations from her own experiences, she explores the ``culinary quirks'' of different islands (turtle steak can be sampled in the Cayman Islands, and while peas and rice are ``laughingly referred to as the Jamaican coat of arms,'' curried goat is a local specialty) and supplies a useful glossary of ingredients and utensils. Dishes range from appetizers to desserts, and one can taste bacalaitos (codfish fritters) from Puerto Rico, fricasseed chicken from Saint Kitts or breadfruit stuffed with onion and tomato from Jamaica. Most of the recipes are simple enough to encourage readers to try unfamiliar dishes, although several contain at least one unusual, specialty-store ingredient, such as the Scotch bonnet-type chile in soupe aux pois rouges (kidney bean soup). Harris suggests substitutions for some uncommon items, such as Cascadura (a mudfish found near Trinidad); cooks who can't locate the fish can substitute shrimp to make a flavorful curry. (Feb.)